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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Happy Trails Festival is September 16

Happy Trails Festival to celebrate happy town and trails on September 16

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., 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 a line up of live music, a beer garden with local brews, a variety of food and kid friendly activities for the whole family. New this year, Todd’s Durango Dirt Fondo mountain bike ride will take place in conjunction with the festival, featuring 15 and 50 mile loops that begin and end at Buckley Park; proceeds from the ride benefit Trails 2000, and registration is now open. Other outdoor activities include a Durango Double training run that will also depart from Buckley Park, led by Durango Running Club and Durango Running Company.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online! Kids 16 and under are free.

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.

Trails 2000 also invites community organizations and nonprofits to participate by setting 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.

Partnering to Create a New Trail

Photo courtesy of Sean Larmore.

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.

ERO conducts past cultural resource survey. Photo courtesy of Sean Larmore.

[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).

ERO conducts past cultural resource survey. Photo courtesy of Sean Larmore.

[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!

Project Sky Steps Grand Opening, June 27

Photo: Grady James.

Town to sky stairway opens on Nature Trail, connecting Durango to Fort Lewis College

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!

Welcome Christina Rinderle to Board of Directors

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:

Horse Gulch.

[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!

Sign Up to Get Connected on Bike to Work Day

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.

Sign Up

To sign up for the trail commute teams, please submit the form below. Thank you!

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Will you ride with us to Mercy or the Tech Center?
MercyTech Center

Comments: If you'd like to be picked up somewhere else, or have other important info. please share it here.

Now Hiring: Durango Trails 2000 TrailKids Educator

Are you interested in a unique opportunity to join a leading nonprofit organization in the outdoor industry? Do you want to make a significant positive impact on the community? Are you passionate about the outdoors and education?

Durango Trails 2000 — local nonprofit trails organization in Durango, Colorado — is hiring for a seasonal contract TrailKids Educator. The ideal candidate will have experience writing curriculum, working in outdoor education and teaching students and youth, as well as a desire to conduct meaningful and impactful work. Working with and reporting to the Executive Director, the right person will also be able to work independently and have a keen understanding of the importance of interacting with students, teachers and the community and their role as an ambassador on and off the trail.

This paid, part-time seasonal, career-building role will include up to 20 weeks of as needed, non-congruent work and is ideal for an individual with a flexible schedule. As TrailKids Educator, the qualified candidate will have an outstanding opportunity to further develop skills in outdoor and science education, while learning from professionals in the field and gaining networking contacts — all while living and working in and around Durango.

Role provides the opportunity to:

  • Work for and represent a leading nonprofit doing meaningful work in a beautiful area
  • Develop individualized education goals that relate to your career objectives
  • Gain supervisory experience working with students, teachers and other groups
  • Coordinate hands-on science and outdoor education
  • Inspire curiosity, stewardship, and an appreciation for natural lands in area youth

Required knowledge and abilities:

  • Degree in Science or Outdoor Education
  • Ability to engage with middle and high school students and teachers
  • Ability to plan for a flexible, non-congruent schedule based on teaching opportunities
  • Highly motivated personality
  • Excellent public speaking skills
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing
  • Ability to work independently as needed
  • Strong sense of importance of representing a nonprofit in the community
  • Proficient in Word, Powerpoint, Dropbox
  • Valid Driver’s License

For full job description, click here.

If interested, please complete online application below. A PDF resume is required when applying. Resumes must be submitted by June 15, 2017. No phone calls, visits or mail please. Thank you.

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Carver Brewing On Why Support Trails

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!

Annual Trails & Ales Party is April 26

Trails 2000 is pleased to invite all new and renewing members, donors, community members, and trail enthusiasts alike to the annual Trails and Ales Party on Wednesday, April 26, at Carver Brewing Company. Presented by local sponsor First National Bank, the event features a silent auction, chili and salad, and a beer, glass of wine or root beer from Carvers, along with Rocky Mountain chocolates, to anyone who joins, renews or gives to Trails 2000 at the event; the first 40 attendees to donate also receive a Carver’s t-shirt or souvenir beer glass. The brand new film, “Sharing Trails: Durango, Colorado,” will also be aired during the event; the film highlights Durango, Trails 2000 and the world-class trail system, produced by Coldstream Creative.

Trails 2000 Trails and Ales Party

When: Wednesday, April 26, 2017, 4:30-7:30 p.m. (add to GoogleCal, iCal/Outlook)
Where: Carver Brewing Company, 1022 Main Ave, Durango
What: Come join, renew or donate to Trails 2000, and enjoy a beer, wine or root beer, delicious spread of vegetarian or beef chili, and salad from Carvers to any attendee who joins, renews, or gives a minimum of $20 to Trails 2000. Meet and mingle with trail enthusiasts and Trails 2000 members, staff and board. A silent auction will also be held, and viewing of the new film “Sharing Trails: Durango, Colorado.”

Information about Trails 2000’s Project Sky Steps will be available, which takes place during April and May to create a town to sky connect of the Nature Trail steps to Fort Lewis College. Trails 2000 also hosts volunteer trailwork each Wednesday and other scheduled days throughout the trail season.

Hope to see you there!

