Eagle, Avon trails open for season Saturday
Eagle County Trails
• Town of Eagle, Avon open space trails open April 15.
• The North Trail #1896: Closed April 15 — June 15.
• Son of Middle Creek #2136: Closed April 15 — June 15.
• Paulie’s Plunge/Stone Creek #2349: Closed May 15 — June 20.
• Two Elk #2005, from the west entrance (approximately 1 mile up the trail) to the east end on the Vail Bike Path: Closed May 6 — June 30.
• Whiskey Creek #2348: Closed December 1 — June 20.
• Eastern Hillside #2347: Closed December 1 — June 20.
EAGLE — The ski shops in Lionshead Village aren’t converting to wheel shops just yet, but the mountain biking season in much of the county starts tonight.
Town-owned open space trails in Eagle and Avon officially open Saturday for hiking and biking.
For the official opening, the folks from Mountain Peddler in Eagle are planning an 11:59 p.m. gathering atop the Eagle Pool & Ice Rink Trail for a midnight Legal in Eagle descent. All are welcome to join. Getting there, the Boneyard Trail on Bureau of Land Management property has been open all year and with the unseasonably warm weather the area saw in March, the riding was good.
Charlie Brown with Mountain Peddler said his shop has been busy for weeks.
“We’ve been jamming for over a month, because the weather just changed on a dime,” Brown said. “People are antsy, they’ve been riding around the same couple trails like hamsters.”
OTHER TRAILS CLOSING
When some trails open, however, others will close, as wildlife-related closures will go into effect on U.S. Forest Service trails. The North Trail in Vail, which had been open since June 15 for summer and winter use, will close on Saturday, along with the Son of Middle Creek Trail which connects to it. On May 6, the Two Elk Trail, which cuts across the back side of Vail Mountain near the bottom of Blue Sky Basin, will close as well. The North Trail will open again on June 15 and the Two Elk Trail will open July 1.
In the Eagle-Vail area, Paulie’s Plunge and the Whiskey Creek trail will reopen for the season on June 20.
“As we transition from snow sports to summer sports, it’s important to remember that our local wildlife is also transitioning to more suitable habitat,” said District Ranger, Aaron Mayville. “Please make sure you’re respectful of the local trail closures this time of year so our deer and elk populations can remain vibrant and healthy.”
Eagle’s new pump track has been offering a good practice area in the weeks leading up to Saturday’s opening, said BMX track operator Jay Lucas.
“It’s a great cross trainer for mountain biking,” Lucas said.
Brown said for those looking to get out and practice on the pump track before tomorrow’s openings, your old bike in storage might be perfect but you’d better make sure you have the right tires.
“They don’t want knobby tires out there,” Brown said. “Old school 26-inch wheeled bikes, where people might have it and not really ride it anymore, but also not want to get rid of it because they loved their old bike, that’s perfect for the pump track. The best thing to do is come in and we can show you what kind of tires work for both the track and the trails.”
As the trails open in Eagle and Avon, trail cleanup and maintenance efforts will also get underway. Mayville said Avon’s trails, while town-owned, will be incorporated into the Forest Service’s Adopt a Trail program this year.
“Our goal is to make this a self-sustaining, countywide Adopt a Trail program,” he said.
Orientation days will take place on April 24 and 25, where volunteers will learn about proper trail maintenance and then you might expect to see crews getting started, Mayville said.
“We want to do a spring, summer, fall day — which is really what it needs,” he said.
For Eagle’s trails, local trails enthusiast Yuri Kostick says the best way to get involved is the Hardscrabble Trails Coalition.
“You can learn a lot by working with them and it can also be a lot of fun,” Kostick said.
Laura Turitz with the coalition said the group is pretty informal.
“You don’t have to officially ‘join,’ or anything,” she said. “If anything special is going on, we always send out an email about our meetings, trail work days and stuff like that.”
Sign up or learn more by visiting http://www.mountainbikeeagle.com.
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