New Spring Creek Trail proposed for mountain bikers |

New Spring Creek Trail proposed for mountain bikers

Scott Franz

A cyclist zips down a trail near Spring Creek. One of the first lodging tax trail projects included an extension of the Lower Spring Creek Trail to a better pedestrian crossing at Amethyst Drive. The trail extension formed a better connection from downtown Steamboat to the Spring Creek area.

A downhill mountain biking trail that’s in the works would run parallel to the city’s existing Spring Creek Trail and offer cyclists a new, less crowded way to reach city limits from Buffalo Pass.

The downhill-only trail could run from the Dry Lake Campground on Buffalo Pass to the Spring Creek ponds.

It would also aim to reduce conflicts between cyclists and other trail users in the area.

"The vision is to develop a sustainable trail for intermediate and experts (cyclists) to safely get down from Buffalo Pass and minimize impacts to other recreationalists using the Spring Creek Trail," city trails manager Craig Robinson wrote in a memo outlining the proposal to the Parks and Recreation Commission.

The trail was proposed by the Steamboat Springs Trails Alliance.

With new trails being built on Buffalo Pass, officials predict more cyclists will be in the area, and there could be more conflicts between them and other trail users if the cyclists continue to ride down from the remote trail system on the existing Spring Creek Trail.

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The new pathway would be funded by lodging tax dollars voters approved to spend on trail improvements.

A committee that has vetted the trail proposals has approved funding for the design of the trail this year, with possible construction in 2018.

Before the project moves forward, the city hopes to receive public comment on the idea.

The Parks and Recreation Commission will hear the proposal Wednesday.

To leave the commission a comment prior to Wednesday’s meeting, click here.

Robin son notes that the Spring Creek Trail is already heavily used by hikers, dog-walkers and cyclists during summer months, and conflicts have been reported between some trail users and mountain bikers traveling at high rates of speed.

The trail proposal includes two sections.

The first section would start at the Dry Lake parking lot and end where the single track meets Spring Creek Road.

The second would start near the end of the first and end near the ponds.

City officials estimate the trail will cost somewhere between $50,000 to $160,000, depending on its length.

The U.S. Forest Service would also be involved in the planning, because part of the trail would pass through the National Forest.

According to Robinson, wildlife officials have noted that if the trail stays close to the existing Spring Creek Trail, impacts to wildlife may be minimized.

But the trail alignment is expected to be challenging in the Spring Creek corridor due to rocky canyon walls, creeks, and property boundaries, he noted.

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

If you go

What: Public meeting to discuss new Spring Creek Trail proposal

When: 5: 30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017

Where: Citizens Hall, 124 10th Street