Bean: Trails update, NPLD is Sept. 24 | SkyHiDailyNews.com

Bean: Trails update, NPLD is Sept. 24

Erica Bean

Erica Bean

As we start to see golden specs peaking though the woods, we start to reminisce about the activities we have accomplished throughout the summer. Though the summer goes fast, this time of year tends to be one of the best times of the season to get outdoors and enjoy our fresh mountain air. The smells of fall, the cooler (not yet cold) temperatures, the lack of mosquitos, and the turning Aspen leaves that seem to glow as the sunlight hits them are amongst the many treasures we can still endure before the snow greets us for the winter. We think about what outdoor activities we can still fit in our busy schedules before we put away all of our summer gear and pull out the winter gear.

It has been another successful summer season for trails. Thus far, Headwaters Trails Alliance (HTA) has recorded over 1,000 hours of volunteer work on the trails throughout Grand County. This is a great reminder of how we could not maintain our 1000 miles of trails throughout Grand County without the help of volunteers. With a staff of three (two seasonal, one year-round), it is impossible to maintain these trails alone. A huge thank you to all who have given back to the trails this year, as well as all that have given in the many years prior. Your help and dedication towards trails is monumental and greatly recognized both on the ground and within the community.

We have also been lucky enough to acquire over $2,000 of in-kind donations this season for trail projects and fundraising events from local businesses and individuals throughout the County. What a great community we live in! The support we have in this County towards trails is truly “Grand”. A huge thank you to all the support we have received. These contributions reflect how important trails are to not only visitors, and trail users, but businesses as well.

We still have a number of trail volunteer opportunities in the next couple of months before we come to a close for the summer season. The largest trail volunteer day of the year is right around the corner! Every year the last Saturday in September is National Public Lands Day (NPLD). This is a national event with the largest and longest running NPLD held in Grand County. This is the 22nd year Grand County has hosted NPLD. Between The US Forest Service-Sulfur Ranger District, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service-Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Headwaters Trails Alliance, Fraser Valley Partnership for trails and other trail enthusiasts, we are proud to have around 200 volunteers from around the state come to Grand County for this event each year with the opportunity for trail users all kinds to give back to the trails. Each agency hosts a project ranging from river cleanups to getting down and dirty building boardwalks, turnpikes and bridges. There are many ways to be involved for this national event. If you are unable to work on a project, there are opportunities to help out for the breakfast and dinner events before and after the work day. Any monetary donation is also appreciated as funding for this event have been greatly minimized this year. To learn about the different projects this year and how you can be involved with this upcoming NPLD on Saturday, September 24. Please call the Forest Service at 970-887-4120 or visit our website http://www.headwaterstrails.org

Please contact Erica Bean, The Volunteer Coordinator for Headwaters Trails Alliance for more upcoming volunteer opportunities. (970-726-1013 or at GCadoptatrail@gmail.com). HTA hosts a number of trail maintenance projects throughout the County each summer including Adopt-A-Trail projects. If you are a Trail Adopter or a trail volunteer that would still like to work on a trail before the winter please contact Erica. This is a perfect time to go out and work on the trails with tourism winding down and the fall colors out to enjoy. This is also a great time to fix erosion and drainage issues on trails for early enjoyment on your trails in the spring. Drainage work on the trails in the fall can prevent further erosion on trails from spring runoff, as well as minimize marshy areas in the spring.

As you are out enjoying the trails this fall, please use caution and look out for hazards such as down trees. Please remember to report any hazards or trail issues to HTA or the appropriate government agency. Happy Trails and Happy Fall!