Nordic trail grooming in full swing in the Fraser Valley
Grand Nordic Corner
The snow is great everywhere in Grand County. There’s no better time to get out, learn a new winter sport and enjoy your local trails. Take a lesson at one of the Nordic areas to learn the basics then get outside.
Grand County’s Fraser to Granby Trail connects towns and recreation areas and is a cooperative effort of government, nonprofits, businesses and individuals that is rarely seen. Started over 15 years ago by Fraser Valley Partnership for Trails (FVPT) and spearheaded by Headwaters Trails Alliance (HTA), the trail is still a work in progress. The public trails system extends from Winter Park Resort to Granby over both public and private lands and is useble both winter and summer. The Resort and towns of Winter Park and Fraser created and maintain their portions in conjunction with HTA who also supervises maintenance and building on the trail through the county working with volunteers from all over. This is a long, slow continuing process but so much has been accomplished and so much remains to be done.
Winter grooming is in full swing and conditions are great on the entire trail from Winter Park Resort to Val Moritz and Granby Ranch. This year, the towns of Fraser and Winter Park are paying for Mountain States Snocats to groom the area trails, and the community response has been incredible. The grooming has been incredible as well with trails suitable even for skating.
Grooming from the Fraser Ballfields to Granby Ranch is still done by volunteers when possible but have patience as much of the trail is very affected by the recent winds. All sections are open for XC skiing, snowshoeing or just plain walking with your dog. Please observe dog leash restriction in the Beavers area and always pick up after your pooch. Where horses are allowed, please pick up after your animal.
We are grooming Tracey’s Trail from Val Moritz upper road loop toward Ski Granby Ranch to connect with their free XC trails and the Ski Lodge. The Granby Ranch snowcat is now repaired and grooming their free trails is beginning in earnest. The portion from Val Moritz to Tim’s Tunnel at the YMCA entrance goes through the beautiful 10 Mile Creek Valley where wildlife abounds. From Tim’s Tunnel, the Fraser to Granby crosses the front of the YMCA property paralleling Highway 40 all the way to Tabernash at Pole Creek Meadows. After a short walk through town, take Sunnyside Lane down past the Thurston Ranch, up the road to Hidden River development and across the plateau with great vistas of the whole valley. Head down through the Denver Waterboard property toward the Fraser Ballfields where parking is always available. A new loop has been created through the ballfields and skiing is excellent on this entire portion. The trail connects through Fraser and splits into the Fraser River Trail for winter sports and the paved Highway trail. The winter trail stays on the east side of Winter Park and emerges at Beavers where it is groomed to the Resort.
Hats off to everyone who makes this kind of cooperation work for the good of all. We couldn’t do without our volunteers and the people who make it happen.
If you can volunteer to help, please call Diana Lynn Rau 887-0547 or HTA 726-1013. Above all, be courteous to landowners and respect private property.
Two Treks are scheduled this winter accessing these areas.
The Stagecoach Classic Point-to-Point Race and Tour is Jan. 24 with both race and tour available starting at Devil’s Thumb Ranch, through the old Idlewild Ski Area to Hideaway Park in Winter Park. This will be the only time this winter that this system will be connected and groomed for winter access. A portion of proceeds goes to Colorado Headwaters Land Trust, Headwaters Trails Alliance and Trout Unlimited. Call Devils Thumb Activity Center at 970-726-8231 for information or register at http://www.active.com/tabernash-co/stagecoach-classic-2014.
On Feb. 7, Grand Nordic presents the Ranch2Ranch XC Ski Trek connecting Ski Granby Ranch, featuring a lift ride to the top of the East Mountain, skiing across Vista Ridge and down your choice of trails to the bottom of Rabbit Run, across the new Connector Trail to the Fraser-to-Granby, through 10 Mile Creek to Tim’s Tunnel and ending at the YMCA Nordic Center. A barbecue is offered at the finish. No timing involved, just a fun trek for you and the family to benefit Grand Nordic ski programs for kids. This trail is open year-round and will give you a chance to explore more beautiful scenery in your own backyard.
Call 970-887-0547 for more information or register online at http://www.grandnordic.org
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Due to current public health guidance, there will not be an in-person wilderness campsite lottery for Rocky Mountain National Park this year.