Volunteers needed for Cement Creek Trails Day
Gear up once again local trail users as the United States Forest Service (USFS) Gunnison Ranger District and local trail user groups and advocates are joining forces for a massive undertaking on Sunday, June 22.
The work on Sunday will include decommissioning some trails, fixing sections of existing trails and a slight realignment of a Crested Butte classic.
Greg Austin of the Gunnison Ranger District, in conjunction with Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association (CBMBA) board member Matt Whiting secured funding for these projects with the support of local organizations such as Gunnison Valley O.H.V Alliance of Trailriders (GOATs), HCCA and the Mountain Runners.
“There’s so many trails for so many trail users we’re trying to work with as many groups as possible to get as many trails as possible fixed up,” explains Whiting.
The work started last summer and included building the Point Lookout Trail and some trail work on 409. It was to include decommissioning trail 405 as well but as the initial projects proved bigger than expected, the rest of the work was postponed until this summer.
“It ended up being more extensive than we planned,” explains Whiting. “We ended up adding almost another mile to the Point Lookout Trail.”
Over the winter, CBMBA and the Forest Service put in requests for additional grant money to finish what they started and continue work on trails in the Cement Creek drainage.
“Greg Austin’s been going out to find money to fix up trails. The Forest Service is working hard to raise money to get things done,” says Whiting. “The money will help make our local trails more sustainable and deal with some resource damage.”
This weekend, CBMBA, GOATs, HCCA, the Crested Butte Mountain Runners, the Forest Service and anyone else wishing to help out will be finishing what they started on Point Lookout and 409, including closing a highly erosive and elk habitat invasive section of trail 405, as well as starting work on trail maintenance on 405.2a.
“409 is already riding well and the realignment planned will make it rideable from Brush Creek to Cement Creek,” says Whiting.
The GOATs will lead the effort on 405.2a which accesses 409.5 from the top of Walrod Gulch and is popular among both mountain bikers and motorcycle riders.
“We’re going to work on a section that is washed out and off camber and touch on everything we can on the way in and out but that’s our main focus,” says GOATs President Ben Breslauer. “Put in a more sustainable trail that is rideable for everybody. It really needs to be benched out pretty good.”
All volunteers are asked to meet at the Caves trailhead on Cement Creek Road this Sunday morning at 9 a.m. and volunteers will be divided accordingly to help conquer the massive undertaking. If you can’t make it at 9, feel free to join in anytime during the day.
“We’re looking forward to a great turnout this Sunday,” says Whiting.
“We need as many people as possible from all user groups working out there,” adds Breslauer.
All volunteers will be rewarded for their efforts with an after party at Sunset Hall in Crested Butte South hosted by the CB South POA including a raffle with an entry into the Big Mountain Enduro event slated for Crested Butte in September up for grabs.
But the plans for the Cement Creek drainage do not end there. The USFS received a grant from the Colorado State Parks OHV fund for $54,800 for a project dubbed the Reno Divide Area Heavy Maintenance Project. The work will include fixing up the Reno/Flag/Bear Loop and Reno Ridge trail and is slated to start this year. Furthermore, the USFS was awarded $70,000 to help construct a bridge across Cement Creek at the end of the Deadman’s trail either at the end of this summer or in 2015. All told, the USFS and local volunteer organizations raised $153,800 dedicated to fixing up trails in the Cement Creek area.
“The trail network was loved to death and we’re bringing it back from the dead,” says Whiting.