Project Sky Steps: Creating a Town to Sky Connect

Project to connect Nature Trail steps from Durango to Fort Lewis College Skyhawks campus

Trails 2000 is pleased to announce the upcoming project to create a town to sky stairway connect in Durango. Project Sky Steps will connect the town of Durango to the Fort Lewis College campus, home of the Skyhawks, by extending the Nature Trail steps. Once complete, the connect will include over 500 steps and gain over 250 feet in elevation, providing a wonderful walking route, commute to the college, and training stairway for runners and those looking for a workout.

Trails 2000 worked with the City of Durango and Fort Lewis College to organize the project. Several local organizations—including Russell Planning and Engineering, CrossFit Durango and CrossFit Catacombs—will volunteer with Trails 2000 to sponsor trailwork days. Work kicked off in April, and continues with various work days scheduled throughout April and May; the public is invited and encouraged to come out to volunteer at work days!

Project Sky Steps Trailwork Days

Trailwork is now concluded on Project Sky Steps, please join us for the Grand Opening on Tuesday, June 27.

*Time: 4:00 to 6:30 p.m. each day
Location: Meet at the 8th Avenue switchback of the Nature Trail. Parking is limited to the neighborhoods below the Nature Trail, specifically on the corner of 6th Avenue and 10th Street; parking is not permitted at the college or on 8th Ave.
What to wear/bring: 
Volunteers should wear closed toe shoes or boots, long pants, shirt, sun hat, sunscreen, and bring a water bottle and rain jacket (optional). Trails 2000 will provide all tools, instruction, water and snacks.

Questions? Please contact usWe look forward to seeing you at Project Sky Steps trailwork!

Join Ska Brewing In Supporting Trails 2000

Photo: Dave Thibodeau.

It is almost a no brainer when two of Durango’s favorites are paired together: Trails and beer. In Colorado, the trail-to-brew pub phenomenon is nothing new, but we think it is even more deserving of the spotlight in the Southwest, with over 300 miles of trails within 30 minutes of downtown Durango and six local breweries to choose from. One such popular watering hole is Ska Brewing (visit Ska on Facebook), long-time supporters of Trails 2000 and dedicated users of the trails our community hold so dear.

In partnership with Ska, Trails 2000 is pleased to launch our Trail Partnership Program for 2017. The program aims to help us reach our lofty goal to increase membership this spring. To celebrate the program kick off, Ska Brewing wants folks to join Trails 2000 and is even offering a special gift to anyone who joins during the month of March.

To find out more about Ska’s support of Trails 2000 and their sheer excitement for trails, we sat down with Ska Co-Founder and President, Dave Thibodeau, and “Barroom Hero” aka Sales Manager, Arlo Grammatica. According to Dave and Arlo, they are always on the trails—Dave rides, runs and drinks, alone—see below—where as Arlo is a devoted mountain biker, open to ride with whomever. (Note: Arlo was unable to provide photos of himself on the trails, so despite Dave’s primarily solo trail and drinking adventures, he takes the image gallery spotlight here). Read on for a glimpse of “Ska on the Trail:”

Photo: Dave Thibodeau.

[Trails 2000] Hey Ska! Thanks for joining us today and of course, for offering a free beer to any one who joins Trails 2000 in March—we value and appreciate your continuous support of Trails 2000. Please tell us about Ska Brewing’s motivation for supporting Trails 2000 and the trails in Durango.
[Dave and Arlo] We support the trails in Durango for one main reason, we use them—they literally form the backbone of our wellness program at Ska. We regularly incorporate them into our work day. As we’ve grown, the amount of meetings that we have has also grown, and we’ll tell you that our “meetings” are a lot more productive when they take place on the trails. Trails 2000 is such a big part of our community—the different users, whether horse, hike, bike, or run, really rally around each other and pitch in. At Ska, we believe it’s our responsibility to support that which helps make our community a better place.

[T2000] Absolutely! What about you personally—why do you value and support trails?
[Dave/Arlo] We mountain bike on the trails many times a week and nothing starts a morning off better than a mountain bike ride. It keeps us fit and clear-headed in an industry where a cloudy head is not uncommon.

[T2000] Hey, no judgement here. We do think beer and trails have a long-standing connection, especially in Durango. What do you think makes this duo oh so sweet?
[Dave/Arlo] It’s all about balance, right? Time with friends. Exercise. Reward. Release. Of course, I (Dave) like to run the trails alone, and then drink beer alone—don’t be like me.

[T2000] Again, no judgement. Tell us about your use of the trails.
[Dave/Arlo] We’re both year-round trail users, and Trails 2000 does an amazing job making that possible, particularly keeping us updated on conditions and closings. Our distinct four seasons make that quite a challenge, and we couldn’t be more appreciative. In all honesty, it’s a big part of why we live here.

Photo: Dave Thibodeau.

[T2000] That is true for you and so many others in Durango—of course the beer culture also deserves some of the credit for why we choose to live in Durango! Can you tell us about your trailwork experience—why is it important for you to give back on the trails?
[Dave/Arlo] As lame as it sounds, time is one of our scarcest resources, so we choose to support Trails 2000 and the other trail volunteers through donation of space at the brewery, money, beer, etc. That said, we do pay all of our employees to volunteer at area nonprofits a few days a year, and we know that trailwork is often on the request list.

