First snow ushers in Indian summer |

First snow ushers in Indian summer

Grand County Trails
Diana Lynn Rau

I was ready for that snow on the mountaintops. Just an omen of things to come but it also triggers the Indian Summer that should be coming. Several last weeks of fall glory before the cold is here to stay. Time to clean up the gardening stuff and get that wood for the stove cut, split and put away. With the Beetle Kill, most people have enough wood but if you need more, come help for a day on the Fraser to Granby Trail – FREE WOOD FOR TRAIL VOLUNTEERS. Call 970-887-0547. Stockpile for winter and help us out. It’s a win-win for all!

Another win-win is the proposed use of bicycles on the East Shore Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park. The RMNP staff is seeking public comment on allowing bicycles on the East Shore Trail near Grand Lake. Bicycles are allowed on the first stretch of USFS land. This strip of the Park was excluded from wilderness designation in 2004 and designated as a trail corridor. The public comment period ends Sept 30. For questions on the project, contact the Park Information Office at 970-586-1206. PLEASE add your comments at before the Sept 30 deadline.

In 2003-2004, Headwaters Trails Alliance did an extensive planning study to identify the best route for the Grand Lake to Granby Trail. This is another extension of the system that currently starts at the Winter Park Resort, goes to Winter Park, to Fraser, to Tabernash, to the YMCA, to Granby Ranch, to Grand Elk and on into Granby. That trail was completed this year with the link at the 10 Mile Creek to the traffic light at the City Market Center. Countless people use this trail, locals and visitors alike, summer and winter. It truly connects and provides a path through the constant development that all can use. The original idea as presented by the County master plan was to connect the major towns and recreation areas. Smaller communities along the way have built or are considering building connections into the Fraser to Granby Trail for the benefit of their residents. Definitely a win-win situation.

The preferred route identified by HTA from Grand Lake to Granby was the East Shore Trail. An old road grade that originally serviced the town of Stillwater, this route provides low grades and decent drainage structures that are already in place. “Nothing in the topography was found to preclude sustainable trail design and construction,” states Maura McKnight, HTA Executive Director. This was the conclusion of the representatives of RMNP, USFS, DOW (now CPW), Town of Grand Lake, and ANRA staff involved together in the study. The route allows access to the town of Grand Lake from the nearby popular campgrounds which increases the economic impact when we all need that help. Even if different user groups don’t always agree, this is the time to unite. In the words of Dan Pickett “There is no reason for hikers and mountain bikers to be opposed to each other when they can join forces and cooperate to create a trail that causes minimal damage to the environment and is enjoyed by everyone.”

IMBA is renewing partnerships with the NPS, building on existing projects and seeking new opportunities to enhance mountain biking in some of America’s treasured national parks. “Bicycling helps draw new visitors, especially younger people, and gives them fun, memorable experiences in the national parks,” said Jon Jarvis, Director of the National Parks Service.


Saturday, September 29th is National Public Lands Day – a coast-to-coast one-day event that brings more than 100,000 Americans together to collect trash, pull weeds, plant trees, construct trails and build bridges over wetlands. Grand County’s National Public Lands Day draws more participants and completes the largest amount of work of any NPLD event in the country! In its 18th year, Grand County also holds the longest continuous-running NPLD event in the U.S.

Grand County’s NPLD is such a huge success each year because of the many businesses and government entities that take part. Many have participated since the beginning and are so appreciated. Five to seven projects are set up by each of the government agencies and HTA with each project is geared to certain types of outdoor enthusiasts such as motorized vehicle users, mountain bikers, river rafters, anglers and hikers. You don’t have to be a super athlete or extreme-adventurer to take part in NPLD. There are less physical jobs for older folks and kids, or for those who are disabled or not in shape. We need people to help stuff goody bags, pick up food donations, work registration, and help with meals.

NPLD starts at 7am at the YMCA Nordic Center/CCO Camp on the 29th with breakfast and registration and lunch pickup, buses start departing at 745am, and all return later in the afternoon for a volunteer party with dinner and door prizes for all volunteers. Great way to give back to the trails you love and enjoy. Call USFS BJ Duffy at 970-887-4120 or HTA Maura McKnight at 970-726-1013 for more information and to volunteer.


Girls Take Clear Creek on Sep 11! The ladies put together a great team race! From top to bottom, they put in solid performances. The runners created great packs and scored well led by Abrah Masterson, Amelia Clancy and Seraphina Smith. Way to go ladies! The boys also put in a solid effort. Placing three in the top ten – Taber Miyauchi, Simon Zink, and Logan Miyauchi – the boys really made a go at some additional hardware for the trophy case, but came up short. Taber and Simon had a classic battle with the top runner from Lake County.

Liberty Bell Invitational – Our Panthers were set for a fast-paced race and almost everyone went out in high-paced miles yet still able to come in with dashing finishes in the final 1000 meters. Working in pairs to fight through the packs, the ladies finished in 7th place of 19 in a very competitive field led by Abrah Masterson, Tabor Scholl, Amelia Clancy and Seraphina Smith. The boys were paced by Simon Zink and Logan Miyauchi.

Saturday Sep 22 is the Panthers Home Meet starting at the YMCA 9am. Come be a part of the action!


Enjoy family fun Saturday, Sep 22, at Polhamus Park in Granby starting with a 5K run/walk on the scenic dirt roads starting about 10am with registration from 9am. Enjoy the family fun festival starting at noon until 6pm with live music, craft and food vendors and beer garden. Call the Granby Chamber at 970-887-2311 or visit for more information.


The National Interscholastic Cycling Association returns to the YMCA Sep 23 with the second race in their fall series – Snow Mtn Ranch Stampede. For a race description and registration information go to and click on races. This is the only series of its kind designed for high school ages held locally.

The Snow Mountain Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, and kids races will be Sep 30. This is the 7th or 7 races in the Endurance Race Series in Colorado. Visit for more information and to sign up.


The 3rd Annual Run the Ranches Trail Running Series concludes Sunday Sep 30 at Granby Ranch. Run the Ranches prides itself on unique trail runs (and distances!) through amazing ranches. The participating host sites have graciously allowed access to their best trails and welcome you to an exciting adventure through the back country of Grand County. For more information, please visit Come on out and walk or run but see our local ranches at their best!

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

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