Help still needed for Rotary Trail in Steamboat

Next community workday is Tuesday

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If you go

What: Rotary Trail community workdays

When: 9 a.m. to noon, 1 to 4 p.m. or 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday; noon to 5 p.m. Thursday; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday; noon to 4 p.m. Sunday

Where: Take Routt County Road 33 (Twentymile Road) and make a left on Cow Creek Road. The Rotary Trail begins at the trailhead for the Ridge Trail.

— A new multiuse trail being carved on the backside of Emerald Mountain is now 75 percent complete. After four months of work by volunteers, who wielded rakes to clear brush and form berms, the project’s completion date now largely depends on Mother Nature.

“The biggest issue right now is the weather,” said Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs’ Grant Fenton, who is coordinating the trail’s construction efforts. “The mud just sticks to your boots and tools, and we’ve had to cancel a couple of our recent workdays. We need the weather to hold for the next three weeks.”

Fenton said Rotary and Routt County Riders are hoping to finish the trail, which is being built on land obtained through a Bureau of Land Management land swap, by the middle of August. When it’s finished, the trail will be a loop that is about 5 miles long and will accommodate cyclists, horseback riders and hikers. Fenton said there is less than a 500-foot differential between the trail’s highest and lowest elevations.

“It’s a very different trail than any of the ones we currently have in the area,” Fenton said.

He said that the trail is wider than most of the trails the group has built and that it has a significant number of berm turns.

“It takes a lot of heavy handwork to build and a lot of man hours,” he said.

Rotarian Leslie Gamel, who often can be found at the trail site wielding a pickax and clearing brush, said weather conditions prevented volunteer groups from resuming work on the trail until mid-June.

“The summer started late, so that did hinder our progress,” she said. “We’re almost there; we just have a couple parts that need some more work.”

She said that since construction began in summer 2010, several community groups, including Routt County Riders and Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, have pitched in to help build the trail.

Weather permitting, the Rotary Club is looking for volunteers to work from 9 a.m. to noon, 1 to 4 p.m. or 4 to 7 p.m. during the next community workday Tuesday. Volunteers are advised to bring gloves, their bikes, steel rakes, sunscreen and bug spray.

During Tuesday’s workday, beer will be provided by the T Bar and food will be provided by Rex’s American Grill & Bar and Big House Burgers and Bottle Cap Bar.

To get to the trail, take Routt County Road 33 (Twentymile Road) and make a left on Cow Creek Road. The Rotary Trail begins at the trailhead for the Ridge Trail. For more information, call Leslie Gamel at 970-846-6807, Grant Fenton at 970-846-1560 or Aryeh Copa at 970-846-5363.

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