Help needed to expand hiking trails near Craig | CraigDailyPress.com

Help needed to expand hiking trails near Craig

Craig Press staff report

Members of a children's nature club enjoy a hike on Cedar Mountain.

CRAIG  — Hikers, mountain bikers, runners and walkers may soon have more and better options near Craig, as the Bureau of Land Management seeks help in designing a trail expansion 5 miles north of Craig on Cedar Mountain.

Planning for the project will get underway soon, and BLM is looking for advice from local residents and recreationists about trail location, size, grade and design.

"The BLM strives to be a good neighbor in the communities we serve, and we welcome diverse views," said BLM Little Snake Field Manager Bruce Sillitoe.

The 900-acre Cedar Mountain Special Recreation Management Area was designated in 2011 to provide non-motorized recreational activities near Craig, including horseback riding, cross-country skiing, running and mountain biking.

It currently includes about 3.5 miles of trails, and many are steep or washed out in areas. The BLM and local partners hope to more than double the number of trails on the mountain and create more user-friendly trails that would be less steep for mountain bikers and novice hikers. Cedar Mountain trails remain snow-free earlier and later in the year than popular destination areas, such as Steamboat Springs, and could provide new opportunities for local recreationists.

"Right now, we have just started discussing the possibilities with local partners and want to make sure anyone who is interested has a chance to provide thoughts and ideas," said Dario Archuleta, outdoor recreation planner for the Little Snake Field Office.

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Once trail projects on Cedar Mountain are completed, the BLM will look into trail improvement projects in other areas within the Little Snake Field Office.

To provide advice during this initial, informal planning phase of the BLM's Cedar Mountain trails expansion project, contact Archuleta at darchule@blm.gov or 970-826-5008.

Last year, recreation on BLM Colorado-managed lands generated $590 million in economic output.