Draft Crystal Valley trail plan ready for public scrutiny, comment
A draft plan for the Carbondale to Crested Butte trail was released for public review and comment Wednesday.
The Pitkin County Open Space and Trails program will hold public meetings in Carbondale and Aspen to present the draft plan. The first meeting will be at Carbondale Town Hall at 6 p.m. May 16; a second meeting will be held at the Pitkin County Library in Aspen at 5:30 p.m.
May 21; a third meeting will be held at 5 p.m. June 26 for the public to comment directly to the county commissioners and open space board. The site is yet to be determined for that meeting.
Meanwhile, there is a wealth of information for interested observers to review. The website for the project includes an interactive story map that details the planning action and the proposed trail alignment contained in the draft plan. That can be found online at http://pitkincounty.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=ba230179031844598caaad298f3524d3.
The website also features a link to a survey that the public can use to provide comments.
The planning for the trail started benignly enough but has since blown into a controversy. The Carbondale to Crested Butte Trail was one of 16 trail projects across Colorado chosen for a statewide trails initiative called Colorado’s 16. Great Outdoors Colorado awarded a $100,000 grant in December 2016 for planning. Pitkin County Open Space and Trails has also budgeted $200,000 for planning.
The proposed draft presents details on how to extend an existing multi-use trail, which ends south of Carbondale, another 13 miles to Redstone. A single-track trail is proposed for the 7 miles between Redstone and the summit of McClure Pass. Gunnison County and Crested Butte are working on the trail on the other side of the pass.
During a series of open houses and public presentations in fall 2017 on the trail in the Crystal Valley, there was considerable opposition to the trail because of wildlife and private property concerns as well as considerable support from a different faction.
The latest survey of the draft plan will be available through July 27.