Trails 2000

Based in Durango, Colorado, Trails 2000 is a 501c3 organization that builds and maintains trails; educates trail users and encourages connectivity on road, path and trail.
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Carver Brewing On Why Support Trails

April 7, 2017

Photo: ​Mike Hurst (center) with Travis Brown and Ned Overend at the top of Sugar Trail during Todd & Ned’s Dirt Fondo​.

Trails 2000 will soon celebrate with the Durango community during the Trails and Ales Party at Carver Brewing Company on Wednesday, April 26. The annual event has been hosted by Carvers (on Facebook) for many, many years; but, the Trails 2000-Carvers’ partnership goes back even further. Starting in the late 80s when Trails 2000 was first established as the region’s independent, nonprofit trail group, it was only a few months later that “Carvers” would start brewing beer to become “Carver Brewing,” the southwest’s original craft brew pub. Even back then, the young partnership came almost naturally, as like-minded individuals found sanctuary on Durango’s miles of trail and in Carver’s welcoming, nourishing restaurant and brewery; today, the duo remains.

While Carver’s supports trails year round, Trails and Ales is a prime example of Carvers’ support of Trails 2000, as they not only generously provide the outdoor patio venue for the event, but also offer a beer, wine or root beer, delicious spread of vegetarian or beef chili, and salad to any attendee who joins, renews, or gives a minimum of $20 to Trails 2000. This year, the first 40 attendees to donate also receive a Carver’s t-shirt or souvenir beer glass, as an added bonus. Unable to attend the event? Carvers is even offering a special gift to anyone who joins Trails 2000 during the month of April.

We just had to find out more about Carver’s motivation for supporting Trails 2000 and their sheer excitement for trails, so we sat down with Carver Brewing’s Owner Mike Hurst. Hurst is an avid trail supporter and user, whether he is out on the trails biking or hiking with family, friends and fellow trail fiends. Read on for more on why Carvers supports Trails 2000 and why you should too:

Photo: Mike Hurst and family on Animas Mountain.

[Trails 2000] Hi Mike! Thanks for joining us. Tell us about the motivation/reasoning at Carver Brewing for supporting Trails 2000 and the trails in Durango.
[Mike Hurst] My favorite Trails 2000 quote says: “Great Communities Build Great Trails, and Great Trails Build Great Communities.”
[T2000] Hey! That’s one of our favorites, too. And, “Happy Trails,” of course. Ok, go on.
[Hurst] Well, at Carvers we see it first hand when an employee is all jazzed about his/her first time mountain biking down Star Wars, or when backpackers come in fresh off the Colorado Trail with giant smiles on their faces as they order a beer and one of our big, juicy burgers. Trails make people happy.

[T2000] They sure do. So does good food and great beer! Pair the three together, and boy, what a trio you’ve got. What do you think makes this combo work so well?
[Hurst] Since the beginning, the people that have made up Trails 2000 and Carvers have been like-minded neighbors and friends with a love for our great outdoors. Trails 2000’s founding Executive Director Bill Manning was one of our favorite regulars at Carvers. Still today, we get treated to regular visits by Trails 2000 staff and volunteers.

[T2000] Wow. That’s over 25 years of ‘friendship’ right there. In your opinion, how do Carvers’ values align with Trails 2000?
[Hurst] At Carvers, our mission is to have our guests feel welcome, “at home” and taken care of while with us and to leave refreshed in body and spirit. Getting out on the trail is a similar experience where you get to return home refreshed in body and spirit—only a bit dirtier and sometimes scraped up!

[T2000] Don’t we know it! Now on to the main event: the Trails and Ales Party, coming up on Wednesday, April 26! As the long-time host, what do you most look forward to at this year’s event?
[Hurst] That’s an easy one: getting together with friends and getting to buy them a beer!

Photo: Mike Hurst during XC mountain bike race, spring 2017.

