Major trails project approved by feds for western Boulder County

From the Times Call

Johnnie LeFaiver, at front, and Ali Gottlieb cross-country ski together on Wednesday at the West Magnolia Trailhead near Nederland. ( Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer )

The U.S. Forest Service is going forward with plans for a 44-mile, non-motorized trail system across about 6,000 acres branching out from the Peak to Peak Highway near Nederland.

The project, known as the Magnolia Non-Motorized Trails Project, was approved in the same form as a draft decision on the proposal, which was issued in August.

There are currently about 60 miles of trail in the project area. That includes 14 miles of national forest system trails plus about 46 miles of non-system or user-created trails, which are not sanctioned by the Forest Service.

“The decision allows the Forest Service to optimize trail experiences to meet user demand,” Boulder Ranger District recreation manager Matt Henry said in a prepared statement.

“As the Front Range population continues to increase, people are going to seek places to recreate. By providing a sustainable, accessible and well-connected trail system, we can get ahead of that trend, and better protect wildlife and the environment in the process.”

The decision permits improved trailheads, including bathrooms and expanded parking at West Magnolia and Front Range trailheads, plus facilities for horse trailers at West Magnolia Trailhead as well as new signage. It also bans snowmobiles, and restricts bikes and horses to designated trails in the project area.

Additionally, it provides an opportunity to groom non-motorized trails in winter for Nordic skiing and fat tire biking.

Read the full story here

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