On the Trail: Saddleridge in Avon
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Total Climb: 1,000 feet.
Total distance: 2.25 miles.
Upper trailhead: Beaver Creek Point, parking available.
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AVON — The mountain biking is great on the new Saddleridge trail in the West Avon Preserve, but slow things down by hiking it and you can really appreciate the hard work that went into the new trail.
The Vail Valley Mountain Bike Association, the local chapter of the International Mountain Bicycling Association, gathered volunteers together to construct the trail last summer, and it became ready for use in May of 2014.
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“We weren’t expecting Saddleridge to get open so quickly but volunteers did such a good job, it moved really fast ,” said Avon Mayor Rich Carroll.
“Building it by hand makes it harder to get it done as quick, but it’s cheaper and leaves less of an impact,” said Vail Valley Mountain Bike Association president Peter Geyer.
With an average grade of 6 percent, the new Saddleridge trail is considered intermediate. Geyer said among the goals of the Vail Valley Mountain Bike Association is to bring new intermediate trails to the Vail Valley, which is known for having more expert and beginner trails than intermediate.
“It will be an awesome trail for hiking and biking,” Geyer said.
Jamie Malin with the Vail Valley Mountain Bike Association also helped build the trail, and recommends using Saddleridge for an uphill climb, then connecting to the new Playground Way trail near the top for an out-and-back before taking Lee’s Way back down.
“That ride is a nice distance and takes you through a variety of fun features,” said Malin.
Saddleridge can also be ridden downhill, and has a narrower single track than the other nearby downhill option of Lee’s Way.
“When you get into the gulch and you’re dealing with the hillside, it can take whole a day just to do one turn,” Geyer said of building Saddleridge.
The top section of the trail can be accessed from the Beaver Creek Point trailhead in Wildridge, and the bottom section from the Avon-Singletree connector trail or Nottingham Road. The trail is about 2.25 miles and has about 1,000 feet of climbing.