This Saturday is Winter Trails Day per the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. Free family friendly events are taking place all weekend across the country. There’s no better time to get out, learn a new winter sport and enjoy your local trails.
Grand County’s Fraser to Granby Trail connects towns and recreation areas and is a cooperative effort of government, nonprofits, businesses and individuals rarely seen. Started over 15 years ago by Fraser Partnership for Trails and spearheaded by Headwaters Trails Alliance, the trail is still a work in progress. The public trails system extends over both public and private lands.
Winter grooming is currently in full swing and conditions are great on the entire trail from the Winter Park Resort to Val Moritz and Granby Ranch. Grooming is done by volunteers when possible, but have patience as much of the trail is very affected by recent winds. All sections are open for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing or just walking the dog. The portion from Val Moritz to Tim’s Tunnel at the YMCA entrance goes through the beautiful Ten Mile Creek Valley where wildlife abounds. From Tim’s Tunnel the Fraser to Granby Trail crosses the front of the YMCA property, paralleling Highway 40 all the way to Tabernash at Pole Creek Meadows. After a short walk through town, take Sunnyside Lane down past the Thurston Ranch, up the road to the Hidden River development and across the plateau with great vistas of the whole valley. Head down through the Denver Waterboard property toward the Fraser Ballfields where parking is always available. A new loop has been created through the ballfields and skiing is excellent on this entire portion. The trail connects through Fraser and splits into the Fraser River Trail for winter sports and the paved Highway trail. The winter trail stays on the east side of Winter Park and emerges at Beavers where it is groomed to the Winter Park Resort.
If you can volunteer to help maintain trails, please call Andy Miller 726-4099, Diana Lynn Rau 887-0547 or HTA 726-1013. Above all, be courteous to landowners and respect private property.
Two treks are scheduled this winter accessing these areas. The Stagecoach Classic Point-to-Point Race and Tour is Jan. 25, with both race and tour available starting at Devils Thumb Ranch, through the old Idlewild Ski Area to Hideaway Park in Winter Park. This will be the only time this winter this system will be connected and groomed for winter access. A portion of proceeds goes to Colorado Headwaters Land Trust, Headwaters Trails Alliance and Trout Unlimited to protect and preserve the Fraser River. Call Devils Thumb Activity Center at 970-726-8231 for information or register at www.active.com/tabernash-co/stagecoach-classic-2014.
On Feb 8, Grand Nordic presents the Ranch2Ranch XC Ski Trek connecting Ski Granby Ranch, featuring a lift ride to the top of the East Mountain, skiing across Vista Ridge and down your choice of trails to the bottom of Rabbit Run, across the new Connector Trail to the Fraser-to-Granby, thru Ten Mile Creek to Tim’s Tunnel and ending at the YMCA Nordic Center. No timing involved, just a fun trek for you and the family. This trail is open year-round and provides a chance to explore more beautiful scenery in your own backyard. Call 970-887-0547 for more information or register online at www.grandnordic.org