Two New Trails Proposed
● By Alesha Damerville
Paige Brookstein rides the Beall Trail on Emerald Mountain. Photo by Aryeh Copa.
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, COLORADO-Two new trails proposals will be presented to the public for endorsement at the Parks and Recreation Commission meeting at 5:30pm on September 13. The recommended trails include the Spring Creek Alternative Trail and a new section of NPR which would end at the base of Emerald Mountain and Howelsen Park.
The Spring Creek Alternate Trail is proposed to be a new downhill directional trail for mountain bikes that would separate downhill bike traffic from the existing Spring Creek Trail. The voter approved 2A Trails Accommodation Tax proposal included this proposed trail yet the trail has not been approved to date. The trail would start on United State Forest Service (USFS) property near the Dry Lake parking lot on Buffalo Pass, parallel the existing Spring Creek Trail through USFS and city property and end where the single track trail meets Routt County Road #34.
Due to the increased use of new trails that are being constructed on Buffalo Pass with the 2A tax dollars, an increase in downhill mountain bike traffic has been noted and is expected to increase. This proposed downhill directional trail for bikes only would separate these recreational uses and minimize opportunities for conflicts. If the proposed trail is endorsed, the city and USFS staff will work with the 2A Accommodations Tax Funding Committee to see when the project would be funded for construction.
The 2A Accommodation Tax and Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) funded NPR (No Pedaling Required) downhill directional mountain bike trail has been a popular addition to Emerald Mountain. This exciting flow trail has helped to provide separation with bikes from other multi use trails, minimizing conflicts with other recreationalists on Emerald. The trail was planned to be constructed all the way to the base area of Howelsen Park yet challenges existed on the best route for this to occur.
City staff is proposing improvements to the existing uphill/downhill section of Mile Run trail that would make it easier and safer for two-way, multi-use traffic. Staff is also proposing a new route to continue the intermediate line of NPR all the way to the base of Howelsen Park. This new trail and other improvements would meet the criteria of the 2A Trails Alliance proposal and provide separation of downhill bike traffic that is attracted to the thrill of NPR. If the proposed trail is endorsed, City staff will work with the 2A Accommodations Tax Funding Committee to see when the project would be funded for construction.
The public meeting is scheduled for Wednesday September 13, 2017 at 5:30 pm at Citizens Hall, 124 10th Street, Steamboat Springs, CO.