City comes together to fund much-needed work on NPR
One of the most popular trails on Emerald Mountain is getting some much-needed attention over the next three weeks. No Pedaling Required, better known as NPR, is undergoing serious work from top to bottom to bring the trail back to its original form.
“We’re addressing areas where the berms are falling apart and building those up and rebuilding those with imported dirt,” said Craig Robinson, open space and trails manager for the city of Steamboat Springs. “(We’re also) redoing the jumps and landings of any of the tabletop jumps we have in place, the rollers and addressing areas where we have brake bumps or washboard have occurred. Additionally, we’ll be doing some corridor clearing and general maintenance while we’re up there.”
Severe drought and increased usage have badly eroded the trail since it was built in 2015. It’s an important asset to the Emerald Mountain trail network since it’s the only downhill-only trail.
Work begins this week at the top of the trail and will extend into June over the course of about three weeks. The trail will be closed in sections depending on where work is occurring.
Conservation Trails, led by Aryeh Copa, will be completing the work, and city staff and Routt County Riders will manage the project.
Parks and Recreation was hoping half the expense of the job would be covered by a Great Outdoors Colorado grant, but they didn’t receive the funding. In December, they were awarded $4,000 from the Trail Maintenance Endowment Fund, but that would cover a fraction of the initial project plans. Much of the funding was provided through a “generous community donor,” according to a release from the city. That donor also launched an initiative to involve more of the community in donating to the project.
“NPR is a big community asset,” said Laraine Martin, director of Routt County Riders. “We have a lot of ridership and members who consider it one of their favorite downhill flows. … It’s definitely a fun, flowy ride and people want to incorporate that into their daily rides.”
Routt County Riders and the city of Steamboat Springs are also pitching in financing, and Native Excavating and Alpine Mountain Ranch are both donating dirt. Dirt typically costs a lot to purchase and move, so having two local companies offer up their supply and services was a huge help in reducing the cost of the project.
“It shows the community really cares about the recreation that it has, and people are stepping up to help make sure it is safe and fun to use when resources are challenging to get work done,” Robinson said.
Making the trail safe and fun again is the main goal, but the scope of the work won’t be the same as originally planned. The trail won’t be entirely rebuilt but will certainly look closer to new when the work is done.
“We ask people to respect the trail closures,” Robinson said. “If a trail is closed, it’s because there’s a crew working on it, or there’s unsafe conditions on that trail.”
NPR is one of the most popular trails on Emerald Mountain, with RCR’s magnetic trail counter recording 21,647 passersby on the bridge throughout the entire summer of 2020.
The trail also had some work done last summer, as the city hired FlowRide Concepts to extend NPR all the way to the base of Howelsen Hill.
Shelby Reardon is the assistant editor at the Steamboat Pilot & Today. To reach her, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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