By Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers
The season for volunteer trail work has begun! In collaboration with Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers (RFOV), The Sopris Sun will keep readers updated about ongoing projects, trail conditions and opportunities to volunteer outdoors! Registration for upcoming work days is at: rfov.org
Numerous “social trails” are appearing on the front side of the Red Hill trail complex. These trails stem off designated trails and are causing significant soil damage and erosion. Additionally, rocks loosened along social trails present safety hazards to cars and trail users below. Please, avoid using these social trails! If you are unfamiliar with the routes of the designated trails on Red Hill, consider joining RFOV on May 20 for a tour event from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
On Wednesday, April 28, RFOV, Wildland Restoration Volunteers and the U.S. Forest Service teamed up to repair sections of the Hanging Lake trail that had been damaged during last summer’s Grizzly Creek Fire. The Hanging Lake trail was closed since the beginning of the Grizzly Creek Fire (August, 2020) and just reopened on May 1. The crew removed numerous large boulders on a section between Hanging Lake and Spouting Rock and reconstructed 15 steps that had been damaged by a landslide.
On April 30, RFOV and student volunteers from Roaring Fork High School fixed a drainage issue on a riverside trail that parallels the Crystal River and is accessed by either Graceland Drive or North Bridge Drive. The student volunteers provided maintenance on a drainage ditch that was flowing into the trail, helping to limit water flow and mud on the tread surface.
On two upcoming Tuesdays (May 18 and May 25), RFOV partners with the Red Hill Council, Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association, Roaring Fork Valley Horse Council and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to construct several miles of new trail for mountain bikers, hikers and horseback riders at the recently finalized BLM Wildlife Area at Sutey Ranch. This former ranch is located on the north side of Red Hill, off County Road 112, and will connect to the greater Red Hill trails complex. Trailwork is appropriate for volunteers with diverse skills and abilities and will focus on the construction of new trail tread and the clearing of corridor obstructions. Sessions will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the evenings listed above. Plus, local restaurants and breweries are providing refreshments.
Check out the aforementioned trail that runs along the Crystal River in Carbondale. There you’ll find the shell of an old Model A Ford Coupe around the base of one of many apple trees found on the trail. These cars were manufactured and sold between 1927 and 1931, one of the Ford Motor Company’s earliest successful vehicles. Though rusted and disheveled, this relic provides a rustic appeal on the trail. Come visit and inspect work completed by the Roaring Fork High School Buddy Program!