Beware of trail closures and conditions this time of year
Trail name: Anything that is open. Many trails are closed for the spring calving season and even more will be muddy this time of the year, so we’re taking this opportunity to remind people to only use open and dry trails this early season. Check out a handy guide at walkingmountains.org/trailclosures.
Mileage: It’s still the time of year that our mileage is regulated by trail conditions. Many of the higher trails will be snowpacked and lower valley trails may be wet and muddy, leading to erosion and trail degradation if used. Keep your mileage in check this early season and use the time to oil up the hiking boots and tune up the mountain bike.
Subjective rating: Hard! It’s hard not to hit the trails when the sun is shining and we’ve been cooped up inside or on the resorts all winter long. Soon enough (April 15 in the case of the West Avon Preserve, if things dry out) we’ll be able to send it down Lee’s Way.
What to expect: Expect anxiety, potentially a road trip to Fruita or Moab, and if most of us users respect the seasonal closures, expect great trails for many years to come.
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Ensuring a safe, protected and peaceful calving season is one way we can take immediate and tangible action to support our local ungulate populations.
We’ll continue to discuss these ethically complex and very important issues, so it makes sense to be taking positive steps where we can and sharing our stories of stewardship and success with others to encourage even more respectful outdoor behavior. Use this early season to practice your stewardship of local recreational opportunities and only use open trail systems that are not muddy.
Remember the saying, “Leave only footprints and take only photographs”? Well, we’d like to inspire readers to attempt to not leave footprints, and take more than photographs — make memories and take ownership of your trails to make sure they remain usable for generations to come.
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It’s fitting that Eagle County is proceeding through its reopening phases of COVID-19 in an analogy to ski run difficulties — green to blue to black. Monday marks the transition from the green beginner phase to the blue intermediate phase.