Happy holidays from MTG! We hope this final update for 2020 finds you well. Here at MTG, despite the pandemic and the unusual trail work circumstances it forced upon us, it turned out to be a very successful year.
As you probably know, this year we switched from our usual monthly group workday format to an individual adopt-a-trail program focusing on the Mancos Spur Trail. While we missed the camaraderie of our get-togethers, the trail adoption program turned out to be a huge success. All together, our volunteers put in 342 hours of trail work and covered over 20 miles of trail. Some segments saw as much as 50 hours of work! And almost every mile of the Spur saw at least 4 hours of trail work. This is pretty amazing, and if you've been out on the Chicken Creek, West Mancos, or Sharkstooth trails this year you've probably seen some of the work our volunteers did.
The other big project Mancos Trails Group has been involved in this year is developing the new Mancos Town Trail System. If you've walked through town and noticed the tracks of a giant blue moose, a huge yellow mountain lion or a big red fox, you've seen the trail! This trail system will connect the three town parks. Eventually, there will be additional trail markers as well four "trailhead" kiosks, one at each park and one right downtown. These kiosks will contain maps and information about the Town Trail System as well as highlight research and work done by students at the Mancos School. In fact, the fourth graders have been painting the tracks (they also researched animals and chose the three we used), and the welding class is constructing the kiosks. This project is a collaboration between MTG, the Town of Mancos, Mancos School RE-6, and the San Juan Mountains Association. Funding comes from the Town, SJMA, the Ballantine Family Fund and the Onward! Foundation. You can read more about the project here:
Mancos students paint animal tracks to connect parks
Mancos Schools, Trails Group and Town Partner on Trails Project
Mancos Trails Group has also been busy behind the scenes, working with a number of partners on projects addressing recreation, education, trails, and the health of our local forest. In total this year, MTG volunteers put in over a thousand hours of volunteer work!
Looking towards next year, we are planning on returning to our monthly group work days but will also keep the trail adoption program going. That way, if you can't make it to one of our group sessions, you'll still be able to give back to our local trails. This year we plan on offering some trail maintenance training sessions to our trail adopters. And we are hoping to be able to hold some fun events and fundraisers as well.
Finally, we'd like to thank you, our supporters and volunteers. Mancos Trails Group is a 100% volunteer-run organization and we couldn't do what we do without you.
To celebrate, let's all get outside and enjoy our beautiful winter wonderland. And if you've read this far, consider supporting MTG this year by buying some cool MTG-logo gifts at our new online shop!
Looking forward to a fantastic 2021!
With the holidays around the corner, we are excited to announce that we now have a new way you can show your support - by shopping for MTG logo gifts at our online store!
Just in time for Black Friday - Mancos Trails Group swag! Makes great gifts for all of your trail buddies, friends and family. All proceeds go to support MTG. Spread the word!
Mancos Trails Group online store link:
Happy Fall, MTGers! We hope that this beautiful season finds you all well and that you are getting out there and enjoying our local trails. There’s a lot that’s been going on in the MTG world - here is our Fall update.
National Trails Day this Saturday, 9/26
It’s National Trails Day this Saturday, and the San Juan National Forest is sponsoring an Individual Forest Cleanup event. Anyone who gets out on the trails all this week (from Sun. 9/20 - Sun. 9/27) and does some trail maintenance or cleanup can consider themselves a Volunteer for National Trails Day! If you do some cleanup, just let us know how many pounds of trash you picked up. And if you are a Mancos Spur Adopter and you get out for some trail maintenance, let us know about that. It all counts towards National Trails Day so be sure to let us know if you get out there!
Mancos Spur Adoption Program Update
Speaking of Mancos Spur Adopters, here’s a brief update on how that program is going so far... We have now had 19 MTG volunteers put in over 260 hours on almost every single mile of the 23½ mile Mancos Spur Trail. This is a truly amazing amount of work. Our volunteers have cut and removed brush, cleared away rockslides, repaired and improved drainage features, and much more. Maybe you’ve been out on the Spur and seen some of the work we’ve done. Maybe you’ve run into some of our volunteers out there - be sure to say hi if you do! With the fall colors coming on strong, now is a great time to get out there and enjoy the beautiful trails in the Mancos area. Of course, keep in mind that it is hunting season and plan to wear orange to make yourself (and any pets) clearly visible.
Town Trail Project
The other project that has been keeping MTG busy this summer is the exciting new Town Trail project. Maybe you’ve noticed the tracks of a very large, blue moose appearing around town? This is the exciting beginning of the new Town Trail connecting Boyle Park, Cottonwood Park and the Northside Park. Our Mancos Elementary 4th Graders have been working on this project since last year with art teacher Alys Hansen and Project Based Learning Director Ed Whritner. Keep your eyes out in the next few weeks for more tracks - which new animals will they be?!
Mancos Trails Group has been working in partnership with Mancos Schools RE-6, San Juan Mountains Association and the Town of Mancos to bring the Town Trail project to fruition. Funding for the project comes from the Ballantine Family Fund, the Town of Mancos, and the many generous donors to Mancos Trails Group.
Finally, we are excited to announce that Mancos Trails Group will soon be selling MTG logo merchandise! Keep your eyes on our webpage and Facebook/Instagram for links to our new store. Consider supporting MTG by buying a new T-shirt, hat, water bottle, or one of many other cool items. Makes a great birthday or Christmas present for the trail lovers in your life!
