Great Fraser Valley trails didn’t build themselves | SkyHiNews.com

Great Fraser Valley trails didn’t build themselves

Keith Sanders
Mountain Biking with Keith

Keith Sanders

The past few days of spring-like weather has me thinking about summer. I was thinking it was May and not January. Even the ice in my driveway was beginning to melt. Friends' pictures of weekend birthday getaways in the desert reminded me of the warmth you feel on a July day.

My fat tire rides took me on some of my favorite summer trails. My mind starts to think of all the effort that goes into the trail experience I was having that day. Even though I was on snow the trail begins from the dirt below. Many a hard day has passed working the earth trying to control the erosion that this winter snow will bring come spring. I rode past the trail signs directing me to places I've been many times before. Adopt a Trail signs tell me who has taken pride and put forth effort to maintain the trail beneath my wheels for all trail users to enjoy. I pass by a bridge built with the sweat of volunteers and the foresight of many to create a safer experience while protecting the fish surviving under the ice.

There are many that are still hard at work throughout the course of winter to plan for tomorrow's bike and trail experience. Currently the Winter Park Chamber is moving forward on creating a new and better mountain bike trail map with the input from mountain bikers and users. They are also evaluating marketing efforts and the Mountain Bike Capital USA website in order to improve those efforts.

The Forest Service is thinking beyond this coming summer to meet the experience mountain bikers want and desire. The agency has to balance environmental, historic, biological and other concerns. What may seem to be an easy end result takes years of detailed planning and studies.

“There are many that are still hard at work throughout the course of winter to plan for tomorrow’s bike and trail experience.”

BLM is finalizing the recreational use in the Strawberry area and other parts of Grand County. The towns of Winter Park and Fraser are looking into the next steps of their trails plan. Headwaters Trails Alliance has chosen an expert to finish the Master Trails Plan, which will guide the direction of trails for many years to come. There are many other efforts in the works that are just too numerous for the space of this column.

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The next time you hop on your fat bike or go out and enjoy the trails, give a little thought to all that goes in to allowing you to have the ability to enjoy the great trail system that we have here. The next hardest thought will be trying to decide where to go with our hundreds of miles of options.

Looking for more information? Like Grand Mountain Bike Alliance (GMBA) on Facebook. GMBA is your local mountain bike group. Check out Mountainbikecapitalusa.com. Great site by the Winter Park Chamber!

Keith Sanders is the President of the Grand Mountain Bike Alliance, 3x US National Mountain Bike Champion and owner of Beavers Sports Shop. You can reach him at keith@winterparkskirental.com

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