Grand County Trails: Kicking off hiking season with Trails Night, May 29 | SkyHiNews.com
Diana Lynn Rau
Grand County Trails

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Grand County Trails: Kicking off hiking season with Trails Night, May 29

Diana Lynn Rau

How will you give back this year to the trails you love? Nothing in this world is free and some people spend countless hours planning, building and maintaining the trails systems many of us take for granted. Only the selfish among us can refuse to help in some way. In recent years several mostly volunteer organizations have sprung up to identify and preserve trails used throughout the development of Grand County.

Organizations such as Fraser Valley Partnership for Trails (a volunteer nonprofit organization representing the various motorized and non-motorized disciplines active for almost 20 years in Eastern Grand County) and Headwaters Trails Alliance (a government-oriented and funded county-wide nonprofit organization active for longer than 15 years) are our county watchdogs. Newer is the Grand Mountain Bike Alliance more oriented toward mountain bike trails. They work with the Federal agencies like U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Park Service, and Bureau of Land Management and the town and county governments to police and manage our public lands and some recreational opportunities like the Fraser to Granby Trail created on private lands. The County government usually holds easements to protect builders, landowners and users alike. Volunteers band with government workers to maintain what can be a pretty extensive system some of which is free to users and some of which charge fees.

Opportunities abound to offer a day or even hours of your time to help out. Some are in the form of fun fundraising programs like the Run the Ranches series sponsored by Headwaters every fall or the annual Duckie Race held by Fraser Valley Partnership for Trails in August. Other opportunities come as hard core workdays like Public Lands Day the last Saturday in September or workdays set up through Fraser Valley Partnership for Trails or Headwaters Trails Alliance on both public and private lands that will be announced on their websites. Workdays like this represent partnerships of both public volunteers, government employees and private companies. Locals and visitors alike donate time, materials, and money to these important partnerships — none could do it on their own but together they move mountains.

Come to the Second Annual Trails Night on Thursday evening, May 29 at the Headwaters Trails Alliance Office in Fraser at the Walk Through History Park on Highway 40. The sign says Fraser Outdoor Activities Center and what better activity is there than exploring the lands and waters that nature has given us. Come meet people from the Arapaho-Roosevelt-Pawnee Foundation, Bureau of Land Management, Continental Divide Trail Coalition, Fraser Valley Partnership for Trails, Grand County Wilderness Group, Grand Mountain Bike Alliance, Headwaters Trails Alliance, Rocky Mountain National Park, and the US Forest Service and see what opportunities each has for you to give back. Time and/or money is all it takes. Training and supervision comes from the sponsoring organization.

Headwaters Trails Alliance, the Town of Fraser, and the Winter Park & Fraser Chamber of Commerce have helped draw all these entities together to give you, the public, the best opportunity to be able to help. Please sign up in advance so you can share in the complimentary beverages and hors d'oeuvres by calling Maura McKnight at HTA 970-726-1013 or email hta@headwaterstrails.org. Come meet the people responsible, discuss the possibilities, sign up for your favorite projects, and show up to help out. Call today and join us on May 29. See you from 5-7 p.m. at Trails Night, Thursday May 29, at the HTA office in Fraser.