Preferential treatment on the trail |

Preferential treatment on the trail

Dear Editor:I was troubled after reading Pam Fisher’s letter regarding the welfare of horses on the lower Rio Grande Trail. I would also like to express my concern.A few years ago the people of Woody Creek were promised a trail which would keep with the rural character of the community. Unfortunately it appeared as a path, which was unattractive to most residents. Horse owners were promised a surface that would be safe for riding. What we have is a narrow, loose gravel path which is unsafe for both the rider and horse. The horse path is not maintained properly, resulting in a path that has narrowed to less than 2 to 3 feet in many areas and is nonexistent in other parts of the lower Rio Grande Trail. The path was not designed to be shared by horseback riders, pedestrians and bikers.For the safety of my family, we do not ride on the downvalley trail anymore, but rather head up the wide dirt path above Pitkin Iron. We encounter many bikers, but still have a reasonably safe, fun ride.This week we have been disheartened by the news that the trail from Pitkin Iron to Aspen will most likely be paved. If this happens our riding in Woody Creek will be over. In the past few years private development has taken away our “old stomping grounds.” The upper part of the Rio Grande Trail has served as the only way to ride in our neighborhood.It is a shame that high-speed bikers seem to be getting preferential treatment over the casual walker, jogger, and horseback rider. It is a shame that rural Woody Creek did not get a path that was more compatible with its character. Hopefully there is still time to save the upper Rio Grande Trail from the same fate.Jane GraberWoody Creek