New trail will link Arapaho Bay, Grand Lake | SkyHiNews.com

New trail will link Arapaho Bay, Grand Lake

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi Daily News
Grand County, Colorado

Since the U.S. Congress passed the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 at the end of March, trail advocates in Grand County have been scurrying about preparing to map a 13-mile hiking-biking trail from Grand Lake to Arapaho Bay along lakes and rivers.

The new biking-hiking trail on the north-eastern shore of Lake Granby, connecting to the Grand Bay as well as Knight Ridge and East Shore Trails along Shadow Mountain Reservoir, must be aligned within the first year of the bill’s passing. The trail would come out, or start, at the present East Shore trailhead on Jerico Road near Grand Lake.

Upon delineation of the trail, Rocky Mountain National Park and the U.S. Forest Service can go about finalizing their wilderness areas as defined by the Public Land Management Act. With the Act, the Indian Peaks Wilderness area expanded by 4,195 acres of former Arapaho National Recreation Area land, and Rocky Mountain National Park now will have 250 acres of wilderness as part of 164 pieces of public lands legislation that ended up in the bill.

Grand County’s future hiking, biking and horse trail – given deadlines are met – is designed to border the new and expanded wilderness areas.

The Headwaters Trails Alliance, a Grand County organization with the mission of linking towns with multi-use trails, has been working with the International Mountain Biking Association “to design and flag a line that will be a sustainable trail,” according to Headwaters board member James Shockey.

Grand County government, he said, has donated the services of county surveyor Warren Ward to survey the trail corridor.

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Once the trail is officially routed and land agencies have had the chance to map their wildernesses, Headwaters’ next step will be raising funds and seeking grants for an environmental assessment, Shockey said, something estimated to cost anywhere from $60,000 to $100,000.

“I definitely think this trail will be a tourist draw once it’s in,” Shockey said. “Eventually, hopefully, it will be a connection as part of a Granby to Grand Lake trail”

Headwaters’ ultimate goal is to connect the future trail from Arapaho Bay on Lake Granby to the town of Granby.

“We’re looking at possibilities,” Shockey said.

– Tonya Bina can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail tbina@skyhidailynews.com.

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