Sky Mountain trail maps ready to unveil |

Sky Mountain trail maps ready to unveil

Janet Urquhart
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO Colorado
Courtesy of Pitkin County Open Space and TrailsSky Mountain Park includes lands to both sides of the Brush Creek Valley, shown here with Highway 82 in the foreground.

SNOWMASS VILLAGE – Maps outlining planned trail connections in Sky Mountain Park, the collection of open space parcels that includes the former Droste property outside of Snowmass Village, will be unveiled this week.

Trails have been mapped to balance the public’s wishes with the goal of protecting wildlife habitat on some 2,500 acres. User groups, including area mountain bikers and equestrians, have weighed in during a series of meetings that began late last year.

“There are definitely some new trail connections – there’s some cool stuff in there,” said Gary Tennenbaum, land steward for Pitkin County Open Space and Trails.

He expects to make the maps available online this week, in advance of an open house scheduled Thursday, Jan. 26 at Snowmass Village Town Hall. A second open house will take place Feb. 1 in Aspen’s Rio Grande meeting room. Both sessions, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., offer the public an opportunity to give feedback on the plans.

The mapping will be part of a master plan that dictates what occurs with habitat, wildlife and recreation in mind at Sky Mountain Park, an area comprised of multiple open space parcels owned by the county, the city of Aspen and town of Snowmass Village. The focal point, at least for some, is likely to be planned connections to Skyline Ridge Trail – the scenic ridge separating the Brush Creek and Owl Creek valleys. It opened for the first time last year after its purchase from the Droste family.

While trail work and habitat restoration is expected to begin this year, the maps and the master plan will lay out long-term goals. Everything won’t happen this summer, Tennenbaum said.

“If it gets through the public process and it’s on the map, then we’re going to prioritize what will get built,” he said.

Envisioned are connections to Skyline Ridge Trail from the Rim Trail, Cozy Point and the Highline Trail near Snowmass Village. An alternate route to Radar Road to reach the ridge from behind the airport is also contemplated. Some improvements to the Skyline Ridge Trail and additional parking for people looking to access Skyline Ridge are also being explored, Tennenbaum said.

Much of Skyline Mountain Park is currently closed for the winter to protect wildlife. It reopens May 15.

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