New trail debuts at Stagecoach State Park |

New trail debuts at Stagecoach State Park

Matt Stensland

— As visitation begins to pick up, Stagecoach State Park is debuting a new trail overlooking the reservoir.

The Pinnacle Peak Trail was built using a $15,000 grant from the state. It is about ½ mile long and loops around the scenic peak next to the campgrounds. It is a beginner trail for non-motorized users.

“It’s a pretty nice trail,” Kimi Lehman said while hiking the trail with her three young daughters. “Beautiful view.”

The park hired David “DJ” Winter to build the trail.

“DJ brings a lot of experience,” Park Ranger Mark Lehman said. “He really has an eye for the layout and can build a trail that’s as maintenance free as possible.”

Winter is retired from the U.S. Forest Service. He spent most of his career building roads, but would occasionally get to work on trail projects. He helped build the Overlook, Lower Bear, Mountain View, Spring Creek and Beall trails.

To build the four-foot wide trail, Winter used his trusty miniature bulldozer that he bought from the Forest Service. The machine is loud, and the work is dirty.

“It’s kind of like being on a mechanical bull for a six-hour stretch,” Winter said.

The project took Winter about three weeks.

“Like a kid in the sandbox,” Winter said.

Some finishing work still needs to be done, but the trail is now open.

The 820-acre Stagecoach Reservoir and Marina Boat Ramp opens to boaters at 8 a.m. May 1. The Morrison Cove Boat Ramp is scheduled to open Memorial Day weekend. The marina store will open May 22.

Park officials caution that it is the beginning of the boating season, and there may be debris and unmarked hazards in the water. Boaters are encouraged to use life jackets.

“The water is still extremely cold,” Park Manager Craig Preston said in a news release. “If you happen to fall in, hypothermia can set-in very quickly. It will be extremely difficult or impossible to rescue yourself if you are not wearing a life jacket.”

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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