The Forest Service addresses riders during an open house at Winter Park Resort. | Photo by Kim Godfrey
WINTER PARK, CO – A large crew of downhill mountain bikers attended a public open house meeting last Monday evening, June 22, to learn about plans for Phase 2 of Trestle Bike Park's proposed expansion. Nearly every seat in the hot and stuffy room of the Balcony House at Winter Park Resort was taken as riders gathered to take part in the discussion and learn what the proposal means for what is one of the most easily accessible—and favorite—bike parks for many riders who live on Colorado's densely populated Front Range.
Winter Park Resort operates Trestle Bike Park in Arapaho National Forest under a special use permit, and the U.S. Forest Service is in the process of reviewing the proposed expansion, which would result in 10.2 miles of new trails near Vasquez Ridge served by the Olympia lift, expanding the park's trail mileage by approximately 25 percent, as well as decommissioning others.
The decommissioning is both due to lack of use and to protect sensitive wildlife, according to the resort.
Icarus represents a large portion of trail that will be decommissioned. This seemed agreeable among the downhillers in attendance, as the trail is rarely used, located far away from the rest of the bike park on the Mary Jane side.
All of Lonesome Whistle and Jackelope will be closed.
The other trail that will be decommissioned is a portion of Mountain Goat. The gravity crowd didn't seem to object to this either, since the climb out at the end of the trail includes a grunt up a fireroad rather than being funneled back to the base area like most of the bike park's trails served by the Zephyr, Eskimo and Gemini lifts.
The map proposing Trestle Bike Park's expansion at Winter Park Resort features more than 10 miles of new trails. | Photo by Kim Godfrey
New trails will be built mostly near the Pioneer Express lift, opening up a new side of the mountain previously not accessible to mountain bikes via chairlift.
Lastly, some cross-country trails that already exist but are not part of the resort, will basically be adopted. This is good news for those that like to pedal because now those trails can be used for races.
The next steps in the Phase 2 process will be for riders to provide feedback about what type of trail they want the new 10.2 miles to be.
Among Rocky Mountain riders, Trestle is known for being a fun and flowy bike park, meanwhile Keystone is the natural terrain with gnar, and Angel Fire has a bit of everything. I’m anticipating Trestle will want to expand with more natural features including rock gardens and technical lines. Features like this would round out the skill sets of riders and diversify the resort that claims it is the fastest growing bike park in America.
The Forest Service is expected to release a preliminary decision in September followed by a final decision in November, according to the resort.
Pending approval, construction could begin next summer, but would likely take several years to complete.
The Forest Service is accepting public comment until July 6.
Riders have until July 6, 2015 to submit comment on the types of trails they'd like to see built at Trestle Bike Park. | Photo by Kim Godfrey
If you would like to submit comments, please review the comment form’s necessary information fields and submit to Nick Schade at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The plan is to build new trails as well as decommission others. This
is necessary to balance environmental effects.
The US Forest Service proposal includes the following:
●10.2 miles of new downhill mountain bike trails;
●Add 2.2 miles of existing non-system mountain bike trails to the park;
●Decommission/reclaim 5.4 miles of existing bike trails;
●Decommission/reclaim 1.6 miles of administrative road.
by Kim Godfrey