Cesar Martinez, an employee with Jag’s Enterprises, of Greeley, pours concrete Wednesday at a section of the Yampa River Core Trail near Walton Creek Road.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Cesar Martinez, an employee with Jag’s Enterprises, of Greeley, pours concrete Wednesday at a section of the Yampa River Core Trail near Walton Creek Road.

Steamboat's wet trails vulnerable to damage

Route openings and repairs ongoing across Steamboat

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Juan Gonzales, an employee with Jag’s Enterprises, of Greeley, smooths concrete Wednesday on a section of the Yampa River Core Trail.

— The sunny skies and warmer weather are enticing trail users across Routt County, but the muddy routes can be damaged easily by bikers and hikers. Steamboat Springs Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services Department officials asking trail users to turn back when they get to the “mud line” to avoid causing springtime destruction.

Open Spaces Supervisor Craig Robinson said it’s hard to name a trail in the city that is ready for use.

“I know the Spring Creek trail at the beginning is dry, but farther up it’s mud, then it’s snow,” he said. “We ask people to stop and turn around when they reach the mud line.”

He said that as people get antsy to get on the trails, they can cause damage by creating ruts. One aspect of trail maintenance is to keep water off them, and workers create “water bars” to prevent the water from running down the trails. When bikers, for example, go through a muddy area, they can channel the water through the mud bars, creating ruts that workers must repair.

Public access to the Blackmer Drive trail reopened Wednesday. The trail leads to the quarry and other parts of Emerald Mountain and was closed as Rogue Resources completed a logging project.

The work was funded by a High Priority Forest Fuels Mitigation grant that was awarded by the Colorado State Forest Service, according to a city news release. Even though the trail is open, there likely will be wet spots throughout it, Robinson said.

Crews will work to repair the trail as it dries. Rogue Resources will return to the area and remove the downed trees later this summer. Robinson said trucks mostly have stopped using the trail.

The Bear River Skate Park also will remain closed at least until a volunteer work day May 1.

Comments

Clearsky 4 years, 7 months ago

The misconception to "keep water off the trails" which is impossible, creates more erosion by improperly made water bars that concentrate and accelerate water which increases erosion by much greater rate than if a water dam is built which slows the flow of water down and gives suspended soil particles time to settle and remain on the trail. First, the trails should not exceed a 6 % grade (Approximate) Second if a pipe is to be employed under the trail to allow water to pass under the trail it should be at a steep enough slope to allow debris to wash through. Third If you want to keep soil on the trail, the speed and amount of water needs to be minimized by keeping a flat surface(no ruts) and building small water dams as described above. Consult a civil engineer if you have questions about soil erosion before making "improvements" to trails.

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Amy Harris 4 years, 6 months ago

sounds like you would be a great trail building volunteer!

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