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.
Support our Work.
The San Juan National Forest announced a Forest-wide Stage 3 fire closure effective as of today, Tuesday, June 12, for the first time since the forest was designated a national forest more than a hundred years ago. The closure order is expected to remain in effect until the forest receives sufficient moisture to improve conditions. See map 1 below.
La Plata County has elevated to Stage III and the City of Durango Open Space and Trails are temporarily CLOSED. This includes Horse Gulch, Overend, Dalla, Animas Mountain (the access is City), the Dog Park and Lake Nighthorse. BLM trails are open if accessible and the Three Springs trails are open.
The Trail Conditions report is updated with a list of open trails and suggestions for surrounding area trails to access. This is a very difficult time for all of us and we appreciate the support of our trails community and the fire response teams. Please be vigilant.
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more updates, and sign up for our Trail Talk E-Newsletter (in the upper left hand corner of the website) for updates on trail and forest closures due to fires in Southwest Colorado.
Thank you to all firefighting and emergency response teams for all you are doing for Durango!
In partnership with Trails 2000, Three Springs has officially opened the Spur Line Trails—five new miles of introductory singletrack and a small pump track located off Wilson Gulch Road on the northeast side of Three Springs neighborhood.
“We are excited to open the new singletrack and pump track that makes up the Spur Line trail network. Working with Trails 2000, we were able to lay out a sustainable design intended to work for introductory mountain bikers of all ages. So far the interest has been considerable ranging from young kids interested in using the pump track to our adult residents hoping to learn to mountain bike,” said Patrick Morrissey, President and COO of GF Properties Group, the developer of Three Springs.
Brent Brown, project manager for the GF Properties Group, conducted the initial lay-out of the trails and consulted with the Trails 2000 staff to create a sustainable trail design. Hogan Koesis, director of mountain biking at Purgatory Resort, played an integral role in building the trails as the head machine operator, working alongside Trails 2000 crew leaders and volunteers.
“Purgatory is proud to partner with Trails 2000, the City of Durango, and Three Springs to complete this project,” stated Koesis. “I was happy to lend a hand in developing beginner terrain that is undoubtedly in high demand in the Durango area.”
“Purgatory has been a fantastic partner, acting as the high country hub for trail experiences. We’ve built many of the trails on the mountain and now that Hogan is onboard, we’ve been able to expand our partnership to a higher level,” said Mary Monroe Brown, Trails 2000 Executive Director and CEO.
Work will continue to expand the Spur Line Trails thanks to the help of crew leaders and volunteers from Trails 2000, which recently hosted their official Crew Leader Training on the Spur Line Trails site.
“Three Springs and Trails 2000 have partnered to expand trail experiences on the future location of the Community Park in Three Springs,” said Cathy Metz, Parks and Recreation Director for the City of Durango. “Trails 2000 surveys have indicated that users are seeking beginner, as well as technical trail experiences, and the City is pleased that our partners were able to deliver on those trail requests.”
Trails 2000 continues trailwork in Three Springs this season, including the addition of a Northern trail that will connect to Cowboy, Sidewinder and Horse Gulch.
View the map of the Spur Line Trails here.
Please note: Registration is now full for May through July; thanks to our community we received overwhelming positive support! Please stay tuned as we will post shifts for August through October in the coming weeks.
Please sign up to help Trails 2000 conduct a Trail Impact Study during the 2018 trail season to gain insight into annual trail use in Durango. Volunteers are needed to administer the survey at various trailheads throughout Durango from May through October; sign up is now available below (for shifts May through July).
The simple, three-question survey aims to collect demographic information about trail users, such as gender, age, and hometown, as well as trail use data including trail location, activity, frequency, and date of use. The data collected will provide insight into the number of people who use the trails annually, as well as help demonstrate the economic benefits of hiking, mountain biking, trail running, walking and other trail recreation activities in Durango.
Volunteers will be stationed at various in-town and high country trailheads where they will interact with users who pass by, requesting they complete the short survey. Volunteers must be 18 or older and have transportation available to them. Volunteers should meet at the trailhead during their designated shift time and dress accordingly to be outside for the duration of their shift, i.e. wear proper sun protection. Sun hats and camp chairs are available from Trails 2000 if needed, and volunteers will receive snacks, beverages and swag, along with a great sense of support for trails.
Interested in committing to a minimum of four shifts (20 hours)? Trails 2000 will offer paid positions for individuals who can commit to a minimum of four volunteer shifts (20 hours, $10/hour). Please specify at registration.