[T2000] What a cool perk! What do trails mean to you?
[Dave/Arlo] The trails mean so much to us. It is a unique situation to live and work in a town with world-class trails minutes away. Most people have to drive hours to do what we can do out the front door.

[T2000] Don’t we know it! What do you most value about the trails?
[Dave/Arlo] Accessibility and variety.

[T2000] What is your favorite trail and why?
[Dave/Arlo] Hard to choose, but our lunch loop and most frequent “meeting” spot is Sale Barn>Big Canyon.

[T2000] Great choice! If you could offer advice to trail users or future generations, what would it be?
[Dave/Arlo] Protect, respect, conserve, enjoy, have a beer at the end.

Photo: Dave Thibodeau.

[T2000] Cheers to that! Now for our favorite part: The Trails 2000 speed round. Ready, set:
Pulaski or McLeod? [Dave/Arlo] Gotta go with the Pulaski, such an important tool that Ed Pulaski’s original is actually part of the Smithsonian collection.
Run, hike, bike or ride (horses)? [Dave/Arlo] Tie, run=bike.
Tea or coffee (or beer!)? [Dave/Arlo] Tough one…NOT. Beer.

[T2000] Coulda called that one! Thanks so much Dave and Arlo, and the entire Ska crew, for all you do to support our organization and the trails in Durango. Anything else you would like us to know before we go?
[Dave/Arlo] We are so proud of a community that puts outdoor activities in the forefront. I (Arlo) am open to ride with anyone—Dave’s rides alone.

Be like Ska – Join Trails 2000 today. Cheers!

Welcome Steve Schwartz as Board Treasurer

Trails 2000 is pleased to announce the joining of Steve Schwartz as treasurer on the board of directors. Steve is a long-time Durango resident and currently works as vice president for Finance and Administration at Fort Lewis College (FLC), where he has been employed for 20 years. When he’s not hard at work for FLC, he can be found exploring the trails in and around Durango – be it hiking, mountain biking or snowshoeing.

Steve currently serves on the board with Daryl Crites, board president; John Baxter, board secretary; and Melissa Youssef; 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 Steve and hear about his experiences, passion for our trails and organization, and excitement in joining our Board of Directors. Read on:

Steve Schwartz and dog Maggie.

[Trails 2000] Steve! Thank you for sitting down with us today. Please tell us a little about yourself.
[Steve Schwartz] I was born in the Chicago suburb of Elgin, Illinois, and while I spent the greater part of my young adult life in Chicago, I eventually moved to the whitewater mecca of western North Carolina, where I discovered mountain biking and rock climbing. A few years later, a mountain biking adventure to Moab presented itself, including some time in Durango, where I visited – and became determined to attend – Fort Lewis College. While attending Fort Lewis, I became equally determined to make Durango my home. After graduating, I left Durango to pursue additional education; fast forward five years, and I was back at the Fort as an employee, where I have remained for the last 20 years.

[T2000] That is quite the adventure to calling home Durango. Please tell us more about your role at Fort Lewis and other professional interests?
[Schwartz] I’ve held a number of positions at Fort Lewis College, including director of Institutional Research, budget director, and for the last 15 years, vice president for Finance and Administration.  Other professional interest include involvement in community and statewide boards and advisory groups, primarily focused on the areas of education and/or finance.

[T2000] Well, let us be the first to say: Welcome to the Trails 2000 Board of Directors. We are thrilled to have you! Please share with us your reasoning/motivation for joining Trails 2000.
[Schwartz] It is my desire to be part of an organization that caters to the entire community, and I value and admire what Trails 2000 does in promoting access, trail etiquette and safety. The trails in and around Durango are an irreplaceable asset to our community and region, as they afford us entry into the spectacular beauty that is Durango, whether in town or in the high country. As the organization that plans, builds, and maintains these connections, Trails 2000 ensures access for all of us who value a healthy lifestyle.

Steve Schwartz

[T2000] Absolutely! And, what do you most look forward to as treasurer of Trails 2000 board?
[Schwartz] As the treasurer of the board, I strive to both help maintain and strengthen the financial viability of the organization. I also hope to help in expanding the trail network and increasing connectivity.

[T2000] Please tell us about your use of the trails.
[Schwartz] I love being out on our trails! Whether hiking, mountain biking or snowshoeing, whether alone or with a group, the trails are where I go to recreate.

[T2000] Good answer! What do you value most about trails.
[Schwartz] Too often, we take for granted the remarkable trails we have in and around Durango, and fail to recognize how truly fortunate we are to have such a community and regional benefit. It takes vision, immense effort, and dedication to plan, build and maintain our trail network. My hope is to help educate people regarding this asset and, thereby, grow our trail users and advocates.

[T2000] Can you tell us about your trailwork experience?
[Schwartz] My trail work experience includes maintenance tasks on the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina many years ago. My involvement in that work gave me a great appreciation for the efforts of the dedicated Trails 2000 volunteers.

