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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was able to attend the JCOS Trail Talks last night and thought I'd report out. Lots of very positive things to share. I know I can be verbose, so I'll try to keep it short.

The meeting was largely run by Dave Davenport. Tom Hoby and others also contributed quite a bit.

There was some general talk/ slides about recovery, park usage, and the development of 25 new miles of trails in the next 5 years. Emphasis was put on the fact that this is over a 10% addition (currently 227 miles or something like that in the system). To me, this is awesome news. I could also tell that they are concerned about those who don't want to see more trail developed. *interesting tidbit from Tom Hoby: Population on Front range is supposed to grow by 10% in next 7 years (or something like that- 300,000 people). Basically, they were setting up that they need to be able to keep a good "nature-based" experience for all users, disperse trail traffic, etc.

For me, the biggest message of the evening is that JCOS no longer wants to just sit back and dismiss ideas about trail development. Instead, they want to consider/ stay open to development options and do feasibility studies. Given our population, the density of traffic, conservation, etc, etc, what IS possible.

There are two parts to this:

1) Trail Crews are going to be using and incorporating new methods and "experimenting" with different designs as they build new trail or repair old trail. The idea is to try out different kinds of switchbacks, different armoring, drainages, etc and monitor those installations to keep in their "bag of tricks" for ongoing trail design. At one point, someone asked about alternate lines. The answer was "this is one of the things that trail crews will be incorporating in their "catalog."" (This was very inspiring- I wouldn't expect it everywhere, but it's a much better answer than, "no.")

2) Volunteer input. The idea is to create "Working Groups" who will be made up of staff, advocacy groups (from the "three user groups" [Peds, bikers and equestrians]), interested citizens, etc, to study certain questions/ possibilities. The trail crews will have a specific mission and goal and an end/ due date for their task.

The first Working Group will be put together around the Apex Trailhead Skills Area. They have all of the approval for this, a design consultant on board, and machinery already on site because of the parking area construction. They want something that is a beginner-level, kid friendly, etc.

Another one they want to start putting together is around single use trails. 58% of users in a 2011 survey supported single use trails, so they want to study the possibility. It has often come up and just been shot down, but a Work Group can present a feasibility study- what does this look like? How does it work? Is it an alternating day schedule? Representatives from user groups, staff, etc will study and make suggestions.

Dave said, "We want to address issues that have often been put off, not addressed, or ignored for whatever reason," and "If there is a part of the experience that we can incorporate responsibly, we want to try to do that."

Their goal is to up the volunteer program by 50%.

Also, FWIW, Tom Hoby is a breath of fresh air. He is a mountain biker and a sincere public servant. He wants to hear from every group, and he isn't flippant or dismissive. He wants to be more progressive than they have been, and this is just one step towards doing that.

This was all huge for me. I'm sure there are still plenty of skeptics out there. Is it likely we're going to have a downhill area on public land on the front range? No, not so much. But what if they could incorporate some alternate lines/ trails/ areas (think Blackjack) within our existing parks (or as part of the new trails going in). It didn't feel like blowing smoke. I think they really want to make all of this happen, but I'm not sure they know how-- and the best part is that they know that they might not know how, so they're looking for help from us.

Time to go to work.
 

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Yep, this echoes what I had heard and reported from two of the JCOS guys a few weeks ago. Having him at the helm is changing attitudes I think. The flip side is us being receptive as well and understanding their objectives as well. Like you said, a full DH park is probably too optimistic but I do see a system with more trail and possibly neat schedule and trail alternatives that we currently don't have.
 

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I like the fact that they stated trails such as Long Horn are a complete mess (poor water management, too steep, etc) by their perspective, but plan on leaving them as-is and rating them as a black diamond. In addition, they recognize that by keeping these types of trails difficult, steep, and technical (long horn and dakota ridge were singled out) the more experienced bikers will stay off the more family orientated trails. This is a win in my book.
I was however disappointed in Dave's answer to my question on Alternative Lines. I was hoping for a more technical section of trail to parallel an existing trail, not have a very wide trail with a more technical section on it. I will continue to pursue the first avenue...
 

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I like the fact that they stated trails such as Long Horn are a complete mess (poor water management, too steep, etc) by their perspective, but plan on leaving them as-is and rating them as a black diamond.
Best news I've heard all week.

Also, a rating system has me intrigued. Say longhorn is a black diamond. Is that just for bikes or for hikers and horses too? In general I think ratings could carry over between users. Was there a plan to rate all trails or just the "messy" ones?
 

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So I was at the COMBA party in Golden and JCOS had put a slide about Mt. Glennon and having trails there. Was this brought up at the latest meeting? I am wondering if this will be part of the bike specific trails they mentioned. Currently there are stairs that lead to some access but nothing specific on the site.
 

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So I was at the COMBA party in Golden and JCOS had put a slide about Mt. Glennon and having trails there. Was this brought up at the latest meeting? I am wondering if this will be part of the bike specific trails they mentioned. Currently there are stairs that lead to some access but nothing specific on the site.
Ya I'd like to know too. Glennon was the park I mentioned as the "new" one in my thread a week or so ago. The JCOS guys I talked to said the town of Morrison was all about it and wanted some bike-specific stuff if possible...like an extension of DR. Also they said they would like to do a connector around the side to Falcon but that there might be too much private land on the other side to make that happen. Still cool though. I have hiked up there and there is potential.
 

