New mountain bike trails underway in Shavano Gateway | Local News Stories

The development of 20 miles of single-track path within the Shavano Gateway Recreation Space have formally begun with the hopes of part one being accomplished by the top of the 12 months. The paths have formally been named “Electrical Hills” as an acknowledgment to Elevate Fiber, a significant donor to the mission.

The Bureau of Land Administration in 2019 authorized development and upkeep of as much as 20 miles of mountain bike trails within the 1,100-acre Shavano Gateway Recreation web site, positioned roughly 6 or 7 miles southwest of city on 90 Highway, with Montrose Nation, and the Montrose-Uncompahgre Chapter of the Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Path Affiliation, or MUT/COPMOBA.

The BLM has labored on creating the path system and trailhead since 2017, after the thought was conceived in 2016.

“Plenty of consideration goes into the placement of the place to place a path system,” stated Garry Baker, path mission lead.

The mission builders needed the paths to be on BLM land as a result of it “is absolutely the one choice to get a large path system anyplace near Montrose,” Baker added.

Part one of many mission known as for the event of 1.5 miles of path to be constructed with an estimated volunteer effort of 500 hours.

This summer season, a half-mile of path was accomplished, with the hopes of ending part one by the top of November. The leaders of the mission are engaged on acquiring a grant from Colorado Parks and Wildlife to fund a mixture of volunteer work in addition to skilled work. They hope to get about half of the 20 miles accomplished by the top of subsequent 12 months, with the opposite half accomplished by the next 12 months.

Volunteers for Colorado (VOC) is partnering with the BLM, Montrose County, and MUT to carry a path constructing occasion in Could of 2021. This would come with VOC coming to Electrical Hills for a weekend and constructing as a lot path as doable. The occasion was initially scheduled for Could of 2020, however was delayed resulting from COVID-19.

Ultimately, volunteers are planning to attach the Electrical Hills to a different chain of trails in Spring Creek Canyon, about 5 miles to the east. In 2019, the development of two bridges was accomplished, offering safer driving throughout the spring season on this space. With the 2 path networks linked, a complete of about 30 miles altogether could be achieved.

The Electrical Hills mission is a part of a protracted vary plan to construct 40 miles of path inside half-hour of Montrose.

“It might be nice if it may very well be accomplished by 2025,” Baker stated.

After the Electrical Hills are accomplished, the paths shall be monitored to see how well-liked they change into; nevertheless, on the identical time, volunteers will begin constructing different connections within the trails.

“The extra connections you’ve gotten, the extra well-liked it’s going to be. We actually hope to take some strain off of Buzzard Gulch,” Baker stated, in a reference to the favored 12 miles of single-track path positioned about 5 to six miles southwest of Montrose.

He stated it’s essential to extend the quantity of trails Montrose has in comparison with different cities.

“We wish to get Montrose into that league the place we generally is a extra authentic outside vacation spot,” Baker stated.

The mission can even change into a venue for the Montrose Excessive College Mountain Bike Workforce to host competitions.

“This may enable them to have a world class path system proper in Montrose’s again yard,” he added.

The volunteers additionally needed it to be close to a major highway and inside half-hour from Montrose to offer quick access. Different issues included if the land was beneath wildlife safety or if it had many historic and cultural artifacts. “And naturally you need it to be on terrain that’s going to be actually enjoyable and funky to journey,” Baker added.