Vail Daily guest column: Many local bike trails open April 15
April in the Vail Valley is the time to take our bikes out of storage, assess any damage from last year, dream about buying a new bike and then quickly start figuring out which trails are open to ride. The first thought is, can I escape to Fruita or Moab? The second thought: Is Eagle, the banana belt of the Vail Valley, ready to ride yet?
Yes, Fruita and Moab are both almost always open for riding. Boneyard, Redneck Ridge and the first two loops of Haymaker have been riding great in Eagle for a few weeks now. Even the lower loop of Berry Creek has been dry during our warm and sunny stretches. So, you might ask, what’s next? As the weather continues to change, seasonal closures across the valley begin to be lifted on April 15.
Before we jump into which trails are opening please remember the first rule: muddy trails are always closed. Now that we all understand the first rule, here is a list of trails opening on April 15, depending on the weather:
Avon — West Avon Preserve:
• Saddle Ridge.
• Avon Singletree Connector.
• Carrol’s Cutoff.
• Lee’s Way.
• Wyse Way.
• Wild West.
• Pool & Ice Rink.
• Eagle Ranch Loops.
• Third loop of Haymaker and Extra Credit
• West Eagle Trails; including Abram’s Ridge, World’s Greatest, Elmers, School House Rock and many more.
As you get out on trails this summer, we hope that you can appreciate how lucky we are to live and play in the beautiful environment of the Vail Valley. Trail closures are important in providing critical, undisturbed deer and elk winter range land. The closures also protect erosion control and the destruction of critical habitat such as mahogany and juniper.
As many trails begin to open across our valley there are also trails that begin to close. Every spring in the Holy Cross Ranger District of the White River National Forest, there are several trail closures that may alter bikers’ plans. The closures are there for the protection of wildlife during the sensitive birthing period and to protect soils, vegetation, watershed and fisheries during the mud season. We ask that you respect the following closures out of concern for our natural environment. These closures are not only for biking, but all recreation activities including hiking and horse travel.
• The North Trail #1896: Closed April 15 — June 15.
• Son of Middle Creek #2136: Closed April 15 — June 15.
• Paulie’s Plunge and Stone Creek #2349: Closed May 15 — June 20.
• Two Elk #2005, from the west entrance (approximately one mile up the trail) to the east end on the Vail Bike Path: Closed May 6 — June 30.
• Whiskey Creek #2348: Closed December 1 — June 20.
• Eastern Hillside #2347: Closed December 1 — June 20
Finally, please expect to get an abundance of trail talk this biking and hiking season. Today’s column is the first of a weekly column that the Vail Valley Mountain Bike Association will be submitting to the Vail Daily. We will cover topics including trail maintenance, mountain bike events, trail conditions, programs such as Adopt A Trail and more.
The Vail Valley Mountain Bike Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization made up of a community of diverse participants that vigorously supports the maintenance and construction of sustainable mountain biking and hiking trails throughout Eagle County. We coordinate volunteer trail work, organize events, train volunteer trail crew leaders and contribute our talents, guidance and time to support local land managers in various soft surface trail initiatives. Please find more information at http://www.vvmba.org or follow us on Facebook.
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Are we seeing more bears because there are more bears on the valley floor, or because we’re all spending more time at home? It could be a bit of both.