Registration is now full for May through July. Please stay tuned as we will post shifts for August through October in the coming weeks.
Getting your dog outside is good for the health of both you and your dog. But hiking with a dog is different than hiking with people. It is important to be aware of dog etiquette and safety on trails and open space, including keeping your dog on a leash and packing out your dog’s waste. This week, Trails 2000 is excited to launch our second video in our informational and educational video campaign aimed at educating and inspiring users to follow certain etiquette and safety guidelines when traveling on trails in Durango and the surrounding area. Video #2, entitled “Got Leash?” explains simple guidelines to help keep you, your dog and other trail users safe, as well as protect the natural environment including wildlife and vegetation.
On City of Durango open space and trails, dogs must be on a leash at all times. By keeping your dog on a leash, you protect your dog and others. A leash even protects dogs from natural hazards like wildlife and other dogs on the trails and helps to protect property, vegetation, and wildlife.
Remember, not every dog is as friendly as yours. By keeping them on a leash, you can control their interactions and continue to enjoy your hike. If your dog is running off leash, it is unclear to that user how your dog is going to react to them, their dog or their children.
When choosing a leash, remember to pick one that allows you to keep your dog close by your side. Longer leashes can be hazardous to other trail users.
You are required to pick up your dogs waste, as it contains pathogens, bacteria and parasites that pollute our rivers, lakes and streams. You should allows carry a poop bag to properly pack out your dogs waste. Please don’t leave the baggy by the side of the trail to grab later, since it looks like trash to everyone else.
Keeping your dog on a leash is a simple and courteous thing to do, both for you, your dog, other trail users, and the natural environment. Please always keep your dog on a leash and pack out your dog’s waste.
Watch the video here or by clicking the video above. Missed video #1 in our series, entitled “It’s Up To Me” on the important of abiding by seasonal wildlife closures? Click here to watch today. Campaign videos were made possible through Trails 2000’s receipt of the Partners in the Outdoors grant from Colorado Parks and Recreation Association (CPRA) in partnership with Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW). The videos were produced by Coldstream Creative and include local talent.
You’re invited to join Trails 2000 for their spring membership event to kick off the 2018 trail season: our annual Trails and Ales Party, on Wednesday, April 11, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Carver Brewing Company. Come meet and mingle with trail enthusiasts, learn more about how to get involved with Trails 2000, and give back to the trails in Durango. Sponsored by First National Bank, the event features trail swag giveaways, a delicious spread of chili and salad, and a beer, glass of wine or root beer from Carvers to anyone who joins, renews or gives to Trails 2000.
Proceeds from the Trails and Ales Party directly support Trails 2000’s mission to plan, build and maintain Durango’s trail network, educate trail users, and encourage connectivity on road, path, and trail. With over 300 miles of trails within 30 minutes of downtown, Durango is a trail mecca! Partnering with the City, County, Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and private landowners, Trails 2000 and our cadre of volunteers contribute over 3,500 hours of trailwork on these lands.
Stay tuned! Save the date for our 2018 trailwork season Trailwork Kickoff Party on Wednesday, April 18. All weekend warriors, trail blazers, wanderers and trail lovers alike are invited to come out for a fun work day to kick off the 2018 trail season; details and volunteer sign up to be announced.
Trails 2000 hosts over 30 public trailwork parties on Wednesdays and other scheduled days throughout the trail season, including the annual Colorado Trail (CT) Work Weekend in mid-June 2018. The fun-filled camping weekend includes work on Trails 2000’s adopted section of the CT, sections 28.2 and 28.3 from Champion Venture to Junction Creek, totaling 19.1 miles and the longest adopted section in the state. Trails 2000 will also host a work day and celebration on Saturday, September 29, in recognition of National Public Lands Day.
No experience is necessary to volunteer at trailwork, and Trails 2000 provides the necessary instruction and safety tool talk, all tools, gloves, and water and snacks for the entire crew. For more information on upcoming trail events, please visit our Trail Calendar.
Ever wonder why certain trails in Durango have seasonal wildlife closures? During the winter months, deer and elk need safe harbors and seasonal wildlife closures are essential for the animals to survive. Even when there is no snow on the ground these areas are critical for animals to make it through the winter. That’s why Trails 2000 this week launched an informational and educational video campaign aimed at educating and inspiring users to follow certain etiquette and safety guidelines when traveling on trails in Durango and the surrounding area. The first video, “It’s Up To Me,” highlights the importance of abiding by the winter seasonal wildlife closures.
