Handcycle trails are increasing in popularity for a variety of reasons. In 2011, Trail Solutions constructed a challenging handcycle trail at a ranch that hosts wounded Gulf War veterans, and the Bureau of Land Management is planning for a new trail in Gunnison, CO (see attached press release).
IMBA supports this effort to provide more trail opportunities to a wider range of users. As noted in the press release, handcycle trails also make great mountain bicycling for beginners and families.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Shannon Borders, 970-240-5399
New Trails Proposed for Handcycling at Hartman Rocks Recreation Area
GUNNISON, Colo. - The Bureau of Land Management received funding to create trails suitable for beginner level handcycling. Most handcycles are built in a tricycle configuration and are powered by the riders' arms verses legs; therefore, these recreationalists need newly adapted trail systems.
"Through discussions with the Hartman Rocks Users Group, the Adaptive Sports Center and ReActive Adaptations in Crested Butte, experienced hand cyclists, Gunnison Trails and others, it was determined the Sea of Sage and Broken Shovel trails would fit terrain criteria for this type of project," said Kristi Murphy, BLM outdoor recreation planner. "These trails are within the Hartman Rocks Recreation Area, and the newly created trails known as "Wide Trails" and are also user friendly for beginner level mountain biking/motorcycling and family style hiking."
Both trails were originally livestock trails that followed drainages and were adopted by trail users during the 1990s. The gentle terrain and the potential for the Cottonwoods camping area to become a trailhead complete with restrooms and possibly camping facilities are also key elements of the location.
The BLM encourages the public to check out the proposed alignments for Sea of Sage and Broken Shovel trails by going to the Hartman Rocks Recreational Area and looking for the pink flag lines.
"Please walk the flag line since mountain bikes and motorcycles must stay on trails. The Sea of Sage trail is a complete reroute while the Broken Shovel trail is a combination of reroute and retrofit," said Murphy. "For this project to proceed, we will need public input now and volunteers during the construction phase.
The Wide Trails are slated for construction in October 2012, and will be built with a combination of machine and hand tools. Once completed, these trails will be open to foot travel, mountain bikes, hand cycles and single track motorized users.
If you have questions or would like to provide feedback on the trail system, contact Kristi Murphy, at kmurphy [at] blm [dot] gov<mailto:kmurphy [at] blm [dot] gov> or 970-642-4955.