Giving Back Through Trail Work
Well-built, well-maintained trail: You might not notice it while you’re out there, but you’ll certainly notice its absence. The miles of singletrack in Summit County require countless hours of work to build and maintain. Here at Colorado Adventure Guides, we love to hike, bike, and run all summer. Each berm we sail around on our bikes and every switchback that eases ascent of a 14er is the product of many hands and many hours. Conversely, downed trees, braided trail, puddles that won’t drain, and severe erosion indicate a trail needs some TLC. With so many miles of trail and the maintenance needs imposed by harsh winters and high traffic, it’s impossible for local governing bodies to maintain local trails on their own. Local agencies rely on volunteers to get the job done, and there are many opportunities this summer to give back to our trails. Whether you’re a local who uses our trails daily, a guide who makes a living on the trails, or a visitor exploring our trails while vacationing, if you’re a trail user, the trails need you to put in some time returning the love.
CAG guide Anthony Lanata recently did just that while volunteering with Friends of Breckenridge Trails. Anthony planted perennials at the River Park, an area we love to take guests on our 2-hour mountain bike tour of Breckenridge. Friends of Breckenridge Trails cares for the fantastic trail network of Town of Breckenridge trails that we love to guide, and they’re offering several more volunteer days this summer. On Saturday, July 13 (and on four subsequent Saturdays), you can join them to construct the new Redpig Trail, a link between two preexisting trails to allow for even longer loops on the trails we love.
Elsewhere in the county, the Friends of the Dillon Ranger District leads a variety of volunteer projects to improve local trail. This Saturday, June 29, you can join FDRD for trail work on the Colorado Trail at Gold Hill, one of our favorite access points for long runs and bike rides. On July 12, help out with a variety of forest restoration work in the trail networks off Tiger Road. Or join for a day of trail maintenance on July 17 in Horseshoe Gulch, a popular local area where we’ve guided a few early season hikes already this year. FDRD leads volunteer trail work projects multiples times most every week of summer, and you’ll find all their projects on their online calendar.
The popularity of Summit County’s 14ers means the trails on these peaks need plenty of care. Quandary Peak, one of Colorado Adventure Guides’ most popular hikes, saw a highly impactful 24,000 users in 2017. The non-profit Colorado Fourteeners Initiative organizes volunteer projects to build and maintain sustainable trails on Colorado’s highest peaks, and you can volunteer with CFI this summer to improve some of the most-used trails in our county. Work with CFI on June 28, August 3, or August 15 on Grays and Torreys or August 1 on Quandary Peak. More info on each project is available on the CFI website.
Whether on foot or bike, all trail users benefit from the hard work of previous volunteers. Join us in practicing good stewardship of the places we love by volunteering. We hope to see you out there moving rocks, closing social trails, building switchbacks, and preventing erosion with us soon!