The seasonal wildlife closures remain in effect until April 15 on the following areas:
Animas City Mountain
Twin Buttes Area
Bodo State Wildlife Areas
Stay tuned! In a few weeks, Trails 2000 will launch the second video, entitled “Got Leash?,” to highlight the importance of keeping dogs on a leash while on the trail. Campaign videos were made possible through Trails 2000 receipt of the Partners in the Outdoors grant from the Colorado Parks and Recreation Association (CPRA) in partnership with Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW). The videos were produced by Coldstream Creative and include local talent.
Trails 2000 has teamed up with Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado’s (VOC) Outdoor Stewardship Institute (OSI) to offer an exciting training program for trail crew leadership in Durango, Friday and Saturday, May 4 and 5, 2018. The two-day Trail Crew Leader Training will introduce the fundamentals of successful volunteer crew management and is open to all levels of trail experience, from beginner to long-time volunteer. The training program is taught by long-time OSI instructors, Kim Frederick and Jim “Patch” Patchell, who bring many years experience in sustainable trail design and crew leadership.
Upon competition of the program, Trails 2000 will hire interested and qualified crew leaders for the 2018 season to assist the organization during public trailwork days.
Space is limited and class fills up quickly; reserve your spot today.
Registration is now closed.
Are you interested in a unique opportunity to join a leading nonprofit organization in the outdoor industry? Do you want to live in a mountain town community, while making a significant positive impact on the lives of residents and visitors? Are you passionate about the outdoors and wish to combine your passion for trails and recreation with a career in the outdoor industry?
Durango Trails 2000 — local nonprofit trail organization in Durango, Colorado — is hiring for a full-time Trail Crew Lead. The ideal candidate will be a strong leader with expertise in the design, maintenance and development of system trails, including a knowledge of sustainable trail construction, group facilitation expertise, and strong project management skills. Working with and reporting to the Executive Director, the right person will also have a keen understanding of the importance of interacting with volunteers, the public and land managers and their role as an ambassador on and off the trail. Opportunities for professional development related to the job are available.
For full job description, click here.
If interested, please complete the online application below. A PDF resume is required when applying. Resumes must be submitted by Monday, February 26, with availability to work in Durango starting March 15. No phone calls, visits or mail please.
The application process is closed. Thank you.
Join the BLM to share your trail ideas for consideration in the upcoming Tres Rios Field Office Open House taking place this Wednesday, January 31 from 5p to 7pm at the Durango Public Library (1900 east Third Avenue).
As the leaves fall and snow returns to the high country, Trails 2000 reflects on a successful trail season thanks to members, volunteers and all who contributed to help build and maintain the vast, world-class trail network in Durango. We could not do what we do without YOU. Our members, volunteers and community supporters are critical to the work we do, and all types of support—from volunteering to financial contributions—make the work of Trails 2000 possible.
This year we accomplished more work than ever making the fundraising efforts ever more important. In 2017, Trails 2000 worked with over 600 community members during 6,000 hours of volunteer trailwork on 40-plus area trails with trail crew leaders and certified crew leaders to oversee volunteer teams. Notable milestones include:
Please join us as we continue our mission to plan, build and maintain trails, educate trail users, and encourage trail connectivity by contributing to our year end campaign to help create positive trail experiences for all users.
Trails 2000 will build two new trails—the Smokejumper’s Trail and a connect from Sugar to Skyline Trails—in Durango during the late fall of 2017. In late September, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) signed off on the environmental analysis (EA) required for trail proposals on federal lands, marking the final step required to start building the new trails. Find out how you can help out at trailwork.
The Smokejumper’s Trail, which will start at the top of Skyline and run north from Raider Ridge, is in honor of Joseph Philpott who died in an avalanche in 2013. Philpott grew up in Durango and went on to major in Forestry at NAU and CSU. He worked for the BLM as a smokejumper based in Boise, Idaho. Joe was an adventurous, conscientious young man and his parents were interested in honoring him to capture his dynamic nature.
“When we came to Trails 2000, Mary [Monroe Brown, executive director] suggested that we work on a trail that would reflect Joe’s amazing life and personality with a trail from Raider Ridge north on the BLM land. When we walked it, it felt like Joe,” said Margo Philpott, Joe’s mother. “It has beautiful ridgetop views, it’s rugged and is part of a long traverse that he used to run and train on.”
