New pump track opens in Grand Lake
After helping pack down Grand Lake’s new pump track, sisters Olive and Frankie Randall were two of the first bikers to break it in Saturday.
Olive, who turns 12 on Tuesday, thought the pump track would be a cool place to ride bikes with her sister, 8-year-old Frankie. What was even cooler was that they got to help create the dirt loop composed of rollers and berms.
“I think it’s good because then we’ll have a place to ride our bikes,” said Olive, who lives in Denver but whose family owns a nearby cabin. “Then other kids can ride it too.”
Ryan Lokteff, trails manager for the Grand Lake Metropolitan Recreation District, started work on the pump track last month. Thanks to funding from Great Outdoors Colorado, Grand County’s Open Lands River and Trails Fund and the Rotary Club, Lokteff was able to carve out the initial trail using a mini excavator.
“Funding has really come together and we’re really lucky that it did,” he said.
Lokteff has spent the summer rehabilitating the Grand Lake Trails, which were hard hit in the East Troublesome Fire. Large portions of the trail network, mainly those toward the Colorado River, are still closed.
“It’s standing dead trees and we can’t have people back there until we log it,” Lokteff said. “It’s taking time to figure out how to log it.”
On Saturday, Lokteff watered the softer parts of the pump track while six volunteers — made up of the Randall family along with Brian Seppala and his son Reid — whacked at the dirt with shovels to harden the path.
Lokteff is a biker and especially enjoys pump tracks, which are meant to maximize momentum so that bikers don’t need to pedal.
“They’re just a blast,” he said.
Because of the safety challenges of the more burnt trails, Lokteff has been directing volunteer energy toward improving the safer parts of the trails and adding more features. Earlier this summer, the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps cut down burnt trees, Marshall Forestry Solutions came in to chip the timber and Rotary volunteers have helped with reseeding and rerouting efforts.
Thanks to the Youth Corps, there’s a new trail loop up and running — Salamander Stomp. The group also helped build and name Tinder Box, which cuts west of Salamander Stomp.
Trail work is ongoing, with an Eagle Scout scheduled help reroute another trail next week. Lokteff is also looking at expanding the biking features on the open trails.
“This area, I wouldn’t call it a bike park but you can definitely do some laps,” he said. “More and more people are finding what we have here when they come out to ride.”
The disc golf course, which only opened last summer, was the first feature to reopen at Grand Lake Trails following the fire. Lokteff said the free course also sees quite a few users daily.
The pump track can be found near the Grand Lake Metro Trailhead, which sits opposite the Three Lakes Water and Sanitation building on Golf Course Road. Go to http://www.grandlakerecreation.com for up-to-date trail maps.
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A project that the Grand Fire Protection District has planned for since 2004 could begin soon.