East Shore Trail work | SkyHiDailyNews.com

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East Shore Trail work

Around 30 volunteers from several different organizations met Saturday to complete badly needed work on the East Shore trail in Grand Lake. The East Shore Trail, which follows the edge of Shadow Mountain Reservoir for around two and a half miles, is part of the 3,100 mile long Continental Divide Trail which runs from Mexico to Canada through five states and dozens of mountain ranges.

The event was organized by the Continental Divide Trail Coalition based in Golden. They partnered with the Headwaters Trails Alliance and the Rocky Mountain Conservancy from Estes Park to gather volunteers and tools. CDTC’s managing director Teresa Martinez was among the volunteers, shovel in hand, helping to reroute an especially muddy section of trail to higher ground.

Martinez said the coalition partners with a range of organizations up and down the length of the trail to complete projects like this one. “We serve as that oversight and coordinative effort. In places where there aren’t organizations like HTA, we help the agency find volunteers in communities to help build and sustain and maintain the CDT,” she said.

The project was the result of an application submitted by the Hot Sulfur Springs Ranger District for work to be done on the trail.

Alan Kahn, a Washington DC resident who spends his summers in Grand Lake, volunteered to work on the trail.

“I’ve been hiking this trail for 20 years, hiking or skiing it, and now that I’ve retired, I felt I should give back a little bit and do some volunteer work,” Kahn said. “I think it’s so important for people to get outside, and if we can make it a little easier more inviting to do that, then it’s a good thing.”

Participation wasn’t without its perks. Volunteers received a goodie bag from Deuter Packs and a hot lunch from Backpacker’s Pantry out of Boulder. “That’s a real bonus, because normally on trail work, it’s granola bars and PB and J,” Kahn said.

The effort comes as thru-hikers, individuals walking the entire CDT from Mexico to Canada, rapidly approach Grand County. Martinez said at least 200 started from New Mexico in the Spring. Residents can expect hikers to start showing up within the next week. “They’re all stacking up in Silverthorne and Frisco right now,” she said.

The CDTC is running five more projects along the trail through the rest of the summer. More information can be found at their website: continentaldividetrail.org