In 2014, Trails 2000 completed the Sugar Trail, connecting Skyline to Horse Gulch Road. (The Skyline Trail was built by Trails 2000 in 2009 to connect the Skyridge area to Powerline and the top of Hyper Extended Ridge.) Trails 2000 hoped to connect Sugar directly to Skyline at that time, but a portion of the trail would need to cross BLM land.
Trails on federal lands (Forest Service and BLM) require a level of environmental analysis necessary for NEPA—the National Environmental Policy Act. Trails 2000 entered into the proposal process and hired local environmental consultant, Heidi McGrath, a good friend of Joe’s and the Philpott family, to help see it through to completion.
“EAs are a lot of work and require analyzing various environmental impacts, from wildlife and plants to soils and recreation. It’s a time consuming process and a bit arduous, especially for small nonprofits. In Durango, we are surrounded by 60 percent of public lands, and trail proposals like that of Trails 2000 are an important economic driver for our community,” said McGrath, owner of Columbine Environment based in Durango. She added, “I was excited to be involved in this project since I knew Joe and the Philpott family would love the trail.”
The analysis also included a cultural resource survey to assess any artifacts that may exist on the trail. The cultural study, of which no artifacts were identified, was donated by ERO Resources, an environmental consulting firm based in Denver with a satellite office in Durango. “Trails 2000 does so much for our community, and as a trail user who owns a company in town, I was happy to find a way to give back by donating the analysis,” said Sean Larmore, principle investigator of ERO Resources in Durango.
In general, the process of how a trail becomes a trail can take anywhere from two to five years to complete. It requires involvement from various land managers and stakeholders, many of whom are long-time partners of Trails 2000, and involves idea development and research, to proposal and review, and finally to approval and building. (The Trails 2000 infographic, How a Trails Becomes a Trail, helps to illustrate this in-depth process.)
“The process [of how a trail becomes a trail] is complex; it requires vision, strategy and a certain level of tenacity,” said Trails 2000 board member, Christina Rinderle. “You need an organization like Trails 2000 out in front, gathering feedback, and keeping in touch with the community so you can devise a plan and see it through to completion.”
Trails 2000 will start building the trails, October 30 through November 2 (9 am to 5pm each day), and seeks volunteers to help out at trailwork. Details can be found at Trails 2000 Online Calendar and RSVP on Facebook. Volunteers are invited to come for as long or little as they can, and no experience is necessary as Trails 2000 crews will be on site with all tools, instruction and safety, and water and snacks for volunteers. The Philpott family plans to install the commemorative sign for the Smokejumper’s Trail in November.
“We feel grateful and honored to be part of helping expand the Trails 2000 trail system. We feel like it’s a way to give back to our community, by helping create something lasting, as well as to remember and honor Joseph,” said Margo Philpott.
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Are you an outdoor enthusiast looking for the perfect holiday gift to give back this season? Trails 2000 is excited to launch our Online Holiday Store that gives locals and visitors a unique way to give chic, handmade, functional gifts while supporting their beloved trails and natural lands this holiday season.
Featuring high quality products and local designs, the store captures the essence of the area, including holiday cards with natural, mountain graphics printed locally on a handmade letterpress; photo cards showcasing the beautiful imagery of the Southwest; commemorative posters of iconic local trails such as the Colorado Trail; adult and youth tees and hats with favorite local trail slogan, Happy Trails; and more. Each product is reflective of Trails 2000’s mission to plan, build and maintain trails—which all proceeds go to support—and appeals to supporters both native to Colorado and across the U.S.
“Whether you’re looking for beautiful letterpress holiday cards for friends and family, a poster to commemorate your hike on the Colorado Trail, or stylish Happy Trails logo tees for kids and adults alike, our online store is the place to make a feel-good purchase knowing your gift helps to build and maintain our trails and sustain a trail network for generations to come,” said Mary Monroe Brown, executive director of Trails 2000.
The easy-to-use online store is one way Trails 2000 aims to diversify funding. For the most part access to trails is free, but all trail construction, maintenance and planning has a cost. In Southwest Colorado, a widely visited tourist destination, locals have long ranked the abundance of trails as their number one want and need for living in and visiting the area, making Durango’s trails a highly used resource by both the community and tourists.
“Our new fundraising option celebrates our mission to plan, build and maintain trails by providing beautiful gifting options. All proceeds from the store go to support our mission, and we hope people will support us and visit our online store for their holiday gifts this season,” said Monroe Brown.