[T2000] That is great; we do have a stellar group of volunteers at Trails 2000, and are always looking for more! Ok, time for a tough question. What is your favorite trail and why?

Steve Schwartz

[Schwartz] It’s very difficult to pick a favorite trail, as there are so many from which to choose. Perhaps it would be best to say that my favorite trail is the last one I experienced. That said, I always enjoy Log Chutes, as it contains a little bit of everything!

[T2000] Absolutely. If you could offer advice to future generations of trail users, what would it be?
[Schwartz] Enjoy the trails, be respectful, and try to always remember how fortunate we all are to live in this special place and have the means to access it.

[T2000] Thanks Steve, that is very well said. Ok, now for a quick speed round—ready, set:
Tea or coffee? [Schwartz] Coffee in the morning, tea in the evening.

[T2000] Thank you, Steve! We really appreciate you taking the time and helping us to get to know you and hear about your experiences. We are thrilled to have you. Happy Trails!

Meet Trail Crew Lead: Emma Millar

Trails 2000 is gearing up for an exciting 2017 trail season, and Executive Director Mary Monroe Brown is pleased to introduce Emma Millar as the trail crew lead. With over ten years of professional trail building experience—from owning a private business to working with the US Forest Service—Emma brings a stellar skill set and addictive enthusiasm to our organization and is already committed to our mission to plan, build and maintain trails, educate users and encourage connectivity on road, path and trail.

With Emma now a member of the team, we couldn’t wait to sit down with her and learn what she is most excited about as the trail crew lead. And boy, is she ever excited! In her first month, Emma has already been hot on the trail—cruising down favorite trails with nostalgia for her college days at Fort Lewis College, trekking on new trails to take in cool features like grade dips and curvilinear design (like a true trail nerd!), and of course, gearing up for upcoming Trails 2000 events such as the Open House and Trail Reporter Program Training, both held March 1 at Ska Brewing. Once we finally tracked her down (on Star Wars, of course), here is what she had to tell us about her trail expertise and passion for working with volunteers and the community on Durango’s trails. Read on: 

Photo: Emma Millar.

[Trails 2000] Emma! Welcome to the team. We are thrilled to have you as trail crew lead. Tell us a little about yourself.
[Emma Millar] Well, I’m originally from Sandpoint, Idaho, and first moved to Durango in 2007 to attend Fort Lewis College (it was really to ride bikes though). I visited a few colleges, but Durango really stuck out because of the easy access to awesome trails—I could ride world-class trails from my dorm room! For a kid without a car, that was pretty vital. After college, I moved to Vermont for a few years, but now I’m back living in Mancos.

[T2000] Aren’t we lucky in Durango, with over 300 miles of trails in our backyard! So you’ve always been drawn to trails—tell us about your professional trail career thus far.
[Millar] I started working on trails while I was in high school; my mom’s best friend was a forester and helped to get me a job with the Forest Service. Little did they know I was going to turn trailwork into a career! I continued working for the Forest Service in Bayfield while I attended Fort Lewis, and after college, I moved to Vermont, where I became a partner in a private trail design and construction company. Even though I loved the work, I needed to move closer to the desert and the mountains. Last summer, I left the Northeast and came back to Colorado.

[T2000] Welcome home! What was your motivation for joining Trails 2000? What do you hope to bring to your role?
[Millar] Well, I am absolutely thrilled to be here! I wanted to work with Trails 2000 for entirely selfish reasons—I love trailwork and I love working with volunteers. I wanted to be a part of such a forward-thinking organization. The mission also reflects my values; building and maintaining trails, and education are all important to me, but the connectivity part is what really resonated. I think the most important goal of trailwork is connecting people to the landscape and to each other.

Photo: Emma Millar.

[T2000] That is spot on in our book. So, what do you most look forward to with Trails 2000, and what do you hope to contribute to the trails in Durango?
[Millar] I’m so excited to start working on the trails! I hope to bring a bunch of enthusiasm to volunteer days and to inspire everyone to get out on the trails and to become trail stewards in addition to trail users. I want all trail users to feel like Trails 2000 is there for them and is listening to their concerns. So don’t hesitate to contact me and tell me what you want!

[T2000] Got trail ideas? Send ’em to or come meet her at our Open House! Emma, can you tell us about your personal use of the trails?
[Millar] Mostly I hike and mountain bike. Honestly though, when I get on a new trail, I spend most of my time checking out design and construction techniques. It’s very distracting and you definitely should avoid hiking or riding behind me.

[T2000] Noted! What do you most value about the trails?
[Millar] Trails mean a lot to me—I’ve built my whole career on the power of trails to connect people to the landscape and to each other. There’s an understanding in trail design and construction that if we do our jobs right, the trail user will never even notice. Few people will really see a crib wall, or a grade dip, or notice the nice curvilinear design, and I love seeing people walk or ride right over my work without even realizing that any work was involved.

Photo: Emma Millar.

