One of the great things about living in Fort Collins is our extensive trail network. I’m not just talking about our 35-mile paved trail system that connects the majority of the city, but the off-road trails that provide recreation to mountain bikers, horseback riders and hikers.
The major trails in Northern Colorado include Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, Lory State Park, Devil’s Backbone Open Space, Soapstone Prairie Natural Area, Red Mountain Open Space and Maxwell Natural Area as well as a number of trails off the Poudre River.
Unfortunately, these trails do not maintain themselves and without continuous work would become unusable. While the city of Fort Collins, Larimer County and Colorado State Parks play a large role in maintaining these properties, volunteers at Over-land Mountain Biking Club also play a tremendous role in maintaining and improving our trails.
Last year, Overland Mountain Bike Club donated $5,000 to Wilderness Restoration for a much needed reroute on Hewlett Gulch and another $5,000 for a reroute of the Sawmill Trail at Horsetooth. The group also hosted many trail days working extensively on popular Bobcat Ridge, Pineridge, Maxwell, Shoreline, Blue Sky, Lory and Horsetooth trails.
Besides maintenance projects, the group as well stepped up its education campaign to include comprehensive signage on the trails. According to Kory Swanson, communications director of the club, “One of the projects I’m most proud of is the sign project on the Maxwell and Pineridge sections of the Foothills Trail. Working closely with the city of Fort Collins, we were able to install 16 signs that cover everything from trail etiquette to skills.”
These signs are particularly helpful for newbies who might not know anything about trail etiquette, but also may need help in how to tackle more technical obstacles.
If you are itching for the opportunity to participate in a trail maintenance day, the Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew will be here May 19-22 working with the club on training, planning and education.
The team of professional trail experts travels year-round throughout the United States and beyond, leading trail work sessions, meeting with land managers and working with International Mountain Biking Association-affiliated clubs and the communities they serve to improve mountain biking opportunities.
This visit will coincide with the Friends of Lory Trail Day from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 21 and culminate with trail work at the park. You’ll want to bring some work gloves, sturdy boots/shoes water and whatever else you’ll need while working outside all day. The club will provide a snack and lunch.
For more information about this program or to register visit the Overland Mountain Biking website at http://overlandmtb.org
Part of what makes our recreation areas so great is how many people give back to our community. We hope you can help.