West Avon trails headed for rehab | VailDaily.com

West Avon trails headed for rehab

Matt Terrell
Vail, CO Colorado

AVON ” Motor-cross bikers have definitely left their signature on the torn-up trails above Avon, says the U.S. Forest Service.

It’s a small area west of Metcalf Road dubbed the Motor-Cross Flats. Over the years, bikers claimed that land as their own. They sent the soil flying and trampled the plants.

Nothing has grown back, and animals rarely go through there anymore, says the U.S. Forest Service.

There’s a whole series of unofficial hiker trails in that area north of I-70, many of them unstable and eroding. There’s not much parking, and they’re hard to access.

The area’s got potential though, and soon, it will get a lot care. Sometime in the next month, the unauthorized motor-cross areas will be closed and reseeded to start new growth.

The Forest Service, Avon, Berry Creek Metro District and the Singletree Property Owner’s Association also plan to rebuild about 2.6 miles of trails in the Singletree and Wildridge areas. About .3 miles of new trail will be built.

Two trailhead parking areas, each designed for three to five cars, are also planned. One would go at the west end of Nottingham Road, and the other would go on Forest Service land adjacent to Beaver Creek Point Road in Wildridge.

Trailheads without parking are proposed for the east side of Winslow Road across from Filly Drive and at the intersection of Saddle Ridge Loop and Long Spur roads in Wildridge.

The biker-made motor-cross flats are hardened and barren of plants because that top layer of soil, which carries the most nutrients, isn’t there anymore. Once its gone, it can take years to grow back, said Don Dressler with the U.S. Forest Service.

“It takes away their food source,” Dressler said. “The deer and elk are our first priority there.”

Native shrubs and grasses will be planted in the area, but they’ll require constant attention because the area is so dry.

Signs with distances and names would be put up on the trails, and trailheads will be marked. Dogs would have to be on leash so they don’t bother deer and elk during the winter.

Most work on existing trails, like the Avon/Singletree Trail and the Saddle Ridge Trails, will involve strengthening the trails and preventing erosion. When soil falls off the hill tops, the slopes get steeper and gullies form in the paths. This can be a problem when the soil eventually falls into water ways, forest service officials say.

The .3 miles of new trail will connect Knob Hill to Singletree.

The town of Avon has budgeted about $80,000 for the project, but the cost could go up or down, said planner Matt Pielsticker. Funds will also be contributed by Singletree Property Owner’s Association and Berry Creek Metro District.

Staff writer Matt Terrell can be reached at 748-2955 or mterrell@vaildaily.com.

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