Former CBLT president steps up
A new trail starting at the west end of Crested Butte and connecting the town with the Woods Walk and Lower Loop is close to being finalized.
Negotiations between the Crested Butte Land Trust and the landowner, former Land Trust president Jeff Hermanson, are almost complete. People can currently access the Woods Walk from Kebler Pass Road or by hiking up the trail at the west end of Maroon Avenue.
Hermanson is donating the trail that starts at the 100 block of Elk Avenue and will allow year-round access for hikers, bikers, equestrians and Nordic skiers.
The trail will wind up the old Kebler Road, where it will connect with the Woods Walk trail. According to the CBLT, there will also be an out and back trail easement to “Chocolate Peak,” aka “Hippie Hill,” that affords a view of the town.
“Cycling and hiking is extra special here because so many of the trails begin at your doorstep. A trail that originates right from Elk Avenue is real gem,” said Ann Johnston, executive director of the Land Trust. “This trail will ultimately connect with the perimeter trail planned around the town of Crested Butte, which will contribute to the uniqueness and character of our recreational community.”
The easement will also provide an avenue for the popular Alley Loop Nordic race, coming up on its 25th year.
“We understand the importance of access and recreation to our community of residents and visitors,” said Keith Bauer, CBLT’s board president. “This will be a real amenity, and CBLT is pleased to facilitate this easement. On a busy summer day, the Lower Loop trail system has more than 500 users. This more than illustrates the significance of trails to our community.” Bauer is also executive director of the Crested Butte Nordic Center.
“We are very close to finalizing all of the necessary due diligence,” said Johnston. CBLT hopes to hold a trail building day either this fall or early spring. “We’d love to partner with the Crested Butte Mountain Biking Association again,” said Johnston. “They are the trail building experts. We really enjoyed working on the Budd trail with CBMBA.”
The Land Trust hopes to have the deal completed by the end of the month.