On the Trail: Maloit Park in Minturn
MALOIT PARK TRAIL SYSTEM
Distance: Approximately 10 kilometers total in trails
Trailhead (location): Maloit Park, 3 miles south of downtown Minturn road will come in on right
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Originally developed as a recreation area for employees of the Gilman Mine by the New Jersey Zinc Company in the 1930s, Maloit Park was open to the public and was often the location for rodeos, baseball games and picnics. The Eagle County School District exercised its option to purchase the land in 1985 and in 2010 the trails were created with a partnership between the Eagle County School District and Ski & Snowboard Club Vail. For the benefit of the community and Ski & Snowboard Club Vail’s athletes, the Eagle County School District made the land available and Ski & Snowboard Club Vail invested capital to construct and maintain the trails. Now, youngsters and locals and even Olympic hopefuls enjoy the trails. Sylvan Ellefson narrowly missed the Olympics in 2014; he says he has many fond memories from the trails at Maloit Park.
“It’s a super unique place because it’s been built by athletes,” he said. “It’s very special to all of us at Ski and Snowboard Club Vail.”
The trails span 10 kilometers and dog friendly for hikers and snowshoers in the winter.
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To get there, you’ll head south through Minturn on Highway 24, one of America’s 150 National Scenic Byways, designated by the U.S. Department of Transportation as roads that represent “the depth and breadth of scenery in America.” These highways receive their designation not only because they exhibit natural and scenic qualities, but because they access cultural and recreational areas, as well, with Maloit Park a good example of that.
After passing through downtown Minturn, travel three miles on Highway 24 through residential areas. Look for a wooden sign on the right hand side that reads Minturn Middle School and Maloit Park. Turn right and travel 500 yards to the parking area.
On Highway 24, you’ll head alongside the Eagle River. And once on the trails at Maloit Park, you’ll head alongside Cross Creek, a beautiful tributary of the Eagle River. The two join at the turn off the highway to Maloit Park. Several nooks off the trail and along the banks of Cross Creek can be found and enjoyed as picnic areas and wildlife observation posts.
The park itself is well maintained with a large grassy lawn, and there’s ample parking alongside it.
Don’t forget – the trails are free but all users must register before using, and donations are appreciated to help the Eagle County School District and Ski and Snowboard Club Vail.