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I like the fact that they stated trails such as Long Horn are a complete mess (poor water management, too steep, etc) by their perspective, but plan on leaving them as-is and rating them as a black diamond. In addition, they recognize that by keeping these types of trails difficult, steep, and technical (long horn and dakota ridge were singled out) the more experienced bikers will stay off the more family orientated trails. This is a win in my book.
This is very positive. Realizing that the need to cater for bother experienced and new trail users and that by doing this we can improve the chance of avoiding clashes between the two groups is good news.

This is a breath of fresh air versus Boulder that gives us a one way up hill track (think chapman drive) and consider this a new mountain biking trail to stop us complaining.

Beginning to wish I moved to Jeffco.
 

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It's so refreshing to finally see JeffCo open their minds up a bit.

OP, you and our mutual friend Ben should check out this spot out here in Utah. If could be a great reference piece for directional and single user trails mixed in with multi-directional, multi-use trails.
Corner Canyon Trails | Corner Canyon, Draper, Ut
It's pretty amazing how well the directional trails handle the traffic. There can be 60 cars in the lot, but the riding is still a great experience. Being able to rally down Rush and Creekside trail for 15-20 minutes without jamming on the brakes for a climber on a beautiful spring weekend is a wonderful thing.
They(City of Draper)also built a dedicated shuttle-able DH trail, Maple Hollow, a few years ago. 2 summers ago, when we were moving out here, I went to a Draper Parks and Rec meeting that was discussing improvements to the DH trail. When they said the city council had $40k they were ready to spend on improving the DH trail, I about spit out my mouthful of water.
Corner Canyon is a fascinating little spot. Not huge acreage, surrounded by McMansions, beautiful views of the Draper LDS Temple, administered by a very conservative community, but some really progressive recreation policies.

Summit County, UT (Park City area) also has some directional trails that have really enhanced the riding experience for everyone.
Mountain Trails Foundation | - Your nonmotorized trail advocate
Check out the interactive map. It's bananas. So. Many. Trails.
Mountain Trails Foundation is the multiuser advocacy group that basically handles the signage and management of a lot of the trails, as there is a mix of private and public land.
Likewise, being able to climb Armstrong trail for 45 minutes and 2k ft without worrying about some kook not yielding is a wonderful thing as well.

I just figured these could be interesting reference pieces for you guys and your discussions with JeffCo, and maybe open up some enlightening lines of communication with land managers out here.

Also, you guys should come out for a tour this summer when the PC trails open up. You know...for research.
 

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Preach it about the PC trails. Moved from there 8 years ago when Spiro was the way up. Didn't have any problems with DH traffic, most people descending would pull over and just giggle at you coughing up a lung on that @&$?&! Got a chance to ride Armstrong last summer, what a relief, and so much fun to be had on the mid-mountain trail, surely miss PC trails. Have you ridden much in the Wasatch? There is a great trail described in Prime Cuts that included 5/6 of us going over the bars, one Guy twice, bushwacking through cattle trails and one guy taking a header into a creek, luckily just mud.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Flowtron- awesome, thank you. We will most definitely be passing that information along.

Keep in mind, everyone, that you can e-mail Dave Davenport directly ([email protected]) to request to be on one of the working groups. Flowtron, it seems like you'd be an asset to the "Single user/ Temporal Use" group.

BikeBum- I agree that the response to your question about alternate lines wasn't the most encouraging (though I thought just the response of "we're going to be trying that out" was pretty great). My guess is this is another great opportunity for a working group (and might go hand in hand with the single user group?). I guess I left mostly feeling like there aren't any real closed doors right now (within reason).

As for trail ratings, apparently they have been published for some time. You can download the linked file from JCOS's website: http://jeffco.us/Parks/Documents/Parks-and-Trails-Documents/Trail-Ratings-Guide-Open-Space/ I thought this was pretty cool to see an that they actually use it to justify that some trails should be left as black diamond and that if beginners are on that trail and complaining or having conflict, it's because they're in over their head. It's also great because it means that they're not going to try to "sanitize" a black diamond trail. They may try to "repair" it in places if there is serious damage or environment issues, etc, but this system/ document helps them/ us say, "this trail is supposed to be hard!"

As for Mount Glennon, I don't know anything for sure, but my understanding is that the design has been in the works for a while and COMBA has been working with JCOS on it. There are, undoubtedly, a million permitting issues and other factors, but with that relationship (COMBA/ JCOS) growing stronger and less adversarial, it sounds like things are moving forward. I think there is a good chance this is going to happen in the next few years. Flood recovery has set everything back about a year.
 

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As for trail ratings, apparently they have been published for some time. You can download the linked file from JCOS's website: http://jeffco.us/Parks/Documents/Parks-and-Trails-Documents/Trail-Ratings-Guide-Open-Space/ I thought this was pretty cool to see an that they actually use it to justify that some trails should be left as black diamond and that if beginners are on that trail and complaining or having conflict, it's because they're in over their head.
This is great. One question... It's not on the legend but what do the symbols white square with black triangle (Parmalee, Tower) and black square, white circle (Whippletree) mean?
 

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So, anybody know what the plans are for the waterfall area on NTM? Thanks in advance.
I asked that exact question this past Saturday while participating in a JCOS NTM volunteer work day... No one could answer that. I find it a bit frustrating that what they're doing cannot even be answered. People are clearly still using the trail and just hiking down into the ditch and back out. I understand the when is the difficult question, but the what should be defined by now... No?
 
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