[T2000] That is a beautiful thing–yet so much works does go into it, thanks to people like you and our amazing Trails 2000 volunteers! Ok, we have to know: What is your favorite trail and why?
[Millar] I’m not sure I have a favorite trail; it’s like picking your favorite kid! I’ve built a lot of trails of which I’m very proud. My go-to after-work trail would probably be Star Wars. I’m a downhiller at heart, but I’m also pretty wimpy now, so Star Wars is great for making me feel super cool and fast, without being actually scary. However, it’s been about five years since I lived in Durango, and there are a lot of new trails, so I’ve got some riding to do!

[T2000] Yes you do! But before then, if you could offer advice to future generations of trail users, what would it be?
[Millar] My advice would be to just calm down, take a deep breath, and realize that no matter how you may feel about it, more people on trails is actually a good thing. Lots of studies show that besides the obvious health benefits of exercise and being outside, positive experiences on trails lead to more people actively protecting trails and access. And that is definitely good.

[T2000] It definitely is! We love that mentality. Ok, so now it is time for our favorite part. The Trails 2000 Speed round—ready, set:
Pulaski or McLeod? [Millar] Oh, man! I used to be such a Pulaski girl, but I’ve probably used a McLeod more in the last few years. My favorite tool is the right one for the job.
Run, hike, bike or ride (horses)? [Millar] Bike and hike.
Tea or coffee? [Millar] I love everything about coffee except the part where it makes me all weird. So I drink tea.

[T2000] Thanks Emma! It was so great to catch up with you. We know you’ve been busy getting ready for what we think is going to be an inspiring trail season. Before we go, anything else you would like us to know?
[Millar] Thank you! I’m stoked and grateful to be here, and I really do want to hear from trail users. Let me know what’s going on, and come introduce yourself at the Open House at Ska Brewing on March 1 and consider joining our Trail Reporter Program.

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading!

Attend Open House on March 1

Trails 2000 is pleased to invite trail enthusiasts to an Open House at Ska Brewing on Wednesday, March 1, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. Come meet our team, along with our new Trail Crew Lead Emma Millar, and TrailKids Educator Ziggy Lanman. Share your trail ideas and learn about our new easy to use mobile software to provide trail updates as we train for the new Trail Reporter programPlease note: A brief training will take place at 5:00 p.m. right before the open house for Trail Reporters interested in joining the program.

Trails 2000 Open House and Trail Reporter Training

Wednesday, March 1, 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.
Trail Reporter Training, 5:00 p.m.
Ska Brewing World Headquarters, 225 Girard St.
As part of their continued support of the local trails and community, Ska Brewing will graciously donate $1 of every beer purchased to Trails 2000 at the event.

View the event poster here.

Trail Reporters Wanted – We Want You!

Preceding the open house, a brief informational and training session will be held at 5:00 p.m., where Emma will train you on our newly developed mobile app. The easy to use software can be accessed from your phone, you simply state where you are, what trail and if the trail conditions are good, fair or poor and add a photo. We’ll update the Trail Conditions report with details from our Trail Reporters. It’s that simple! Learn more about the Trail Reporters program here.

Application Closed: Durango Trails 2000 Intern

Are you interested in a unique opportunity to join a leading nonprofit organization in the outdoor industry? Do you want to make a significant positive impact on the community? Are you passionate about the outdoors?

Durango Trails 2000 — local nonprofit trails organization in Durango, Colorado — is hiring for a part-time Trails Intern. The ideal candidate will be able to work independently and have experience in trail maintenance and construction. Working with and reporting to the Trail Crew Lead, 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.

This rigorous, paid, 15 week, career-building internship offers an outstanding opportunity to learn from professionals in the field, develop skills, and gain networking contacts—all while living and working in and around Durango. Interns will receive trail construction and maintenance training, gain supervisory experience, and build network relationships that they will use for the rest of their careers. During their 15 weeks, the intern will learn the methods used by natural resource professionals and community planners.

Opportunity to:

  • Work for a leading nonprofit doing meaningful work in a beautiful area
  • Develop individualized education objectives that relate to your career goals
  • Assist with planning, construction and maintenance on trails
  • Gain supervisory experience working with volunteers, students, and other groups
  • Gain experience working with land managers across disciplines
  • Create planning maps for future trail alignment proposals and map trail maintenance areas
  • Work with TrailKids Educator as needed
  • Assist with Trail Reporter Program and update trail conditions report for the public
  • Learn to safely use and maintain a variety of specialized hand and power tools

For full job description, click here.

The application is now closed. Thank you.

Trail Reporters Wanted!

Become a Trails 2000 Trail Reporter!

Trails 2000 is pleased to announce – new for 2017 – the Trail Reporter program: A unique opportunity for anyone who frequents trails in and around Durango and wants to help provide input on those trails closest to their backyard or that they frequent daily. To kick off the program, Trails 2000 will host a brief informational and training session on March 1 at 5:00 p.m. at Ska Brewing, right before the Open House from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. We’ve developed an easy to use mobile app that takes 10 seconds to fill out and allows you to add a photo to show the trail conditions.

