HTA receives state funding for Fraser Valley trails improvement project |

HTA receives state funding for Fraser Valley trails improvement project

Bikers ride on the newly opened Iko trail last September. The Iko trail was improved as part of the Trails Smart Sizing project work in 2018.
Courtesy HTA

Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s State Trails Program awarded the Headwaters Trails Alliance $45,000 for the third year of its overhaul of the Fraser Valley trail system in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service.

The Trails Smart Sizing project is a $1 million project that aims to construct new trails and improve existing ones in the Fraser Valley based off a trails master plan created by the Headwaters Trails Alliance in 2015.

“It feels really positive to have made it through such a significant review process and then to receive accolades about our collaborative efforts is icing on the cake for us,” said Meara McQuain, executive director for the Headwaters Trails Alliance.

The CPW grant joins money from the towns of Fraser and Winter Park, as well as grants from the county’s Open Lands, Rivers and Trails fund, to make around $150,000 in funding for the continuation of the Trails Smart Sizing project in 2019, McQuain said.

In the comment section of the CPW grant, the reviewer called Trails Smart Sizing an “example” for its strong partnerships and community buy-in, as well as the implementation of the plan and addressing concerns with wildlife and user-created trails.

Currently, the Headwaters Trails Alliance is planning work on approximately 10 miles of trails with new trail construction, trail reconstruction and improvements and decommissioning user-created trails.

“We’re finishing up last year’s scope of work in addition to creating a new connector (…) and doing trail improvement projects on the others,” McQuain said.

The trails involved in this year’s scope of work include the construction of Double Bit, reconstruction on WTB and improvements on Broken Spade and Chainsaw. Backscratch will also have a mile of road converted to trail.

McQuain expects the work to start in June and continue through October, but the timeline is weather dependent.

Last year, over six miles of new trails or trail reconstruction was done, including at Iko and Twin Bridges trails. Other work included the decommissioning of user-created trails.

Ultimately, over a period of several years, 38 trail projects, including 18 miles of new trails, improvements to existing trails and installation of kiosks and signage will be completed under the project.

McQuain said a grant as large as the CPW one will help make the future phases of the project possible because the Headwaters Trails Alliance will be able to leverage the money and praise for larger grants.

“Being able to leverage funds like this allows us to get an over $1 million project like this accomplished,” McQuain said. “Having received this small construction grant will lend itself to a more favorable position next year for a large construction grant, (which) are up to $250,000.”

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