Pitkin County mulls more trails for Hunter Creek area | AspenTimes.com

Pitkin County mulls more trails for Hunter Creek area

Michael McLaughlin
The Aspen Times

A draft management plan for the Lindsay Parcel that could potentially add more multiuse trail options in the Hunter Creek area was presented to the Pitkin County Open Space and Trails Board on Thursday.

The Lindsay Parcel is a 7-acre area on the northwest side of Smuggler Mountain that Pitkin County and the city of Aspen acquired in 2012.

By itself, the Lindsay Parcel isn't much more than a ladel-shaped wildlife preserve, but connected to other Pitkin County purchases, the parcel's "panhandle" could be a connector for possibly adding more trails.

The "scoop" of the ladle is deep and mostly inaccessible terrain, which could act as a wildlife preserve, open space officials said.

The Lindsay Parcel has the potential to work as a trail connection through the recreation corridor, from Lani White Trail to the vicinity of the Hunter Creek and Verena Mallory trails, for the purpose of developing a multiuse trail providing access to the Hunter Creek Valley.

"We're trying to explore options," said Gary Tennenbaum, trails manager for Pitkin County. "The area we're looking at has lower grades and is more suitable for biking compared to the Hunter Creek Trail."

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Since the project is still in the early planning stages, a cost for developing a new trail system hasn't been determined. Because the terrain is so steep in parts and permanent trail support structures will be needed, a trail project is likely to be expensive.

The goals Thursday were to receive input and approval from the Pitkin County Open Space and Trails Board before seeking public comment. After receiving the public comments, staff could then incorporate feedback into plan and complete a final draft.

For more information on current Open Space and Trails projects, go to http://www.pitkinost projects.com.

mmclaughlin@aspentimes

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