Trails 2000 further diversifies funding and global reach by housing select products on global search engine giant, Amazon. According to recent data, up to 80 percent of online product searches take place on Amazon.com, which provides extensive global reach to the trail organization. You can also give to Trails 2000 through AmazonSmile, which donates a portion of Amazon purchases to the organization by encouraging consumers to shop through a unique link to make product purchases on Amazon at no additional cost to consumer.
The Trails 2000 TrailKids program touches the lives of area youth each season through outdoor, hands-on lessons and trailwork aimed at inspiring curiosity, stewardship, and an appreciation for natural lands. Starting this month, Trails 2000 hopes to further connect with the next generation of givers through Kids for ColoradoGives, a new, fun and safe way for young donors to experience the joy of giving online.
Launched this year, Kids for ColoradoGives allows kids and their parents the opportunity to give to a nonprofit and help the community, while learning about philanthropy and having fun along the way. The site is a kid-friendly component of the popular website ColoradoGives.org, a year-round giving site presented by Community First Foundation and FirstBank that powers Colorado Gives Day and aims to celebrate and increase philanthropy through online giving. Trails 2000, who also participates in Colorado Gives, was excited about the opportunity to expand their fundraising efforts surrounding this annual, online-giving movement.
“Trails 2000 is always looking for ways to engage the next generation of lands stewards, and Kids for ColoradoGives aligns perfectly with our TrailKids program,” said Mary Monroe Brown, executive director of Trails 2000. “Gifts to our TrailKids program through Kids for ColoradoGives provide area youth a way to connect to our natural lands and feel like they’ve made a difference in our trails, open space, and Durango’s vast outdoor playground. We hope kids and their parents will join in the fun of giving this holiday season.”
To give to Trails 2000’s TrailKids program, children and their parents can visit Trails 2000’s Kids for ColoradoGives profile. The site is safe and easy to use, allowing donations to be made by Giving eCard only for the privacy and protection of children. Adults can purchase a Giving eCard for a child by visiting KidsforColoradoGives.org and click on “Giving eCards” on the site’s top navigation bar. After purchasing, kids and their parents can enjoy the giving experience together.
The website has fun incentives for kids as well, including a fun quiz for children to take to guide them in their charitable giving, and afterwards print out a hand-drawn, downloadable illustration to color and display. After donating, kids can download a digital badge that says, “I’m a Kid for ColoradoGives!”, along with parent badges that say, “My Kid’s a Kid for ColoradoGives!”
All donations made to Kids for ColoradoGives will support Trails 2000’s TrailKids program, which focuses on Durango-area middle school students and offers a variety of one hour, half-day, and full day programs for 6th-8th grade science classes. In partnership with Durango School District 9-R, the program tailors each course to Colorado Academic standards.
Thanks to sponsor Alpine Bank, in 2016 the TrailKids program reached over 1,000 local youth of all ages, including both school groups as well as the DEVO development program. Youth learned the importance of land stewardship by developing a sense of community ownership and studying topics such as the environment, geology, vegetation, and sustainability in an educational setting. Other TrailKids programs focused on additional trail stewardship topics, from the creation of trail signs to the geology of the surrounding area, or less tangible items such as an appreciation for the outdoors, share the trails ethics, and an understanding of what trails mean to the community. Students also engaged in experimental science labs related to school curriculum and conducted trailwork in various local trail systems.
According to Elizabeth “Ziggy” Lanman, former lead TrailKids educator, “It is such a thrill to share a passion for the outdoors with kids. There is nothing that I would love more than instilling a sense of love and appreciation to younger generations, and that’s something that outdoor, hands-on education can provide. Watching a kid discover how much fun it is to get dirty and really connect with the earth is so fulfilling—I think that this experience is necessary to get kids to fundamentally care about our planet. And trails are a necessary resource for that experience.”
To join the giving movement along with young generations, parents and adult supporters can access Trails 2000’s Colorado Gives profile. Donations can be made online in advance of Colorado Gives Day (Tuesday, December 5), and scheduled donations will be processed on December 5.
