City of Steamboat seeks input on 2 new trail proposals | SteamboatToday.com

City of Steamboat seeks input on 2 new trail proposals

A cyclist zips down a trail near Spring Creek. One of the first lodging tax trail projects included an extension of the Lower Spring Creek Trail to a better pedestrian crossing at Amethyst Drive. The trail extension formed a better connection from downtown Steamboat to the Spring Creek area.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Steamboat Springs residents can weigh in Wednesday night on two proposed trail projects that aim to give mountain bikers separate paths to ride, away from hikers, pedestrians and horseback riders.

The first trail would serve as a downhill-only cycling path traveling from Dry Lake on Buffalo Pass down through Spring Creek Canyon to Routt County Road 34.

Proponents of this trail, dubbed the Spring Creek Alternate Trail, think it would reduce the number of conflicts between cyclists and hikers who are currently sharing the existing path that travels through Spring Creek Canyon.

The trail would be constructed in two phases, with the first phase ending where the single track currently meets C.R. 34.

City officials expect that with new trail systems being built on Buffalo Pass, the cycling traffic will increase down in Spring Creek Canyon.

The new cycling trail would parallel the existing Spring Creek trail.

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Parks and recreation commissioners first heard about the trail proposal in February.

"The commissioners had some varied opinions," city parks, open space and trails manager Craig Robinson said. "Some people were obviously concerned about user conflicts that exist there today."

Stephanie McNamara, who owns property on C.R. 34, expressed concern about cyclists using the new downhill trail at high speeds and then continuing on the county road.

"That should be a concern for anyone who is going to authorize this kind of use for this trail," she said.

The city has not yet developed a plan that would take the cycling-only trail from the ponds to Amethyst Road.

The second trail being proposed would extend the new No Pedaling Required trail, or NPR, all the way to the base of Emerald Mountain to Howelsen Park.

In addition, the city is proposing to improve the Mile Run trail so that it is safer for two-way, multi-use traffic.

The city's parks and recreation commission will decide Wednesday night whether to endorse the trails.

But first, the city will take public comment.

Funding for both is expected to come from lodging tax money that has been dedicated to trail projects.

The meeting starts at 5:30 p.m.

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

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