What? The Trails 2000 Trail Reporter program provides on-the-ground, real time updates for current trail conditions. Trails 2000 has created a mobile-friendly website app available to the trained Trail Reporters to provide immediate trail updates. We’ll aggregate all of the updates for our Trail Condition Report and share the information and photos from Trail Reporters to update trail users.
Who? YOU! If you regularly walk, run, hike, bike, or ride horses on trails in the Durango area, we want YOU to fill out the simple, online mobile form – training will be provided – to send us your trail conditions, updates and photos. It’s that easy!
Are there prizes? Of course! Come to the training on March 1 to learn more.
How? Please attend the training on March 1, 5:00 p.m., at Ska Brewing, and stay after for an Open House event.
Questions? Contact Trails 2000 Trail Crew Leader, Emma Millar, please email or by calling 970-259-4682, to learn more about how to get involved.

We Want You!

Register for Trail Crew Leader Training

Crew Leader Training hosted by Trails 2000 and Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado
April 29 and 30, 2017 – Durango, Colorado

Trails 2000 has teamed up with Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) to offer an exciting training program for trail crew leadership in Durango, April 29 and 30, 2017. 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 VOC instructors, Steve and Patch, 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 2017 season to assist the organization during public trailwork days.

  • When: Saturday, April 29, and Sunday, April 30, 2017, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day
  • Who: Those interested in joining Trails 2000’s team as a crew leader; all levels of experience welcome, from beginner to long-time volunteer.
  • What: Course includes classroom sessions, field exercises and role playing to introduce construction/maintenance of sustainable trails, leadership strategies and techniques, tool use, and safety. All trainees receive a Crew Leader manual, set of quick reference cards, and other materials that make for a successful leader.
  • Cost: Free to those hired by Trails 2000 as crew leaders during the 2017 season

Reserve your spot by Friday, April 7, 2017; space is limited and class fills up quickly.

Register Here: Complete the form below. More information will be emailed to attendees following registration.

First Name (required)

Last Name (required)

Mailing Address (required)

City (required)

State (required)

Zipcode (required)

Your Email (required)

Cell Phone Number (required)

Emergency Contact:

Emergency Contact Name (required)

Emergency Contact Cell Phone Number (required)

Application Closed: Durango Trail Crew Lead

The application for Durango Trail Crew Lead 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 community? Are you passionate about the outdoors? Do you wish you could combine your passion for the outdoors and with your career?

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.


  • Schedules and undertakes planning, construction and maintenance on trails
  • Supervises crews of students, volunteers and work groups
  • Develops relationships and works with land managers across disciplines
  • Tracks upcoming trail projects and schedules trailwork activities
  • Lays out and flags trails for re-routes and maintenance
  • Creates maps for future trail alignment proposals and maps trail maintenance areas
  • Develops recon reports for crew leaders
  • Assigns tasks and provides training for crews
  • Oversees trail tools and truck maintenance

For full job description, click here.

The application for Durango Trail Crew Lead is now closed. No phone calls or mail please.

Colorado Gives Day: Give Where You Live and Play

Photo Credit: Scott DW Smith.

Photo Credit: Scott DW Smith.

So many of us – whether locals or visitors; recreation-ists or commuters; mountain bikers, hikers, trail runners and more – use the trails. So why not give where you live and play? Trails 2000 invites Coloradans and all outdoor enthusiasts to support our efforts to plan, build and maintain the over 300 miles of trails in Durango, Colorado by donating to your local nonprofit trail organization on Colorado Gives Day, December 6, 2016.

Presented by Community First Foundation and FirstBank, Colorado Gives Day is an annual statewide movement to celebrate and increase philanthropy through online giving. The event is powered by, a year-round, online giving website. Visit Trails 2000’s CO Gives profile, to make your safe and secure donation in a few easy steps.

Schedule Donations Today

Donations can now be made online by visiting and searching for Trails 2000 ( Once on our profile, simply click the “Donate” button. Add your donation amount and press the “CO Gives Day” button to schedule it. Complete the other fields and click “add to cart.” Continue checking out by logging in or creating a donor account, entering your payment information, and then submit. Scheduled donations will process on Colorado Gives Day, December 6.

$1 Million Incentive Fund

Gifts to Trails 2000 will also help the organization secure a portion of the $1 Million Incentive Fund. Community First Foundation and FirstBank each contributed $500,000 to create a $1 Million Incentive Fund, one of the largest gives-day incentive funds in the country. Every nonprofit receiving a donation on Colorado Gives Day receives a portion of the fund, which increases the value of every dollar donated. For example, if Trails 2000 receives 10 percent of the total donations made on Colorado Gives Day, the nonprofit also receives 10 percent of the $1 Million Incentive Fund.

Community First Foundation, a leading foundation dedicated to fueling the power of community to drive positive change, and FirstBank, Colorado’s largest locally owned bank, have partnered to present Colorado Gives Day for the past seven years. By making fundraising simple for nonprofits and giving easy for donors, Colorado Gives Day is one the most successful events of its kind in the nation. Last year, $28.5 million was raised for Colorado nonprofits in just 24 hours. Since its inception in 2010, $111 million has been donated on Colorado Gives Day.

For more information: Sign up for our free E-Newsletter in the upper right hand corner of this page, and “Like” us on Facebook. For more information about Colorado Gives Day, please visit

Gifting for good: The way of the future just got easier


Locally made trucker hat, vintage tee and commemorative booklet.

