Attention desk jockeys with restless lunchtime biking plans: A new single track awaits your fat tires in Cortez.
Instead of the mad rush to Phil’s World to escape the office for an hour, mountain bikers, runners, and walkers can now casually explore new trails on open space right in town.
The city of Cortez recently purchased 60 acres of hilly, sagebrush-covered land north of the Carpenter Natural Area and south of County Road L for nonmotorized recreational use.
The new public space with trails and a pond has been named the Pfc. George Raymond Geer Natural Area for a local soldier killed in Iraq.
In cooperation with the city, volunteers from the Kokopelli Bike club have been busy installing twisting single-track loops that cater to mountain bikers. So far, three to four miles have been installed, with more to come.
“The new bike loop at Geer has really nice flow and never crosses itself,” said Paul Adams, a Kokopelli volunteer. “It avoids the walking trails at Carpenter, and is open to all users.”
Trails catering to hikers are also planned and will be wider with a more direct layout. So far, 12 trail volunteers have logged 150 hours working on the trails. Officials expect them to be completed and signed by next year.
A nearly mile-long, side-by-side walking trail will be installed around the pond, said parks and rec director Dean Palmquist. And a new trailhead and parking area are planned off Country Road L.
“Our goal is to have the new trailhead open by Memorial Day so we can have a dedication for naming after veteran George Geer,” Palmquist said.
Cortez leaders deserve credit for setting aside land for permanent open space, Palmquist said.
“They had the vision for purchasing property for community benefit,” he said. “It is a long-term investment that is a wonderful addition for Cortez.”
Stay tuned: A plan is underway to allow access to five more miles of single-track trails in the area.