[T2000] Cheers to that—It is always a great event and we are grateful for all Carvers does to make it possible! Now, tell us a bit about your use of the trails.
[Hurst] Man, there’s a ton of options! Taking the family for a hike through Dalla Mountain Park (with plenty of playing on the bouldering problems), pinning it up Telegraph on the XC bike, snowbiking through Hidden Valley (which makes for a scenic work commute too), high-country wildflower missions from Molas Pass to town on the CT…I just need to try horseback riding I suppose.


[T2000] Yes, sounds like it. Why do you personally support trails?
[Hurst] I’m a self-professed beer drinker with a cycling problem. Durango provides the perfect training ground for athletes (and beer drinkers). The caliber of runners, cyclists and other professional athletes that utilize these trails is world class—probably the best in the country. What’s even more motivating is seeing these same athletes out there working on trails and supporting Trails 2000.

[T2000] Absolutely. What do you most value about the trails?
[Hurst] The freedom you feel when the tires/shoes/boots/hooves hit the dirt. And you don’t even have to get in your vehicle to get there. You just walk out the door and there’s singletrack for miles and miles, beckoning you to leave your worries and distractions behind and simply enjoy the outdoors. 

[T2000] Beautifully said, Mike. Tell us about your trailwork experience! Why is it important for you to give back on the trails?
[Hurst] I still have a goal of getting my chainsaw certification but until that happens, I’m relegated to infrequent trailing clearings and waterbar work. It can be easy to feel guilty when you leave work, family and all your “to-do’s” behind to get out on a trail. When you give back on the trails you at least don’t have to feel guilty for reaping the benefits of all that hard work done by trail crews and Trails 2000! That and who doesn’t love playing in the dirt?

[T2000] We sure do! What do trails mean to you?
[Hurst] Wilderness therapy has to be one of the healthiest, most effective ways to work through life’s challenges. Getting outdoors is a chance to hit the reset button. Trails offer the easiest access to this. All you need is a pair of shoes, really.

Photo: Hurst children on the Animas River Trail.

[T2000] And, what is your favorite trail and why?
[Hurst] Animas Mountain: whenever you’ve got a small window of free time you can hit Animas, get your heart rate up and before you know it you’ve topped out and the entire Animas Valley, Missionary Ridge, Needles and La Plata ranges have opened up before you. The downhill’s also quite a thrill.

[T2000] If you could offer advice to trail users or future generations, what would it be?
[Hurst] Don’t ever take trails for granted. Keep in mind they’re shared by diverse user groups. If we all work together to maintain and advocate for our trails they can be around for future generations. Oh, and try beer as a recovery drink—I recommend Saison for a post-trail treat (Carver’s handcrafted root beer is a good option for the kiddos and non-drinkers).

[T2000] Ok, now for our favorite part: the Trails 20000 speed round. Ready, set:
Pulaski or McLeod? 
[Hurst] Pulaski—great for getting through those roots!
Run, hike, bike or ride (or horses)? [Hurst] Biking, then running and hiking.
Tea or coffee (or beer!)? [Hurst] Coffee->Ride Bikes->Beer->(repeat)…

[T2000] Wow, thanks so much, Mike. Anything else you would like us to know about you, or specific to your support of Trails 2000?
[Hurst] I’ve always felt like this community and particularly, Carvers and Trails 2000, have taken me under their wing and taught me some major life lessons. Ever since the beginning the Carver brothers, Bill Manning, Trails 2000’s current Executive Director Mary Monroe Brown, and lots of Trails 2000 stakeholders like Ed and Patti Zink have shown the importance of finding common ground amongst different groups to work together and achieve a common goal—like building and maintaining trails. A town the size of Durango wouldn’t have its outdoor culture and amenities without people wearing multiple hats and giving back time and time again. It’s both humbling and inspiring. At Fort Lewis College’s Community Cycling celebration, Olympic Mountain Biker Todd Wells might’ve put it best: “The really cool thing about Durango is all of you make this seem normal.”

Happy Trails!

©2018 Trails 2000 • PO Box 3868 • Durango, CO 81301 • 970-259-4682


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