Thank you to everyone who joined us for the 2nd annual Happy Trails Festival this past Saturday at Buckley Park to celebrate our trails and outdoor community! Special thanks to title sponsors, Ska Brewing and Zia Taqueria, and presenting sponsors, Mercy Regional Medical Center and Fort Lewis College, plus all participating organizations: Todd’s Durango Dirt Fondo, Durango Double, Durango Running Club, Durango Running Company, Hello Dollface, Robby Overfield, Durango DEVO, SCOTT Sports, Trek Bicycle, SRAM, Mountain Bike Specialists, 2nd Ave Sports, Pine Needle Mountaineering, Alpine Bank, Iron Horse Bicycle Classic, City of Durango, Four Corners Back Country Horsemen, and more! Thanks also to Lightning Communications and all our wonderful volunteers who made the event a success. Read the recap in The Durango Herald.
Happy Trails Festival is almost two weeks away, and we are looking for volunteers to help make the event a success! Please consider signing up to volunteer on Saturday, September 16, for one or more of the following volunteer shifts:
1) Set up, 8-11 a.m.
2) Check in, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
3) Check in, 1:30-4:30 p.m.
4) Clean up, 4:30-7 p.m.
Plus, volunteers receive a $25 gift card & Trails 2000 cowboy hat as our way of saying thanks.
Trails 2000 is pleased to host the second annual Happy Trails Festival on Saturday, September 16, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (add to GoogleCal, iCal/Outlook), at Buckley Park to celebrate a happy community full of happy trails. Special thanks to title sponsors, Zia Taqueria and Ska Brewing, and presenting sponsors, Mercy Regional Medical Center and Fort Lewis College, the fun-packed day features:
Live Music by Hello Dollface (2:30-4pm) and Robby Overfield & the Breaks (12:30-2:15pm)
Local Beer by Ska Brewing, and Great Food by Zia Taqueria and Grassburger
Kids Fun Area with Durango DEVO and Mercy Gray Matters Helmet program
Interactive Displays and Demos from Scott Bicycles, Trek Bicycle, SRAM, Mountain Bike Specialists, Pine Needle Mountaineering, Durango Running Company, Durango Running Club, Mercy Regional Medical Center, and Fort Lewis College
Trail Rides and Runs:
Coined after a favorite tagline—Happy Trails!—of local nonprofit organization Trails 2000, the fall festival is a benefit for the group itself, which dedicates their mission to the planning, building, and maintaining of Durango’s trail network; educating trail users; and encouraging connectivity on road, path and trail. Durango boasts over 300 miles of trails within 30 minutes of downtown, making it a state and national trail destination for all user groups—whether hiker, biker, dog walker, trail runner, equestrian rider and more.
Volunteer or Set Up Booth at Happy Trails Festival
Trails 2000 is seeking volunteers to help make the festival a success; please consider signing up to volunteer today! Community organizations and nonprofits are also invited to set up a free informational booth at the Happy Trails Festival. If interested, organizations should email us.
A partnership worth celebrating
Building great trails requires a great community, and great partnerships between land agencies, community organizations, and the public are imperative. This connection resonates in Durango and entices celebrating the legacy of so many individuals and entities that have helped make the Durango brand one worth preserving.
Since 1989, Trails 2000’s key trail partners include the City of Durango, La Plata County, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), U.S. Forest Service, and private landowners. Trails 2000 relies on it cadre of volunteers to help build and maintain trails in and around Durango. Each year, Trails 2000 volunteers contribute over 4,000 hours of trailwork—totaling more than 165 days.
Trails 2000 is always planning to the future, an element of our annual strategic planning to provide our community with a world-class trail network. As we continue to look outward, Trails 2000 has short term and long term goals. When we look at trails and connectivity on federal lands, we are required to engage in some degree of NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act). Trails 2000 is fortunate to partner with ERO Resources Corporation on the cultural assessment of a new trail we’ve been planning and developing for the past three years. Trails 2000 hired ERO to work on the environmental planning to help expedite the generally long process of analysis that takes place when working with federal land managers on new trail proposals.
“How does a trail become a trail?” you might ask…In general, the process can take anywhere from 2-5 years to complete and requires involvement from various land managers and stakeholders. From idea development and research, to proposal and review, and finally approval and building, it is no small undertaking. Trails 2000 relies on our long held partnerships to engage with us in completing the many trail projects we have on tap and are particularly grateful for the incredible dedication of ERO Resources to our community and our trails. Please read more from Sean Larmore, cultural resources manager and principal of ERO:
[Trails 2000] Please tell us about ERO environmental consulting firm.
[Sean Larmore] We are a 60 person firm based in Denver with a satellite office in Durango, providing environmental impact assessments and cultural and natural resources compliance. We specialize in water infrastructure, electrical transmission, and transportation-related projects, among other sectors.
