Stepping out in Routt: Butcherknife Trail

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If you go

Length: 0.8 miles (out and back or loop)

Difficulty: Easy

Grade: Flat with small hill

Surface: Gravel

Start: Stehley Park on Logan Street in Old Town Steamboat

Parking: On street at the park

Bus access: Closest stop is Lincoln Avenue and Seventh Street, which is 0.6 miles from the park

Trail etiquette

Most trails in Steamboat are multiuse and shared among runners, walkers, bikers, horses, dogs, kids and adults. A few simple rules can help keep the trail experience enjoyable for all users:

■ Stay on the right side of the trail

■ Alert others in advance of passing. Pass on the left side when it is safe.

■ Throw all trash into trash cans

■ Recycle when available

■ Keep dogs on a 6-foot handheld leash and under control at all times

■ Pick up and properly dispose of dog waste

■ Travel at a safe speed and stay in control

■ Downhill travelers should yield to uphill users

— This route makes a great lunch loop from downtown and away from the bustle of Lincoln Avenue. Skirting along Butcherknife Creek from Stehley Park to the Strawberry Park schools, the trail passes through woods and rocky outcroppings and to a meadow at the school athletic fields.

From the east side of Stehley Park follow the gravel trail through the park and over the bridge. As you stay on the main trail, you’ll pass a singletrack loop on the left leading to the creek, and a singletrack trail on the right leading to the Butcherknife housing complex. Continue along the main trail to the top of the hill. Stay left at the ‘T’; going right leads to McKinley Street. The trail ends at Strawberry Park Middle School.

Walkers can return the way they came, take a lap around the quarter-mile track, or make a loop. To make the loop, take a left just before the ball field and follow the singletrack trail left and across the creek. Continue uphill to Routt County Road 36. Turn left and use caution as you walk along the shoulder of the road facing traffic. Turn left on Park Avenue to return to Stehley Park.

The Butcherknife Trail is one of the safe routes to school (www.saferoutessteamboat.org). If you live in the vicinity, take the opportunity this summer to walk together. Practice so your kids are comfortable with the route. If you live farther away, avoid school congestion by driving to Stehley Park and walking this route with your kids.

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