Rio Grande Trail stretch closes for winter | AspenTimes.com

Rio Grande Trail stretch closes for winter

Aspen Times Staff Report
Aspen, CO Colorado

CARBONDALE ” A scenic stretch of the Rio Grande Trail that is particularly popular with bicyclists will close for the winter on Friday, Nov. 30 at 5 p.m.

The trail segment between the Catherine Store Bridge above Carbondale and Rock Bottom Ranch is subject to the winter closure.

Bicyclists, walkers and other users of the scenic stretch of trail along the Roaring Fork River won’t be able to access it again until May 1, 2008. Sturdy gates and fencing will block the path on both ends of the closure.

A wildlife management plan mandates the closure of the roughly 2.75-mile segment of the trail corridor to protect deer and elk habitat, as well as spring nesting areas for blue herons. Dogs are not allowed on this stretch of the trail at any time to protect wildlife.

The goal of the wildlife management plan is to maintain a high-quality recreational trail that minimizes impacts to sensitive environmental resources, according to the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority, which manages and maintains the trail in the lower valley.

“The preservation of the valley’s wildlife habitat is important to the citizens of the Roaring Fork Valley and we hope they will help us accomplish this by honoring these seasonal closures.” said Michael Hermes, RFTA director of properties and trails, in a prepared statement.

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For the complete wildlife management plan, go to http://www.rfta.com.