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Diana Lynn Rau: Grand County trails update

Diana Lynn Rau / Grand County Trails
Grand County, CO Colorado

Enjoy the slow warm days of August before the fall colors are prompted by lower temperatures and early snows.

Cooler mountain evenings make sleeping indoors and outdoors delightful, and people in the hot cities flock to our paradise. Both locals and these visitors contributed toward the U.S. Forest Service’s decision to stop the hazardous tree removal logging projects in the Winter Park area.

Signs in areas marking closed sections were either intentionally or unintentionally ignored by various user groups, causing an extreme hazard for all involved. The Forest Service leaders met with local government and organization leaders to attempt to work out this problem with many suggestions offered. But it all boils down to helping people understand the project and abide by the closures needed.

The Forest Service is now proposing a forest area closure that includes all forest land west of Vasquez Road (leaving Vasquez open for public use), south to the Vasquez Peak Wilderness and east to and including St Louis Creek Road.

This closure plan creates an open corridor from Vasquez Road to Winter Park Resort, giving the public somewhere to go. This will be in effect from Sept. 4 (after Labor Day) to Nov. 15.

IF THE PUBLIC IS COMPLYING WITH THE CLOSURE AREA, the contractor will attempt to finish areas in stages and reopen them to the public. It will only take a small amount of users violating the closures to stop the ability to open areas as the projects are completed. Grand County and towns will provide additional security and law enforcement – violators will be ticketed.

Spotters and flaggers will be posted at the work areas and volunteers are being recruited through GMBA, HTA and FVPT to be posted during busy times at main entry points to the closed area to provide information to the public. Smaller closures on Tunnel Hill and Little Vasquez are generally keeping the trails areas open for use.

This plan entails a lot of extra effort on the part of everyone involved and our local agencies and organizations are to be applauded for their cooperation to keep recreation opportunities available for both locals and visitors alike. For more information contact Reid Armstrong, public affairs specialist for Sulphur Ranger District, 970-887-4145.

GMBA

Thursday is the second volunteer day for the Leland Creek Denver Water Board Trail that ties into the Sunset Pink trail from Winter Park. Access the trail from the west end of the Elk Run subdivision in Winter Park from Vasquez Road before the Twin Bridges Trailhead. Parking is limited. This is a joint effort of the Town of Winter Park, FVPT, HTA, and GMBA. Meet at 8 a.m. with gloves, sunscreen and water – tools are provided. For questions contact Jeff Russell at 531-1582.

Winter Park Resort

The Second Annual Hike for Spencer is this weekend with pre-event activities/registration /camping on Saturday, Aug. 11, with several hiking routes available on Sunday, Aug. 12. For more information and to register online, go to http://www.hikeforspencer.com. Meet at the Mary Jane Base, hike registration is 8-10 a.m.

Spencer Nelson grew up in the Fraser Valley and was an elite athlete for the Competition Center and a Division 1 Alpine Racer for the University of Colorado, currently National Champions. He died in a climbing accident in August 2010 on the Maroon Bells. His Memorial Fund for the Winter Park Ski Education Foundation gives the opportunity for every Grand County child who has the desire to participate in winter sports.

Fraser Valley rec District

The 3rd Annual Kids for Kids Triathlon is Sunday, Aug. 12, at Grand Park Community Recreation Center. This event is designed for youth ages 4-18 years old with registration from 7:30-8:30 a.m., with the first events starting at 9 a.m. Proceeds will support the Kids for Kids Scholarship Fund for Fraser Valley Youth Athletics. Call the Rec Center at 970-726-8968 or visit http://www.fraservalleyrec.org for more information.

Fraser Valley Partnership for Trails

The Annual Duckie Race is scheduled for Aug. 18. This is your chance to participate in the development and preservation of multi-use trails in the Fraser Valley and maybe win some great prizes or cash. GRAND PRIZE IS $250 CASH and we offer up to about 25 other prizes donated by other businesses in the Fraser Valley. There are only a maximum of 1,000 ducks – GREAT ODDS.

The money goes toward a GREAT CAUSE. Fraser Valley Partnership for Trails is a purchaser of materials used to repair and preserve trails in the Fraser Valley by organizations such as Adopt-A-Trail. FVPT is the volunteer organization that works together with and supplies grant money to organizations and events like Headwaters Trails Alliance, Adopt-A-Trail, National Public Lands Day, and local branches of USFS, USPS, and BLM.

Adopt one duck for $5, a cluck of 3 ducks for $12 or a flock of 12 ducks for $40. This year’s race will start at the bridge on County Road 73 below the Fraser Rodeo Grounds. Bring your waders, water shoes and fishing nets and help drive the plastic ducks down the creek toward the finish line. Contact Jeff Russell at 970-531-1582, Diana Lynn Rau at 970-887-0547, or email fvpt2@cs.com for an adoption form.

If you have information to share about trails events in Grand County, call Diana Lynn Rau at 970-887-0547 or email dianalrau@gmail.com.


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