Online store encourages feel good participation for outdoor enthusiasts

Local non profit, Trails 2000 — headquartered in the stunning San Juan Mountains of Southwest Colorado — announces their newest fundraising effort that gives outdoor enthusiasts a unique way to support their beloved trails and make a feel good purchase this holiday season: the Happy Trails online store.

Southwest Colorado is a widely visited tourist destination, and locals have long ranked the abundance of trails as their number one want and need for living and visiting the area. Trails have always been non denominational; users don’t have to join a club, pay dues, or attend a meeting to enjoy the many benefits of the trail network. As a result, trails are a highly used, free resource — for both the community and tourists — all planned, built and maintained by local non profit, Trails 2000.

“Locally made cards, vintage T-shirts and many other quality products sold for a great cause set our online holiday store apart this giving season,” said Mary Monroe Brown, executive director of Trails 2000. “Gifting for good is the way of the future, and Trails 2000 is excited to launch our new online store and provide thousands of trail users with a way to give back.”

Featuring top notch, local designs and functional products great for gift giving and everyday use, the online store is housed on global search engine giant, Amazon, as well as on Trails 2000’s own site here. According to recent data, 85 percent of online product searches now take place on; this will provide extensive global reach to the organization.

Monroe Brown added, “Whether you’re looking for unique letterpress holiday cards for friends and family or stylish Happy Trails logo tees for kids and adults alike, this store is the place for you to make a feel good purchase to support a good cause.”

A feel good purchase worth making

The products featured in the online store capture the essence of visiting the area: showcasing photo cards with beautiful imagery of the Southwest, commemorative poster of iconic trail and favorite adventure slogans like Happy Trails. High quality products appeal to supporters both native to Colorado and those across the U.S.; they are reflective of the organization’s mission to plan, build and maintain trails, of which all proceeds go to support.

Online store products include:

  1. Greeting cards with seasonal photography from the trails taken by well-known outdoor photographer, Scott DW Smith, which depict all four seasons and showcase the stunning background of Durango.
  2. Letterpress cards of three different designs, printed locally utilizing an antique, handmade letterpress: one holiday card featuring Happy Holidays Happy Trails; and two every day cards with Happy Trails greetings.
  3. Commemorative, artsy and chic poster of Durango trails that features the iconic 500-mile statewide Colorado Trail — which commences in Durango.
  4. Top selling Happy Trails vintage t-shirts, which come in a variety of colors and styles, available in men, women and youth sizes.
  5. Locally made trucker hat featuring Happy Trails slogan.
  6. Commemorative booklet featuring images from Scott DW Smith and a brief history and voices from the trails in Durango.

The store can be accessed on Amazon and on Trails 2000 Shop online (click on “Shop” in the top and left navigation when accessing from home page). All proceeds benefit Trails 2000 for the planning, building and maintaining of the local trail network.

Trails 2000 further diversifies funding and global reach as a member of AmazonSmile, which donates a portion of Amazon purchases to the organization by encouraging consumers to shop through a unique organization link to make product purchases on Amazon (at no additional cost to consumer). Trails 2000 is also a participant of Colorado Gives Day, an annual statewide movement to celebrate and increase philanthropy in Colorado by giving to local non profits online; more information will be available on Colorado Gives come mid-November.

Durango Trails Poster.

Durango Trails Poster.

TrailKids Program Success with Animas High Students on Mike’s Trail

Trails 2000’s TrailKids program here; excited to present our newest project AND newest member of our team, respectively: 1) Two days of hard work on Mike’s Trail with Animas High School (AHS) students, and 2) TrailKids Educator Elizabeth “Ziggy” Lanman. Recently hired, Ziggy has been hard at work on the trail, providing over 80 AHS’ sophomores an educational experience on the trail. At Trails 2000, TrailKids aims to develop a sense of community ownership in youth, while teaching about the land, geography, vegetation, and stewardship in an educational setting. The last two days were just that.

According to Executive Director Mary Monroe Brown: ”[AHS teacher] Tina and the students were outstanding; it was such a pleasure to spend the day with engaged and interested young people. The morning ecology lesson was fantastic, and I was impressed with both Ziggy and Tina’s passion for teaching and the lessons the kids had already learned this semester. The afternoon trailwork went equally well, and the work on Mike’s Trail was top notch: the re-route and the revegetation of the old alignment.”


Read Ziggy’s account of the successful work days, and a bit more about her to get to know our TrailKids Educator:

[Trails 2000] Tell me about the project on Mike’s Trail? Give us all the gooey, science details, if you will…
[Ziggy Lanman] The Mike’s Trail work day with Animas High School was my first program with Trails 2000, and it was intended to educate sophomores about the ecology of the Horse Gulch area and its intersectionality with trailwork. Trails, although being an important resource to communities, present unique challenges as a type of disturbance in an ecosystem. For example, trail erosion can often cause excessive disturbance beyond the trail, and trail users also unintentionally act as vectors for the dispersal of invasive plants (such as biennial thistles or knapweed to name a few), which can squelch biodiversity by outcompeting native plants in those areas of disturbance. The lesson was intended to bring these problems to light in scientific terms that the students had already learned this past semester in school. Those concepts were then applied to trail building by justifying our reroute of that section of eroded, unsustainable trail!

img_3079-edited[T2000] Ok, now that is COOL! What was your favorite aspect of the project?
[Ziggy] I honestly am most excited about the sheer amount of work the kids put in! We did about 1/4 of the re-route of Mike’s, and all of the rehabilitation in two days, which is about 400 hours of work. The project probably would not have been finished this season if we didn’t have the help of those students. Mike’s is a very popular trail in Horse Gulch, and the re-route definitely is a more sustainable trail that will be around for MUCH longer than the eroded section.

