Smuggler projects on RFOV list

Janet UrquhartThe Aspen TimesAspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN The construction of new trails and restoration work on Smuggler Mountain a favorite Aspen playground are but two of this years scheduled projects for the Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers.Pitkin County has been working with the volunteer group and the Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association on plans for an expanded network of trails on Smuggler now that a management plan for open space on the mountain is in place, said Gary Tennenbaum, land steward for the county Open Space and Trails Program.In what will likely be a multiyear effort, new trails will be constructed to connect existing ones on the mountain, and some roads will be closed. Parts of other roads, however, will be incorporated into a trail system for nonmotorized users, including hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians, Tennenbaum said.Motorized use is limited to Smuggler Mountain Road, he noted.We want to get away from using the old roads and give people more of a trail experience, Tennenbaum said.How to enhance the recreational experience on Smuggler Mountain has been a focus since the county and city of Aspen acquired about 140 acres of open space there in 2005 from the late George Wilk Wilkinson.All of Wilkinsons land holdings were initially off-limits to the public after the purchase, as the area was littered with debris and dotted with collapsed mine tunnels that posed a potential hazard.This summers Smuggler projects are but two opportunities for area residents to lend a hand with the Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers this year.The first project actually spans the month of May with a new approach to trail maintenance weekly, evening labors that will take place Thursdays on Red Hill, a popular mountain biking and hiking trail network north of Carbondale. Volunteers are invited to meet at the Red Hill trailhead each Thursday, starting May 7, at 5:30 p.m. and work until dusk.Volunteers are needed on other projects, beginning in June, and those who were born to lead may want to consider participation in one of two crew leader training sessions to be held this year. Two-day, crew leader trainings are scheduled May 9-10 on the Wulfsohn Trail in West Glenwood Springs and June 20-21 on the Thompson Creek Trail near Carbondale.For more information or to sign up for a project or training, go to

June 6, National Trails Day Celebrate with a half-day project on the new Wulfsohn Trail in Glenwood Springs or lend a hand on a yet-to-be-announced Aspen trail project.June 27, Meadowood Ranch Trail Help add a new link to the Snowmass Village trail system.July 11, Smuggler Mountain Trail Volunteers will work on building a new trail on Smuggler Mountain, flanking Aspen.Aug. 1, Hay Park Trail Volunteers perform maintenance on a favorite midvalley hiking and mountain biking trail, located outside of Carbondale.Aug. 22, Smuggler Mountain restoration Spend a day helping restore scars left on Smuggler Mountain near Aspen from mining and other human activities. The project includes planting, seeding and other work.Sept. 12, Arbaney-Kittle Trail Work continues on the popular midvalley hiking trail near Basalt; crews will fix some sketchy sections of the route.Sept. 26, White Hill Trail Help construct a new nature trail behind Carbondale Elementary School to serve as an outdoor educational and recreational area for students and the community.Oct. 10, Colorado River tamarisk removal and restoration Volunteers will continue efforts to eradicate the invasive tamarisk and Russian olive along the Colorado River, focusing on both banks of the river between West Glenwood Springs and the hot springs.