Single-track trails added for bikers, equestrians at Emma property
Separate trails for mountain bikers and equestrians have been officially opened at the Glassier Open Space in Emma.
While riders of both types have gotten sneak peeks of the new routes, Pitkin County Open Space and Trails officially opened the trails over the holiday weekend.
The new routes connect the Rio Grande Trail to property managed by the Bureau of Land Management on the Crown. Both routes are open to hikers.
The biking and hiking trail is 9,873 feet long. The upper start of the trail is along the historic double track road on the Glassier property. The trail stays to the east, or Aspen side, of the double track route. It starts with long, sweeping switchbacks that get tighter with the loss of elevation.
The equestrian and hiking trail stays west of the Glassier double track road and travels 8,008 feet.
The new routes can be accessed from existing single- and double-track trails as well as roads on the Crown. However, it might take some trial and error to find the upper trailheads.
Some cyclists have been using the new Glassier trail after making the connection from Buckhorn, which was constructed last year. Buckhorn uses several switchbacks to climb the Crown across from Rock Bottom Ranch, with access off the Rio Grande Trail. After the climb, the new Buckhorn Traverse singletrack trails lead to existing roads and double-track trails on BLM land that eventually lead to the Glassier trails.
Both new trails come to the same place at the lower trailhead. Existing road connections allow users to tap into the new Glassier Connection soft-surface trail as well as the Rio Grande soft-surface trail.
The nearest parking is at the corner of Hooks Spur Road and Hooks Lane, also the trailhead for the Rio Grande Trail. Pitkin County has acquired an additional acre for additional recreational parking.
Glassier Open Space also is leased for agricultural uses. The recreational use of the property is prohibited from Dec. 1 through May 15.
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