Forest Service Approves Plans for New Trails at Turquoise
By: Rachel Woolworth
About eight miles of new non-motorized trails are on the way for Turquoise Lake Recreation area. The U.S. Forest Service approved the Cloud City Wheelers’ (CCW) project last week after categorically excluding the project from an environmental assessment.
The trail network, which will be open to mountain bikers, runners and hikers, will weave through forested and cleared areas on either side of Turquoise Lake Road to the southeast of the lake. Most of the trails will be multi-directional and built with a tread width of 18 to 24 inches. The trails will not incorporate winter use.
Trail construction is already underway at the lake. Volunteers have worked to prepare forested areas and clear debris left from the Forest Service’s Tennessee Creek vegetation management project.
Last winter, CCW was awarded a $33,500 Freeport-McMoRan Foundation grant to support the project. The grant will allow CCW to hire a six-person trail-building crew in 2020.
Additionally, CCW Executive Director Sterling Mudge applied to have the Turquoise Lake initiative be a Volunteers For Outdoors Colorado project. If accepted, over 50 people from across the state would travel to Leadville to help construct the trails.
“I think these trails will create a unique outdoors experience” Mudge told the Herald. If all goes as planned, the trails will open in fall 2020.