[T2000] Well then, a HUGE shoutout to those students. What an important contribution to our trail system. And, thank you to you, Ziggy. Tell us, what are you most excited about as the TrailKids Educator for Trails 2000?
[Ziggy] I am SUPER excited to share my passion for the outdoors with kids. One of the reasons I moved to Durango was to spend more time outside (and not in the classroom) to gain an even greater appreciation for where my body, and bike, can take me! There is nothing that I would love more than instilling that sense of love and appreciation to younger generations, and that’s something that outdoor, hands on education can provide. There’s nothing like watching a kid discover how much fun it is to get dirty and really connect with the earth—I think that this experience is necessary in trying to get kids to fundamentally CARE about our planet. And trails are a necessary resource for that experience!

[T2000] Well said, we certainly couldn’t agree more. What should people know about the TrailKids program?
[Ziggy] TrailKids is intended as a way for kids to get outside, learn something connected to their schoolwork, but also to give back to the community in some way. While the AHS trailwork project was giving back in physical man hours out on the trail, other programs will focus on making 3D trail signs with the geology of the surrounding area, or less tangible things such as an appreciation for the outdoors and an understanding of what trails give to us!

img_3077-edited[T2000] Ok, you obviously know a thing or two about trails, biology, and working with kids. Tell us a little about yourself.
[Ziggy] I’m originally from Santa Fe, NM. I graduated from Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA, with a degree in Biology, five months ago. I really wanted to switch things up from being immersed in academia, so I moved to Durango mid-June to mountain bike and teach science to kids!

[T2000] So cool, especially the part about moving to Durango—we sure love our town! Tell me more about your past and present education/career?
[Ziggy] I have worked as a preschool teacher’s assistant, and outdoor educator for the past three years in Santa Fe for an awesome company called Mountain Kids, and a science educator this past summer working for Powerhouse Science Center (of Durango). I have worked with a plethora of little kids for pretty much all of my life! If you knew me, you’d know my personality is that of a twelve year old (definitely a strong suit, I would say), so I think this fact gives me a leg up when teaching the youth. This is my first season working with Trails 2000, although pretty much my entire family is involved in trail building somehow: my father is an active Santa Fe Fat Tire Society member and puts in countless hours maintaining the trails around Santa Fe, and my brother is a free ride mountain biker, so I’ve had decent exposure to trailwork before!

[T2000] What can you tell me about your personal use of the trails.
[Ziggy] I use trails every day, maybe even twice a day! I am a runner and mountain biker.

[T2000] Yes, yes, times two! And, what do trails mean to you?
[Ziggy] Trails mean so much more to me than just a place to run or ride: they are where I recharge, reflect, and find solace. Trails push me to discover more about myself, whether through straight cardiovascular pain (I’m specifically referring to that last section of the Telegraph climb), or through hootin’ and hollerin’ downhill on bikes with my friends.

[T2000] What do you most value about the trails?
[Ziggy] On a bike, I personally value trails that push my limits. I like tech-y, chunder-y stuff that makes you stay on your toes. It’s fun to ride trails that force you to be completely and utterly present, where lapse of attention could send you into an oak bush or prickly pear or something.

[T2000] What is your favorite trail and why?
[Ziggy] I have many favorite trails… If I were to go on a ride at this exact moment RIGHT NOW, I would ride Anasazi in Horse Gulch.

[T2000] If you could offer advice to future generations of trail users, what would it be?
[Ziggy] Future generations of trail users, do some trail maintenance! I say this for two reasons: 1) Throwing a Pulaski around is one of the most fun things ever, and 2) It’s important to know how much work goes into maintaining a trail because so you can appreciate those who volunteer their blood, sweat, and tears to make trails continuously usable. It’s kind of insane how much work T2000 does. Seriously people, go volunteer.

[T2000] We do LOVE our volunteers! And, anyone who wants to join our cause, for that matter. Ok, Ziggy. It is now time for the Trails 2000 Speed Round:
[T2000] 1) Pulaski or McLeod? [Ziggy] Pulaski, duh. [T2000] 2) Hike, bike or ride (horses)? [Ziggy] RIDE. [T2000] 3) Tea or coffee? [Ziggy] Coffee for sure—I drink ungodly amounts that would kill a small child probably.

Phew! Well, no wonder you can crank it up Telegraph—and keep up with the kiddos for that matter. Thank you for your time in this interview, but especially for your time out on the trails with our TrailKids. Now get back out there, and toss some dirt around (sustainably, of course).

©2017 Trails 2000 • PO Box 3868 • Durango, CO 81301 • 970-259-4682


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