Crews working on new Emerald Mountain trail | SteamboatToday.com

Crews working on new Emerald Mountain trail

Scott Franz

Rocky Mountain Youth Corps crew leader Kassie Nolan works on a portion of the new Bluff Loops Trail on Thursday. A part of the old Bluff Loops Trail is being rerouted and the new portion of trail will give bike riders a less strenuous path up a piece of Emerald Mountain.

— Chainsaws were buzzing Thursday up on Emerald Mountain as crews worked to build another new mountain biking trail in Steamboat Springs.

The rerouted Bluffs Loop Trail will provide bike riders a more mellow ride from the horse stables parking lot at Howelsen Hill up to the Ricky’s Ridge trail on Emerald.

The trail will have a 5 percent grade and will be 4-feet wide.

When they pitched the trail last year, biking advocates said it would make it easier for beginner bike riders to make the initial ascent up Emerald.

“It’s kind of unfortunate that we currently suffer through the first half of the mountain to enjoy the upper half when we could very easily enjoy the lower half as well,” Routt County Riders’ Eric Meyer said at a public hearing on the trail.

The manager of a local bike shop also expressed support for the new trail to make it easier for beginners to access the trail networks up on Emerald. And Steamboat’s Parks and Recreation Commission endorsed the idea.

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As a result of the new trail, the beginning section of the old Bluffs Loop Trail will be closed and revegetated.

Another reason why the new trail was proposed is because the old trail is on an unsustainable grade.

Crews expect the first phase of the trail construction to last about two weeks.

Rocky Mountain Youth Corps members were clearing brush on Thursday. Routt County Riders also got to put its new trail-building machine to use.

The new trail is a partnership between the city of Steamboat Springs, Routt County Riders and the Youth Corps.

Click here to learn more about the current trail conditions on Emerald.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10

Town Challenge passes on sale

Season passes for the 2016 Town Challenge Mountain Bike Series are currently on sale.

If passes are purchased before 11:30 p.m. on Friday, May 27, participants will receive discounted, early bird pricing of $160 for adults and $60 for a youth. The season passes provide participants with entry into all eight of the 2016 Town Challenge races. Prices will increase on Saturday, May 28. Individual race registration for the Marabou XC on Wednesday, June 1 is also available.

Participants can register online until 11:30 p.m. the night prior to the race, or onsite at the race location from 4:15 to 5:15 p.m. on race day. For more information and to purchase your 2016 Town Challenge season pass, visit http://www.townchallenge… or call 970-871-7031.