[T2000] Tell us about your reasoning/motivation for partnering with Trails 2000 on the new trail project.
[Larmore] It’s a great community based initiative and since most of us ride bikes, it’s a natural fit.
[T2000] What do you most look forward to in our trail partnership?
[Larmore] Seeing the project to completion and being able to enjoy the new trails.
[T2000] How do ERO’s expertise and values align with Trails 2000?
[Larmore] We’re in the environmental consulting business because we believe in sustainability; if an environmental nonprofit needs support, we’re happy to assist.
[T2000] Please tell us about your use of the trails.
[Larmore] Most of our staff run, hike and bike whenever we get the chance.
[T2000] Tell us about your trailwork experience!
[Larmore] We’ve done trailwork support in the past, including surveying many of the trails in the Weminuche for cultural resources prior to rehabilitation work (for the San Juan National Forest).
[T2000] What do trails mean to you? [Larmore] Two words, community value.
[T2000] What do you most value about the trails? [Larmore] A convenient way to get outside for a quick fix.
[T2000] What is your favorite trail and why? [Larmore] I’ve always enjoyed the Colorado Trail along Indian Ridge in the La Platas.
[T2000] Great answers! Ok, now it is time for our favorite part: The Trails 2000 speed round:
Pulaski or McLeod? [Larmore] Pulaski since I used them during wildland fire work.
Run, hike, bike or ride (horses)? [Larmore] Hike.
Tea or coffee? [Larmore] Coffee.
Thanks Sean and ERO; we appreciate your time and look forward to working with ERO to make last impacts in our community!
You’re invited to join Trails 2000 for the official grand opening of Project Sky Steps on Tuesday, June 27, at 5:00 p.m. (add to GoogleCal, iCal/Outlook). Partnering with the City of Durango and Fort Lewis College, Trails 2000 and its cadre of volunteers completed the stairway, which creates a town connect from Durango to the Fort Lewis College campus, home of the Skyhawks. The stairway extends the Nature Trail steps and now includes over 500 steps and gains over 250 feet in elevation.
Attendees of the grand opening should arrive promptly at 5:00 p.m. at the bottom of the Nature Trail for an official ribbon cutting, followed by a hike up the stairs, surprise entertainment along the way, and finish at the top with snacks and cold beverages, courtesy of Trails 2000.
“We are excited to officially open the Sky Steps which provide access to a wonderful walking route, commute to the college, and training stairway right in town,” said Mary Monroe Brown, executive director of Trails 2000. “Providing connections around town are essential for a thriving community, and the vision of Trails 2000’s Sky Steps creates this necessary and wonderful link in Durango.”
The project officially kicked off in April 2017 and was built entirely by Trails 2000 volunteers and crews. Several local organizations and businesses volunteered with Trails 2000 to sponsor trailwork days.
According to Trails 2000 Trail Crew Lead Emma Millar, “We are so thankful for the fantastic support from the community and our local partners, in particular the City and Fort Lewis College. Their help was imperative to the success of the project, and it was great to work together to complete the project: a true community effort.”
Durango’s Sky Steps are amongst various urban stairs that have been long recognized as fitness and tourist destinations, including the Manitou Incline near Colorado Springs, known as one of the most popular and challenging hikes in the area, and the iconic Santa Monica Stairs in Los Angeles.
Join us for the Grand Opening of Sky Steps!
Trails 2000 is pleased to announce Christina Rinderle has joined the Trails 2000 board of directors. Christina is a long-time Durango resident and most recently served eight years on the City Council and two terms as mayor. Currently, she wears many hats, including co-owner of Durango Land and Homes Real Estate Brokerage, investor in La Plata Economic Development Alliance, among other roles. When she’s not hard at work making a difference in our community, she can be found exploring the trails in Horse Gulch – be it running, biking or hiking – and elsewhere across the Southwest.
Christina currently serves on the board with Daryl Crites, John Baxter and Steve Schwartz, along with Executive Director Mary Monroe Brown to assist with the strategic vision and goals of Trails 2000.
We were lucky enough to sit down with Christina and hear about her experiences, passion for our trails, the organization and Durango, and her excitement in joining the Trails 2000 Board of Directors. Read on:
[Trails 2000] Thanks for sitting down with us today, Christina! Tell us a little about yourself.
