Headwaters Trails Alliance completes $1M worth of work across 530 miles | SkyHiNews.com

Headwaters Trails Alliance completes $1M worth of work across 530 miles

Sky-Hi News staff report
A volunteer works on the Lower Creekside Trail on National Public Lands Day in September.
Headwaters Trails Alliance / Courtesy photo

Throughout the year the Headwaters Trails Alliance have assessed or maintained roughly 530 miles of trails in Grand County, spending $1.04 million to do so.

In a 2021 recap, the local trails nonprofit detailed a busy year improving Grand’s outdoor recreation, noting it had the most productive summer season yet.

With the efforts of 686 volunteers and four full-time HTA staff, tens of thousands of trees were cleared, miles of trails were rerouted or constructed and a new stewardship program was created.

Approximately 7,500 trees have been removed in fire recovery areas between December 2020 and November, while around 9,720 hazard trees were removed from trails in 2021. Since 2020, 30,000 trees have been cleared as part of the derecho clean-ups.

Additionally, 2,320 drains were cleared, 30 signs were installed, six bridges were built and two were repaired.

When it comes to trails, 5.25 miles of new routes were constructed, 3.5 miles of trails were rerouted and 2.98 miles were decommissioned.

The newly created stewardship program, which teaches volunteers how to educate trail users on etiquette, trained 78 people, who volunteered 2,582 hours across 18 different trailheads in Grand County.

HTA estimates that in total volunteers dedicated 6,800 hours to Grand County’s trails. Around 1,400 hours were spent completing trail projects in the summer season.

In the winter, 43 miles of trails were groomed on a regularly scheduled basis.

On top of the trail work, HTA also conducted the Grand County Outdoor Recreation Economic Impact study, which showed 78% of the county’s economy depends on outdoor recreation.

Beyond Grand County, HTA Executive Director Meara McQuain was appointed to the Colorado Recreational Trails Committee to advise the state on policies, review funding programs and act as a liaison for trail user groups.

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