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National Trails Day presents volunteering opportunities for community

The Sapphire Point lookout over Lake Dillon is pictured on July 27, 2019. Volunteers with Friends of the Dillon Ranger District will help complete tread work at the Sapphire Point for National Trails Day.
Photo by Deepan Dutta / Summit Daily archives

After a year when many took to the outdoors for recreation, National Trails Day is an important celebration for the Summit County community.

The town of Breckenridge and Friends of the Dillon Ranger District are two of many organizations across the country hosting volunteer opportunities Saturday, June 5 in celebration of National Trails Day.

Breckenridge Tourism Office spokesperson Austyn Dineen said the town manages over 60 trails accessible from downtown, and the town thrived providing them as a resource during the pandemic.



“The trails over this past year have kind of taken a new meaning,” Dineen said. “They kept me and my family sane, and we used all of them. We were on the trails, outside in open air, and we were so incredibly thankful.”

Friends of Breckenridge Trails is an organization designed to encourage both locals and visitors to participate in the upkeep of local trails. Dineen said the organization manages volunteer opportunities to maintain the trails and is holding an event for National Trails Day.



“This year, National Trails Day should hold a special place in all of our hearts,” Dineen said. “(It’s about) being able to take care of what’s surrounding us and really give back to what was our constant throughout this crazy last year-plus.”

Friends of Breckenridge Trails is hosting a “Doody Free Breck” volunteering opportunity from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday with volunteers meeting at the B&B Trailhead. Volunteers will help clean up the town’s most popular trails throughout the day. Interested participants can register for the event at Bit.ly/3zbq2X0.

Emily Bruyn, marketing and events manager for Friends of the Dillon Ranger District, said they are also hosting a volunteer opportunity to celebrate National Trails Day.

Friends of the Dillon Ranger District invited volunteers to help with tread maintenance at Sapphire Point in two shifts on Saturday. The first shift is from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the second shift is from 1-4 p.m, with one spot left in each shift as of Thursday night. Bruyn said she expects those spots to be filled by the end of the day on Friday.

Bruyn said this volunteer opportunity is the kickoff of Friends of the Dillon Ranger District’s volunteer season. She said this project at Sapphire Point is one the organization started last summer, and she’s excited to continue work this weekend.

“We’ve obviously seen a huge increase in recreation in general up here in Summit County, and we know that Sapphire Point is definitely one of the most popular trails in the county for the amazing views,” Bruyn said. “So I think it’s extremely important that we’re out there this National Trails Day to be taking care of our trails, just because they’re getting so much more use than they had in the past, and just making these views accessible for everybody.”

Bruyn added that she’s thankful for how the community is willing to give back to its trails, which she said is apparent based on the number of volunteers signed up to help for National Trails Day. As of Thursday night, 21 people were signed up for the event.

Breckenridge’s new B Like Breckenridge campaign also aims to make sure visitors know what’s expected when it comes to sustainability and environmental stewardship. The campaign goals stem from the town’s destination management plan, which includes showing respect for local trails and limiting car usage — a message Dineen said is important for National Trails Day.

“When you’re on vacation or you’re visiting somewhere, you kind of want to do what the locals do, right?” Dineen said. “I hope I’m not busting any secrets here, but driving around Breckenridge is not the way to see Breckenridge. Being on a bike and being on your feet and walking into the historic district, that is the best way to experience this town.”

If you go

B&B trail cleanup

Who: Friends of Breckenridge Trails

What: Doody Free Breck trail cleanup

When: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, June 5

Where: Meet at B&B Trailhead

Sapphire Point tread work

Who: Friends of the Dillon Ranger District

What: Tread work

When: Two shifts from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 1-4 p.m.

Where: Sapphire Point

 


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