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New Maroon Lake station ready to go

Aspen Times Staff Report

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled Tuesday for the new Forest Service Entrance Station at the National Forest boundary on the way to Maroon Lake.

The Forest Service’s Aspen Ranger District will host the Pitkin County commissioners on a visit to the site of the new building and to the Maroon Lake area. The public is invited to attend.

Rich Doak, Forest Service recreation staff officer for the Aspen Ranger District, said the new entrance station building replaces the outhouse-sized wooden kiosk that stood in the middle of the road at the entrance for years.

The new building has such modern conveniences as heat, lights and a restroom, he said. It will be in service when the area opens to the public this Saturday, June 19.

Aspen Ranger District personnel will also present an update tomorrow on the improvements under way at the Maroon Lake trailhead.

Doak said those projects include trail improvements, the re-contouring of the upper campground loop, revegetation, a pedestrian plaza and an earth-sheltered bus shelter building.

The new bus shelter building, under construction since last year, will have its own hydroelectric and wind-electric generating systems. It will shelter visitors waiting for a bus back to Aspen, and will house 15 composting toilets. The building will replace a cinder-block bus shelter destroyed by an avalanche in March 1995 and five wooden outhouses dating from the early 1960s.

Workers poured concrete on the top of the new bus shelter building Friday and will pour concrete floors this week.

One of RFTA’s new clean-burning diesel-powered buses, the type that will be used on the Maroon Lake route this year, will transport people to the ceremony. These 40-foot coaches are already in service carrying commuters on valley routes.

The Forest Service is contemplating entrance fees for the Maroon Lake area starting in 2000, but the amount of those fees is still under discussion. The Aspen Ranger District will be accepting comments from the public until November, Doak said.

Those interested in attending the ribbon cutting and the informational trip should meet at the Iselin Park parking lot at 9:40 a.m. Tuesday to catch the bus to Maroon Lake. There will be no charge. Space is limited, so please call the Forest Service at 925-3445 in advance to reserve a seat on the bus.


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