Four new nonmotorized trails and a new parking lot have been built at the Phil’s World recreation area east of Cortez.
The Tres Rios District of the Bureau of Land Management will have an event to introduce the expanded trails at noon Saturday, May 18, at the new parking lot and Cash Canyon trailhead on Road L.
After the one-hour event, cyclists are invited to join the BLM, Southwest Conservation Corps and volunteers with the Southwest Colorado Cycling Association for a ride or hike on the new Highline and Canal trails.
More than 8 miles of new trail were built in cooperation with the BLM, Southwest Youth Corp, Montezuma Inspire Coalition, and Southwest Colorado Cycling Association.
The Highline, Canal, 6400, and High Life trails have all been completed, said BLM recreation specialist Jeff Christenson.
The trails are designed for mountain bikers, hikers and horseback riding. They are arranged in a “stacked loop system” where the first loop is easiest, then they get more challenging. For mountain bikers, they must be ridden in a clockwise direction.
The Highline and Canal trails have some difficulty, and connect to the most difficult Ledges Trail. 6400 offers an easier, more flowing, connection to Ledges.
The one-mile High Life Trail is the first loop from the new Cash Canyon trailhead and is perfect for a short hike and for beginner mountain bikers.
“They are all good, fun trails,” Christenson said.
Highline use has been popular, and it’s getting a harder packed surface, he said. Canal is a bit softer but will improve as use picks up.
More trails are planned for construction on BLM land north of Road L. The Simon Draw trailhead and parking lot will be installed off Road M.
In 2018, the BLM approved a plan to add 22 miles of new trails to Phil’s world adding to 27 miles of established trails. The popular Phil’s World trail system is one of the BLM’s top mountain biking systems and is part of the Cortez Special Recreation Management Area.
“This trail system expansion is a result of years of work with partners and local communities to increase recreation opportunities and access in this area,” said Acting BLM Tres Rios Field Manager Elijah Waters. “It’s fitting to celebrate the opening of more trails and access in Phil’s World on Colorado Public Lands Day, a day that celebrates the importance of public lands to the quality of life and the economy.”