Trails closed for improvements
September 4, 2008
ASPEN ” Two trails in the White River National Forest on Independence Pass are temporarily closed for rehabilitation work, the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District of the U.S. Forest Service announced.
Work will be undertaken for the next several weeks on the Braille Trail. The Independence Pass Foundation is supervising the replacement of old trail signs and guide rope, and will reroute a portion of the trail between mile markers 54 and 55 on Highway 82. Similar work is planned for the Discovery Trail.
The Braille Trail was built in the 1960s by the late local biologist Bob Lewis and a host of partners. The adjacent Discovery Trail was built in the 1990s by the Forest Service and Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers. The Braille Trail was the first of its kind in the United States and triggered the development of dozens of other outdoor facilities for the vision-challenged around the world.
The Discovery Trail and adjoining picnic sites were built to provide access to the local forests and the Roaring Fork River for the disabled.
“These improvements are part of a long-term project aimed at upgrading and rehabilitating these important facilities,” said Mark Fuller, director of the Independence Pass Foundation. “We will be respecting the original design and concept of both trails while replacing aging infrastructure, improving safety and reducing environmental impacts.”
Work on the trail will be done by staff from Independence Pass Foundation and Forest Service, and an inmate work crew from the Buena Vista Correctional Facility. It is anticipated that the work will take two to three weeks and that the trails will be closed until late September.