New Castle trail system & new trails approved by BLM!

NEW CASTLE, Colorado.  Press Release from BLM’s Colorado River Valley Field Office:

Work is beginning on a newly authorized trail system on Bureau of Land Management lands just north of New Castle.  The Town of New Castle, the Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association and BLM are partnering to create and maintain a sustainable mountain biking and hiking trail system north of town.

“We’ve approved a designated trail system that provides a great recreational opportunity right in New Castle’s backyard. Working with the Town of Newcastle and RFMBA, we have been able to address some of the concerns we had with the existing network of user-created trails, such as long-term sustainability, trespass issues, and protecting sensitive wildlife areas,” said Acting BLM CRVFO Field Manager Gloria Tibbetts.

Over the next several years, volunteers and professional trail crews will construct about 3.5 miles of new trails while improving and re-routing where necessary the six miles of existing trails and administrative routes. Public access will be from Alder Park and VIX Park.

“New Castle is now fully poised for better living through trails!” said Mike Pritchard, Executive Director of RFMBA. “RFMBA and our New Castle Trails committee have been fortunate to work with willing partners at the Town of New Castle and the BLM to study existing and future trails in this area. The trail system will provide opportunities for increased health, fitness, and fun, in the beautiful setting of pinion, juniper, and red rock.”

The BLM recently completed an environmental assessment that designated an authorized trail system in this area, known as the New Castle Extensive Recreation Management Area. In addition to designating 9.5 miles of current and future trails, the BLM’s decision also closes more than three miles of trails that encroach onto private property or go outside the ERMA into priority wildlife habitat.

Upcoming work on the trails includes the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps constructing the necessary re-routes through funding from Garfield County, a large public project with RFMBA and the Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers, and weekly volunteer trail work sessions with New Castle Trails.

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Here’s the BLM’s Environmental Assessment that led to this trail system approval & upcoming trail projects: