August 5, 2015
As noted a few days ago, the State of Colorado presented RAT/COPMOBA with a fully executed, $200,000.00 grant contract via email on July 30, 2015. RAT had crews standing by and ready to proceed immediately. We notified our people on July 31st of the executed contract and Sweet Sustainable Single Track LLC started work on new trail layout and construction early on August 3, 2014. Utilizing SSST crews and also Southwest Conservation Corps from Durango, Colorado, we fully expect to complete construction this summer of all trails approved to date by BLM. That will total 8+ miles of new trail. New trail construction will extend all the way north to Ouray County Road 8, so we will literally have a network of recreational trails extending from within the Town of Ridgway all the way north to County Road 8. In addition, Ouray County and BLM expect to install improved parking facilities at the County Road 10 Tail Head sometime in August or early September.
We expect to phase our efforts as follows:
1. Rough trail alignment and clearing of vegetation – August 3 – 14
2. Pin flagging final trail alignment – latter half of August
3. Construction of 2 – 3 miles of new trail by SSST – Mid August into mid-September
4. RAT hosts the Ridgway Fall Festival in Ridgway Town Park, in celebration of our achievements, on September 12 – food, live music on the big stage, craft beers, etc…
5. Arrival of SWCC – September 9
6. We expect BLM to host a volunteer effort on National Public Lands Day – September 26
7. Construction of remaining new trail by SSST and SWCC – September 7 to about October 27
8. Ride, Ride, Ride
Although this may look to the casual observer like the miraculous machinations of some magic trail fairy who simply waves a wand to create “instant trail,” the sudden appearance of all the new trail in Ridgway is simply the culmination of 9 years’ worth of diligent, hard, relentless work by RAT/COPMOBA and the local, state and national agencies who partnered with this throughout. Accordingly, we again want to express a HUGE THANK YOU to BLM, Ridgway State Park, the State of Colorado, the Town of Ridgway, Ouray County, our many generous donors, friends and other supporters.
But that’s not all. Next summer, 2016, Ridgway State Park will build 5 additional miles of new single-track on Park land immediately adjacent to and roughly North by Northwest of the new BLM trails. The State Park trails have been designed and will be constructed to interconnect seamlessly with the BLM trails. The Park, the Town and Ouray County have already begun plans to design, fund and build a pedestrian/bike overpass or underpass across U.S. Highway 550 somewhere between County Roads 8 and 10, although that plan will not bear any tangible fruit for 5+years.
And don’t for get to set aside some quality time to spend with your RAT.