Snowmass trail talks: Ensuring the future of your trails
Special to the Snowmass Sun
Editor’s note: The Snowmass Sun and the town of Snowmass Parks, Recreation and Trails Department have partnered to launch “Trail Talks,” a biweekly series that will explore trail issues, etiquette and rules for shared trail use in the village.
Trails maintenance is not as glamorous as building the trail. There is no ribbon cutting for a maintenance program and upkeep seldom wins a national award. Yet operations, maintenance and stewardship are essential to the safe use, enjoyment and long-term success of any trail.
The Town of Snowmass Village is maintaining more than 40 miles of natural surface and 8 miles of hard surface trails.
For this reason, we hired a highly skilled trail designer and builder to help teach our staff, along with Pitkin County, the U.S. Forest Service, Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association and Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association advanced building and maintenance skills. Joey Klein from IMBA Trails Solutions tested our endurance with his typical weeklong course in just two days.
The first day was jammed-packed with information in a classroom, but the easiest way for many of us to learn is “hands on” instruction. Assessing our trails system and determining the highest use as well as need of water diversion and drainage, we decided to work on the Nature Trail. With natural springs seeping out of the hillside and a constant flow of water in sections of this trail, this would be the perfect challenge for our instructor.
After a 10-hour day with 11 hardworking people, we put a nice dent into a small section of trail. A turnpike, which is raised tread construction, was built in a very soggy 35-foot section as well as the start of a bomber armored water crossing in a 25-foot trail span.
This project was a reality check for everyone who participated. Trail maintenance takes a lot of time in preparation, hours of hard work to complete small sections of trail and is easier with more hands on-deck. The Town of Snowmass Village summer crew of three plans to tackle high priority trails with a new set of skills under their belt.
We could always use extra hands; if you would like to volunteer with the Town, please contact the Parks and Trails manager at 922-2249 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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