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Master Trail Planning Taking Shape in Aspen, CO

Progressive Trail Design LLC, of Fayetteville, AR, and IMBA Trail Solutions are advancing work in Aspen, CO, on an upper valley trails plan in collaboration with the county, city of Aspen, town of Snowmass Village, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Aspen Skiing Co. The goal is the creation of a comprehensive plan that will improve, enhance and direct the future development of trails.

Joey Klein of Trail Solutions just finished up a few days in Aspen participating in meetings regarding the master plan. Despite whiteout and blizzard conditions, multiple factions of trail users attended to share their ideas and concerns. Joey led the first presentation on trail network success stories and IMBA Ride Centers; Clayton from PTD followed with pertinent examples and definitions of mountain bike trail types and styles.

Leaders and members of the Roaring Fork Horse Council, the Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association (RFMBA) and Wilderness Workshop attended, all giving excellent suggestions on trail network improvements. Land managers from the City of Aspen and Pitkin County helped guide the meetings, which concluded with attendees putting their wish lists onto maps.

The second day involved on-the-slopes talks and tours with Gary Tennenbaum, Pitkin County Trails Supervisor and Mike Pritchard, President of RFMBA. (It's a good thing that Joey is well-versed in the language of deep powder skiing, as Aspen had received 24 inches in 24 hours, breaking a record that had stood since 1965!) Several officials who previously sat through Joey's summer and winter presentations requested that he return to repeat IMBA's message, as they want to record the presentation and show it on a local TV channel.

Progressive Trail Designs is the lead on the project. IMBA is lending technical assistance with stakeholder meetings, field work, map review and document review. The focus of the project will be on soft-surface trails and trail amenities that will provide trail experiences for a wide range of users, from easy to challenging, that allow trail users to experience the beauty of the Roaring Fork Valley.

Another goal is to achieve a fun and functional trail network for residents and visitors that provides connectivity of existing trails with new trails, connectivity of business and recreation, and to enhance the Upper Roaring Fork Valley as a premier outdoor recreation destination.

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