Blazing trails: A look at the 1st round of projects | SteamboatToday.com

Blazing trails: A look at the 1st round of projects

Routt County Riders Vice President Eric Meyer, right, and Bureau of Land Management engineer Gordon Gardunio walk through what will become the new Wild Rose Trail on Emerald Mountain. New trails on Emerald are among the first trail projects to receive the backing of the city's lodging tax.

— The Steamboat Springs City Council has signed off on the first round of trail projects and improvements that will be funded by the lodging tax. Here's a quick look at what's coming so far.

Morning Gloria

This 4.2-mile trail on the south side of Emerald Mountain is one of the first trails visitors and residents will see funded by the lodging tax. It will offer sweeping views of Steamboat and Mount Werner as well as the Flat Tops to the south. The new trail will be accessible to hand cyclists. The Steamboat Springs Trails Alliance says this trail will provide a more accessible route to the top of Emerald.

■ Lodging tax funding: $59,900 in 2013

Ridge Trailhead

At a bumpy, rugged parking lot on the west side of Emerald Mountain, the city is looking to create a better parking lot in a very popular area.

"This gets completely full," Government Programs Manager Winnie DelliQuadri said earlier this month during a walkthrough of the site with the Bureau of Land Management. "We'd like to get as many parking spaces as we can."

The parking lot, off of Routt County Road 45, serves the Ridge and Rotary trails.

The 2A committee has recommended to fund the design and construction of a new parking area and restroom in phases over two years.

■ Funding schedule: $38,000 in 2013, $35,867 in 2014, $84,364 proposed in 2015

Lower Spring Creek at Amethyst

Safety is the key word to this project. The proposal will add an enhanced pedestrian crossing on Amethyst Drive and will better connect the Spring Creek Trail to downtown. Committee member Harry Martin said the Spring Creek Trail is heavily utilized by tourists who seek an easy, more level ride out of downtown, and this project gets them there more easily.

■ Funding: $131,000 in 2014

Wild Rose

This 1.5-mile trail will feature an average grade of 3 percent and will provide a direct connection the Beall and Ridge Upper trail head from the front side of Emerald. According to the Steamboat Springs Trails Alliance, it will take pressure off the popular Stairway to Heaven Trail and give riders a "pure single track option to access the back side of Emerald."

■ Funding: $35,000 in 2014

Emerald Directional

This one-way trail will run down Emerald between Blackmer Drive and the Orton property line. The goal of the trail is to reduce conflicts between trail users and give cyclists a better route to take to the bottom of Emerald.

■ Funding: $47,500 in 2014

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10