Winter Park Resort proposes expansion of Trestle Bike Park
The U.S. Forest Service is in the process of reviewing a proposed major expansion at Trestle Bike Park at Winter Park Resort.
Phase two of Trestle Bike Park includes constructing 10.1 miles of new trails near Vasquez Ridge that will be served by the Olympia lift, said Bob Holme, bike park manager.
The expansion would increase the amount of trail mileage at Trestle by about 25 percent.
“The goal of phase two is to provide the guests with a full range of trail experiences from beginner to expert only utilizing the Olympia lift,” Holme said.
Winter Park Resort operates Trestle Bike Park in Arapaho National Forest under a special use permit.
As it currently stands, Trestle’s trails, served by the Zephyr, Eskimo and Gemini lifts, all funnel back toward the base area.
“Our goal is to really have an experience where you don’t have to come back to base,” Holme said. “You can just stay back in the forest where it’s quiet, you’re hearing the rivers, seeing the wildlife and just enjoying the quite and unurbanized zone.”
The main focus of the new expansion is to increase intermediate trail riding options within the entire park, but there will also be new options for beginners and experts, Holme said.
Phase two will be a boon for wildlife, too.
As part of the expansion, Trestle will decommission the lower-most portion of Mountain Goat and Lonesome Whistle, Icarus and Jackelope in their entirety.
Lonesome Whistle and Mountain Goat are located near sensitive streams, Holme said. Closing those portions of the park will help protect endangered aquatic habitats.
Other trails like Icarus divide important wildlife corridors.
“Doing away with that connects the entire effective habitat of Zero Creek and the Mary Jane Zone and connects some wildlife corridors that would otherwise be disconnected,” Holme said. “We will actually increase effective wildlife habitat to the east or into the ski area.”
Improving the bike park and protecting the environment accomplishes objectives for both Trestle and the Forest Service, Holme said.
At this point, Trestle isn’t sure what it will call any of the new trails.
“The fun part is getting into the trail and really building it and getting a relationship with that area and what the trail is like and naming it accordingly,” Holme said.
The Forest Service held an open house to gather public input on the proposal on June 22 at Winter Park Resort.
The Forest Service must complete an environmental assessment that will take into account environmental and socioeconomic impacts of the proposed expansion.
Trestle expects the Forest Service to release a preliminary decision sometime in September with a final decision following in November, Holme said.
If the proposal is approved this winter, construction could begin next summer and continue “over the next few years,” Holme said.
The decommissioning of trails would occur in parallel with construction, Holme said.
The Forest Service is accepting public comment until July 6.
All comments must be sent to Nick Schade at email@example.com or by postal mail attention to Nick Schade, U.S. Forest Service, Sulphur Ranger district, P.O. Box 10, Granby, CO 80446.
Hank Shell can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19610.
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