Another bit of trail coming on Smuggler
ASPEN – A final phase of trail construction this weekend on the Smuggler Mountain Open Space near Aspen will create a half-mile of new singletrack, connecting the Tootsie Roll, Lollipop and main Smuggler Trail loops.
The Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers, along with Pitkin County Open Space and Trails and Aspen Parks and Open Space, is planning Saturday, Aug. 20’s work, an extension of Tootsie Roll. It’s the third year of efforts by the organizations to restore land and construct trails that see use by hikers, trail runners and mountain bikers in the popular recreational area.
In addition to building new trails, volunteers have turned old roads into singletrack, and planted trees and shrubs on degraded land, all dictated by a master plan for the open space.
Prior to the master plan work that began in 2009, the Basalt-based RFOV also orchestrated volunteer projects to rebuild the overlook platforms, as well as construct and maintain connector trails in the Smuggler area, such as the Iowa Shaft Trail, which leads into the Hunter Creek Valley.
Anyone interested in volunteering on Saturday should register online at http://www.rfov.org or call 927-8241. The trail work begins at 8:30 a.m. Volunteers may hike or bike up Smuggler Mountain Road to the work site or meet at 8 a.m. for a shuttle ride from the base of the mountain. RFOV provides tools, materials, leadership and dinner at the end of the day for volunteers.
Still to come in this year’s RFOV project schedule is continuing work on the Hanging Lake Trail in Glenwood Canyon on Sept. 24-25, construction of a new segment of trail near Weller Campground on Independence Pass on Oct. 1, and removal of tamarisk and Russian olive in and around the Rifle rest area on the Colorado River on Oct. 15.
Incidentally, those who volunteer on RFOV projects are invited to bring along a camera and submit their best shots to the organization. Prizes will be awarded at the group’s recognition party in late October. The deadline for submissions is Oct. 17. Go to http://www.rfov.org for contest rules.
Town to Town Tour set
RFOV is also looking ahead toward winter. Its Town to Town Tour, a nordic tour on the Rio Grande Trail from Aspen to Basalt, is scheduled Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012 (the “rain” date is Feb. 3).
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