Despite warm temps, seasonal trail closures still in effect for wildlife habitat across the Vail Valley |

Despite warm temps, seasonal trail closures still in effect for wildlife habitat across the Vail Valley

Daily staff report
White River National Forest | Special to the Daily Deer caught on the Eagle-Holy Cross wildlife camera.

MINTURN — There are three trails in the Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District that are seasonally closed to all activity to give wildlife a much-needed break. Seasonal trail closures are or soon will be in effect on Knob Hill (Dec. 15-April 15), Whiskey Creek (Dec. 1 to June 20) and Eastern Hillside trails (Dec. 1 to June 20) adjacent to Edwards and Eagle-Vail to protect deer during the challenging winter months.

Being on the trail is prohibited, including activities such as hiking, dog walking and mountain biking (note: wheeled vehicles, including bikes, are limited to plowed routes or routes open through special order only from Nov. 23 to May 21). Use alternate trails for hiking, snowshoeing and dog walking until the seasonal closures are lifted in the spring.

With low snow accumulation and warmer weather, it can be tempting to get out on the trails one last time before a deeper snowpack arrives, but the Forest Service is asking the public to respect closure areas.

“Human activities in deer and elk winter habitat can flush them from areas they need to spend time foraging and use precious fat reserves that are critical for winter survival,” said Jen Austin, Eagle-Holy Cross District Wildlife biologist. “By respecting the seasonal closures, we all help wildlife survive the toughest time of year.”

Forest Service partners such as Vail and Beaver Creek Resorts, Eagle County, Avon Preserve and local towns may also have seasonal restrictions on trails they administer. Visitors are encouraged to know before you go and visit appropriate websites to learn about opportunities and area closures.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

For more information about Forest Service trails and recreation opportunities, contact the Eagle-Holy Cross Office at 970-827-5715, or stop by during business hours weekdays from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

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