Nordic options about at Eagle Ranch Golf Club | VailDaily.com

Nordic options about at Eagle Ranch Golf Club

Cindy Ramunno
cramunno@eaglevalleyenterprise.com
winter snowshoe lifestyle nordic colleen

It’s too cold to head out to the golf course. Or is it?

Eagle Ranch Golf Club Winter Trails are maintained throughout the golf course for winter recreation, including Nordic skiing (classic and skating), snowshoeing, fat-tire biking and walking. Approximately six miles of trails are maintained nearly every day from early December through the end of February, as long as snow conditions allow.

The trails can be accessed in several locations around the Eagle Ranch community, but you can also start from the golf course clubhouse where parking and trail maps are provided. The trails are open to the public and there are no trail fees, thanks to the financial support of the Eagle Ranch Homeowner’s Association. Rental Nordic equipment is not available in Eagle, but you can rent and buy equipment at the Vail Nordic Center. As long as there is a enough snow, the trails are maintained.

“We are able to use one of our golf course maintenance vehicles, which is specially equipped with snow-cat like tracks mounted in the place of the wheels,” said golf course manager Jeff Boyer. “We groom the trails with a pull-behind groomer.”

The original purpose for the trails was solely for skiing, but it soon became apparent that others were enjoying the trails for walking their dogs, snowshoeing and, more recently, fat-tire biking.

“These other activities deteriorate the quality of the trail for skiers, so we have tried to set aside a portion of the course for skiing only,” said Boyer.

Steer clear of wildlife

There’s something else that deteriorates the trail — elk. But winters are tough on the animals, and they are further stressed when they are forced to come in close contact with people.

“Our guideline is that people stay at least 200 yards away from the elk if they encounter them on the course,” said Boyer. Since the elk are usually on the trail at night, a good rule of thumb is to go during daylight hours.

There are some guidelines that everyone is asked to follow to respect Eagle Ranch homeowners adjacent to the course and other users of the trails.

In addition to the use of the trails, many people use the golf course for other activities in the winter, such as sledding. If you or your kids are on parts of the golf course other than the trails, please stay off away from roped off areas, which are there to protect the golf course greens and tees. Stay off of the lakes on the golf course, which may have dangerously thin ice.

Parents should always supervise their children during such activities and be careful of potential hazards.