Steamboat’s wet trails vulnerable to damage
Route openings and repairs ongoing across Steamboat
April 16, 2010
Steamboat Springs — 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.