PALISADE - Mountain bikers in the Grand Valley have spent years slowly yet steadily developing plans to balloon the valley's already enviable collection of singletrack, and this season their efforts are reaching fruition with several new trails opening for riders.
From the new and inspiring Palisade Rim Trail to the view-heavy Mesa Top Trail on the Grand Mesa to fresh loops on Fruita's 18 Road network of singletrack, the Grand Valley is bustling with new trails that are elevating the region as a viable contender to Moab as the West's premier mountain biking destination.
"We've got a lot of momentum going, that's for sure," said Scott Winans , president of the 175-member Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association, which has spearheaded the planning and fundraising to develop more trails in the valley.
Winans negotiates the steep, technical trail of the new Palisade Rim Trail with the agility of a rider very familiar with every rock. For the past six years, the engineer with Grand Junction-based bike suspension company White Brothers Cycling and co-owner of Palisade's Rapid Creek bike shop has pushed for expanding the region's trail system. It took three years of negotiating with the local irrigation district for a trail crossing easement to access the Palisade Rim.
"That was a real big deal," says Winans, acknowledging the rarity of eking an easement from an irrigation ditch company. "Hopefully other projects can look to this and say, 'Here's one that got done."
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