Spoke Talk: Tackling trails around town
With the wet spring we’ve been enduring, city trails have been some of the only off-road places to cycle.
The almost-seven-mile Yampa River Core Trail has experienced its usual springtime closures. Heed the closure signs — they’re usually due to flooding this time of year. Beyond the safety issues, who wants to soak their gears in river water?
Once the summer commuter and visitor season is in full swing, the core trail will be abuzz with activity. Be aware of the diverse group of users who share it — bikers, walkers, skateboarders, commuters and visitors, young and old.
The City’s Bear River Bike Park and Skate Park are situated at the western end of the core trail. Routt County Riders leads trail work sessions at Bear River Bike Park every Wednesday beginning at 5 p.m. — the public is invited to help out, then stick around to practice riding in the park and enjoy pizza.
Something new has been added to the core trail since last summer. An enhanced pedestrian crossing was installed where the trail meets Mount Werner Road; the new crossing flashes when trail users activate it to make the crossing more visible. Funding for this project was provided by lodging tax dollars.
When Spring Creek Trail is mentioned, most people think of the trailhead that begins at the intersection of Amethyst Drive and East Maple Street. Lower Spring Creek Trail actually initiates just behind the post office near the intersection of Oak and Third streets and follows the creek through a wooded section and behind the high school before it emerges at Amethyst Drive. Work on Lower Spring Creek Trail last fall created a small section of trail that connects to another enhanced pedestrian crossing at Amethyst and East Maple, thanks, once again, to lodging tax dollars. Spring Creek Trail is one of the best options after a spell of rainy weather — it dries out relatively quickly. Remember — all trail users should stick to the trail, and if doing so collects soil, they should turn around. Traveling alongside the trail or around a wet spot causes damage.
Both the Core Trail and Spring Creek Trail are popular among residents and visitors. That translates to a lot of trail users recreating at the same time. Following are safety guidelines to make everyone’s city trail experiences good ones.
Respect all trail users. Some are fast, some slow but all should travel at a safe speed and stay in control. Users should stay toward the right side of the trail except when passing. Perhaps most importantly, alert other users before passing with a bike bell or by calling out, and pass on the left side when it is safe to do so. Numerous trash and recycle receptacles are located along Steamboat’s city trails — use them! Motorized vehicles including e-bikes are prohibited. Dogs are required to be on six-foot handheld leash and under control at all times on all city trails, except within designated off-leash zones such as at Spring Creek Park Off Leash Dog Park.
It’s all common sense, but it doesn’t hurt to review with youngsters or visitors who may not be accustomed to such a great amenity as our city trail system.
Wendy Tucciarone is a Routt County Riders member, volunteer and the club’s administrator.
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