[Christina Rinderle] Thank you for having me! I grew up in Indiana, but always had a love for the west. I first visited Durango in the summer of 1998 with a group of friends and this town, the people, and the trails captured my heart. A year later I was able to call Durango home and have loved the experiences and adventures along the way.
[T2000] Wonderful! Tell us about your professional interests, including your time on the City Council, and other professional interests?
[Rinderle] Serving on City Council, coupled with two terms as mayor, has been my biggest honor. I first took office during the recession, and we were able to leverage our dedicated parks, open space, and trails sales tax to acquire additional land parcels, allowing for enhanced trail connectivity for our enjoyment now and for future generations. As the co-owner of Durango Land and Homes Real Estate Brokerage, I have the opportunity to work with locals and those visiting our community to connect them with their future home or office space. Trail connectivity clearly enhances not just property values, but also quality of life, and I love to incorporate trail time into a property tour whenever possible.
[T2000] That is a must! Trails are a huge economic driver in Durango, often cited as a top reason to move to and visit Durango. Can you talk a little bit about your experience regarding economic development and trails?
[Rinderle] One of the many facets that makes Durango unique is the access to over 30 miles of trails just 30 minutes or less from the heart of our vibrant downtown, many right outside our back door. Our trails provide a broad and diverse economic impact through tourism, special events, community improvements, healthy lifestyles, property values, general consumer spending, and local jobs and investments. Having served for years on the La Plata County Economic Development Alliance, I’ve seen first hand how our numerous trail access points and connectivity have had a direct benefit to our local economy. These benefits include an enhanced quality of life with strong desire for businesses to grow and relocate here, overall community enhancement, and increases in home valuation based on proximity to trails. Studies have shown the economic impact also extends beyond job creation and enhanced valuations to include health care savings where access to trails make it easy for those to get outside and walk, run, and bike, and help create a place for all ages to enjoy, from Seniors Outdoors to our TrailKids programs, creating the next generation of stewards for our trail systems.
[T2000] Very well said, Christina! Well, let us be the first to say: Welcome to the Board of Directors. We are thrilled to have you! Please share with us your reasoning/motivation for joining Trails 2000.
[Rinderle] Thank you! After my terms on City Council came to an end, I wanted to still find a way to be involved and give back to the community. Trail enjoyment spans generations and offers something for all ages.
[T2000] Please tell us about your trail use, and what you most value about the trails.
[Rinderle] Trails allow us the opportunity to decompress and reconnect with our natural surroundings, whether it be in sometimes needed solitude or a perfect opportunity to create memories with friends. My morning routine often starts with a run in Horse Gulch, and then sets the tone for a positive day ahead. I love the connectivity and easy access.
[T2000] Absolutely, us too! What is your favorite trail and why?
[Rinderle] My favorite trails are those in Horse Gulch as they are the ones I am able to enjoy the most, due to proximity to my home and office. It still amazes me that within five minutes, we can go from the heart of downtown to over 1,000 acres of open space and soak in the natural surroundings.
[T2000] We sure are lucky! If you could offer advice to future generations of trail users, what would it be?
[Rinderle] Get involved! It can be easy to take for granted the incredible resource we have in this community, but it doesn’t happen without community support, donors, and those who can roll up their sleeves and help create and maintain our collective assets.
[T2000] Thanks Christina, that is very well said. Ok, now for the speed round—ready, set:
Run, hike, bike or ride? [Rinderle] Running, biking, and hiking, in that order of preference.
Tea or coffee? [Rinderle] Both, but decaf versions. You don’t want to see me caffeinated!
[T2000] Thank you, Christina! We really appreciate you taking the time and helping us to get to know you and hear about your experiences. Happy Trails!
Trails 2000 is pleased to join the City of Durango for the 8th annual Clean Commute Week which celebrates walking, rolling, biking, riding the bus and carpooling around Durango. The week features many events including Bike to Work Day on Wednesday, June 28, at Durango Coffee Co. and Mercy Regional Medical Center, 7:00 to 9:00 am. Get Connected! This year, Trails 2000 will lead trail commute teams to Mercy and the Tech Center; the route will be on mostly trail, and riders should sign up below and meet on the Animas River Trail on the 9th Street bridge at 7:30 a.m. Please note: If you’d like to be picked up somewhere else, please request this in the comments below.
To sign up for the trail commute teams, please submit the form below. Thank you!
©2018 Trails 2000 • PO Box 3868 • Durango, CO 81301 • 970-259-4682