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Mancos Trails Group breathes new life into Colorado Trail spur

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Monday, July 30, 2018 5:03 PM

In 1973, it was part of the Colorado Trail dream: the Mancos Spur.

Since then, the dream has fallen by the trailside with little recollection.

But now, the Mancos Trails Group aspires to rebrand the original vision and add the spur to the Colorado Trail system, including updated trail signs.

“This has the potential to put the Mancos Spur on the map. Literally.” Robert Meyer, board chairman of the Mancos Trails Group, said in a news release. The plan doesn’t require building new trails because the current national forest trail system supports the entire spur.

“We couldn’t ask for anything better,” Meyer said.

The spur utilizes 23½ miles of local trails that include Chicken Creek, West Mancos and Sharkstooth as it travels from Mancos State Park and Jackson Lake and connects to the Colorado Trail near Taylor Lake. The Mancos State Park trailhead is set in a 7,800-foot-high ponderosa forest and travels through several climatic zones and ecosystems, including an abundance of alpine tundra. Eventually it passes over two passes at 12,000 feet before connecting with the Colorado Trail.

Mancos State Park Manager Scot Elder said that the park “is very excited to partner with the U.S. Forest Service and Mancos Trails Group to improve this beautiful and important section of trail.”

In addition, Christopher Bouton, a trails, wilderness, and dispersed recreation specialist with the San Juan National Forest, said, “The general public sometimes doesn’t realize that there are currently many miles of underutilized trails in the local area. It is exciting to be able to partner with the Mancos Trails Group and the Mancos State Park to help maintain this trail connection to the Colorado Trail by improving the trail condition and performing more regular maintenance.”

For more information, see Mancos Trails Group website at http://www.mancostrails.org.

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