To move the ball forward on a 10-year dream for expanded trails at Phil’s World, the Southwest Colorado Cycling Association is digging into its wallet.
The group has donated $5,000 to the local BLM office to help with archaeological surveys on part of the proposed trail expansion.
“The donation is an expression of how dedicated we are to the trail project,” said Phil Ayers, of SWCCA. “We know they have budget strains.”
The additional survey is needed to avoid cultural sites on the proposed Little Donkey/Poquito Burrito trail loops south of Stinking Springs area.
Keeping that section in play has become more important, Ayers said, since a 4-mile section of proposed new trail had to be dropped in the Cash Canyon area because of a nearby golden eagle’s nest.
The bike club is proposing to double the size of the popular mountain bike park from 26 miles to 50 miles, but the project is awaiting the release of a draft environmental assessment with alternatives from the BLM. It is expected to be completed by this fall.
The additional survey will also be mapping out private property to adjust trail routes so they stay on BLM land.
Bike club member Shawn Gregory said grants are being applied for to build the trails pending BLM approvals, and there will be plenty of volunteer hours as well.
“It has been a challenge working around all the wildlife and archaeology resources in the area, but we are gaining traction on the project now,” he said.
A vast portion of the area where the proposed new trails are planned has historically been a renegade trash dump, Gregory said.
“Our volunteer group has been working with the BLM to clean up this area to provide a more scenic and desirable place for trails,” he said.
The proposed new trails offer riding for all ability levels. They do not interfere with existing motorized trail system in the area.