These trails cross private lands owned by Telluride Ski and Golf Company and others, and public lands owned by the United States Forest Service and the Town of Mountain Village, and it has taken dedication, cooperation and compromise by all parties to finalize these agreements. Special thanks to Dave Riley at TSG, Judy Schutza at the USFS and Mountain Village Town Manager Greg Sparks for their strong support of this trail system, and special thanks to the devoted staff of all three organizations for their hard work.
The Mountain Village trail system subdivides into an upper and a lower system. The upper system is composed of six trails, all starting at the top of the Gondola (the ride up is free to all hikers and bikers courtesy of the Mountain Village property owners). The Ridge Trail winds down Coonskin Ridge in a series of switchbacks. The Basin and Sheridan trails both traverse the ski mountain primarily using existing access roads. The real gems though are the Prospect and Village trails, recently built with a grant from the USFS. These trails also traverse the ski area, but on purpose-built single track. Finally, the See Forever Trail goes up the ski run eventually connecting with the Wasatch Trail and access down into Bear Creek.
The lower trail system is composed of the Boulevard, Jurassic, Big Billie’s, and Meadows trails, and Old Boomerang Road (the latter two providing connections to Telluride).
I encourage everyone to get out there and use this extraordinary trail system. Trails are open to hikers, bikers and horses, but use of motorized vehicles is strictly prohibited. As you enjoy this great community asset, please remember that these trails offer us a special avenue into the wilderness, and with that comes the responsibility to respect and preserve that wilderness. Those of us who have been using (I am guilty too), or worse, building unmarked, “rogue” trails must stop. We are not only breaking the law, but are disturbing wildlife, eroding soil and creating highways for invasive and noxious plants. The International Mountain Bicycling Association (www.imba.com) offers six “Rules of the Trail” that I would ask us all to know and obey:
1. Ride on open trails ONLY (if it is not marked, it is closed).
2. Leave no trace.
3. Control your bicycle.
4. ALWAYS yield trail (bikers yield to hikers, bikers and hikers to horses).
5. Never scare animals.
6. Plan ahead (make sure you are on the right trail for your ability, and are equipped with the appropriate gear).
A detailed map of the Mountain Village Trail System has been created by TSG staff and a large quantity is currently being printed at TSG’s expense. They will be available soon at Guest Services booths, local bike shops, the San Sophia Nature Center, and at Mountain Village Town Hall. A large permanent map is also being created at USFS expense and will be erected at the top of the Gondola. Maps may also be downloaded from the Mountain Village web page (www.mtnvillage.org).
Going forward, the Mountain Village Recreation Department will maintain the entire lower trail system and will share maintenance responsibilities with the USFS for the upper trail system. Mountain Village, USFS and TSG will be working cooperatively to improve signage on both open and closed trails, and to provide enforcement as necessary. The Telluride Mountain Bike Alliance has also made it clear that they will provide volunteer labor as necessary, and I applaud their positive contributions.
As our hiking and biking community proves to the owners of the lands traversed by these trails that we are excellent stewards of those lands, I am confident that new trails will be possible in the future.
So, it is with delight that I tell you all to go take a hike!