As always, feel free to email us with any questions or ideas, or if you’d like to be more involved with MTG.
WOW! Our Trail Adopters have really been getting after it! So far we've put in over 140 volunteer hours maintaining the Mancos Spur Trail. Our volunteers have cleared brush, trimmed trees, maintained water diversion structures, and more - resulting in a much improved Mancos Spur Trail. Oh, and the scenery has been pretty good too. Hope you've been getting out there as well! And if you'd like to join in our trail adoption program, it's not too late - just shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll set you up! It's a fun way to get outside, enjoy our amazing SW Colorado scenery, have some fun, and give back to our community.
FYI, note from the Forest Service:
Logging operations will begin in the Chicken Creek area near the north end of the Rush Connector as early as Thursday, 7/16. Logging equipment will be using Forest Service Road 385 (Chicken Creek Road) as well as interior routes within the ski area.
During the planning phase of this project, the Chicken Creek Nordic Club coordinated with the District’s timber and recreation programs and requested that shade trees within 60’-100’ feet of the trail remain uncut in order to maintain shade on the groomed ski trail. For the most part, the operations will leave those trees unless individual trees show signs of beetle kill or mistletoe infestation.
There will be no area closures during this project but we are asking any forest visitors to stay clear of the project area. The contractor will post signs at access points and trail intersections notifying visitors of the logging operations.
Experiencing this pandemic has truly made us all appreciate even more than before our amazing local trails. It’s become clear that trails have never been more important as a literal path to maintain our physical and psychological well being. We hope you’ve been getting out and enjoying our Mancos Valley trails safely!
Because of the pandemic, it seems unlikely that we’ll be able to hold the kind of group trail work days we’ve been doing the past few summers. Instead, we’re looking at moving toward an “Adopt-a-Trail” model. Specifically, we’re asking MTG volunteers to adopt segments of the 24-mile long Mancos Spur Trail which runs from Kennebec Pass to Jackson Lake. We’ll be looking for volunteers to take on short 1-2 mile segments (we’ll adjust the number and length of segments depending on interest). This way you’ll be able to conduct necessary trail work - primarily brushing and maintenance of the trail surface - with just your immediate family or small social circle. MTG, in conjunction with the Forest Service, will be loaning out tools to our adopters to use for the whole season, so we won’t need to worry about sharing tools. And we are hoping to hold a celebration of your work toward the end of the season depending on the realities of the pandemic at that time.
Currently the Forest Service has all volunteer activities on hold but we’re hoping that will change soon and we’ll be getting this program up and running. In the meantime, if you’re interested in adopting a segment of trail this summer, please reply & let us know so we can start working out how many adopters we’ll have.
While we all will miss the camaraderie of our monthly trail work days, at least this will get us all out there and doing some great service to the community while we are enjoying our trails. Plus, every hour of volunteer trail work you contribute is multiplied several times over as the Forest Service uses those numbers when it applies for grants. Such funding allows them to hire crews to accomplish additional work on the Spur that is beyond the capabilities of MTG.
If you're interested in adopting a segment of the Mancos Spur Trail, let us know by sending an email to email@example.com.
It's spring in the beautiful Mancos Valley and what an unusual spring it's been! Hopefully everyone is staying healthy and getting out to do some safe social distancing on our amazing local trails - we are so lucky here to have so much within 10 miles of home!
Not surprisingly, our group trailwork days are on hold for the moment. We are working on alternatives for the summer and will let everyone know what's in the works when it's solidified. In the meantime, I hope you've all made note of our Support Our Supporters facebook campaign. We've been the beneficiary of the generosity of so many local businesses over the years and it's time to give back. Please consider patronizing our local businesses as best you can!
We want to send out a huge thank you to all of our wonderful volunteers for making the 2019 Mancos Trail Group season so successful. Together, our volunteers put in over 1100 hours to support local trails in the Mancos Valley! Here's a quick summary of our accomplishments this year.
Although fall is almost over and winter is coming on fast, we hope you continue to get out there and enjoy your local trails. We look forward to volunteering with you again next year!
Our next board meeting is on Tuesday October 29, 6:30-8pm at the Mancos Library. The board meeting is from 6:30-7:30, public comment/social from 7:30-8. Everyone is welcome for all or part of the meeting. We'll be reviewing our successful 2019 summer season and looking ahead towards projects for this winter and next summer. Now is a great time to get involved with a fun group of people and support your local trails!
The comment period for the BLM's proposed trail system on the Aqueduct Parcel near Mancos closes tomorrow, Monday Oct. 21. Please look over the proposal and leave your comments online at:
One thing we learned when we went to the BLM open house a couple of weeks ago is that this Environmental Assessment (EA) covers a number of areas, from Cortez (Mud Springs) to Durango (Perins Peak and Animas City Mountain). And you're not required to either support or oppose the entire proposal. You can pick and choose which parts of the proposal you want to comment on. This includes the addition of e-bike access. So, for example, you can leave a comment in which you support the new trails at the Aqueduct and the additional parking at Chutes and Ladders, not even mention trails in Durango if that isn't of interest to you, and you can either support, oppose, or be neutral as to the inclusion of e-bike access.
Thanks for participating in the public process!