Summit Mountain Bike Alliance unveils concepts for Tenderfoot Ride Center
The Summit County Mountain Bike Alliance has big plans for an upgraded trail network near Tenderfoot Mountain in the future.
The alliance presented new concepts for the Tenderfoot Ride Center project to the Dillon Town Council this week, hoping to inform officials of their plans in the area and to try to bring the town on board as a partner to help support future infrastructure improvements.
The project largely features an extensive trail network, which would be composed of existing and new trails proposed by the group. The trails would be professionally designed and built to be used by mountain bikers, and new facilities would be built at the base of the center to facilitate other amenities in the area, including the disc golf course, archery range and cemetery.
“There’s quite a few benefits for users of the trail network,” alliance board member Robert Klima said. “We can create a system of purpose-built trails for mountain biking, which will increase the fun factor. … It really provides for a user-friendly system of trails for locals, and also for visitors to the county.”
The Tenderfoot Ride Center would be constructed north of U.S. Highway 6, to the east of the disc golf course and cemetery. The alliance has already had meaningful conversations with other stakeholders including the U.S. Forest Service and Summit County Resource Allocation Park to construct new trails to add into the system, Klima said.
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In addition to the existing trails, Klima said the group chose the Tenderfoot area because it was one of the first in the county to dry out during the spring, and is easily accessible for community members.
“With the very central location of the trail system, many locals will be able to access those trails riding from home,” Klima said. “I myself live in Summit Cove. … I can get on my bike, ride from my house over through the tunnel under Highway 6 and access all the trails up there. Even people up in Keystone can access the trails from there, or down in Dillon from the Oro Grande trailhead.”
Klima walked council members through a three-phase implementation plan for the project. The first phase will get underway this year and includes the construction of the new Blue Flow Trail that runs from Tenderfoot Trail Road back down to the archery range, along with the construction of a beginner serpentine trail and kids’ strider trail just off the highway.
Klima said the group was contracting with McGill Trail Fabrication out of Silverthorne, and hoped to open the new trails sometime in July 2021.
Phase one also includes a number of infrastructure improvements the group pitched to Dillon officials, which likely won’t be completed in 2021.
“One thing that would be very beneficial out there would be to have bathrooms at the base facility, in the archery range parking lot,” Klima said. “The other thing would be a kiosk out there that not only shows what the riding areas are, but also explains about the archery range, the disc golf course and guides people to overflow parking.”
In addition to the bathroom and kiosk installations, the group also asked for expanded parking options for trail users at the archery range, nature preserve trailhead or Snake River inlet.
Klima said future phases would include further expansion of the trail network to the north and east of the central area.
Dillon officials largely responded positively to the proposal.
“I think it’s really cool to see that area utilized more because it’s a great spot,” Mayor Carolyn Skowyra said. “… For me that seems doable. I don’t know if its doable this summer, but it seems like something we can work towards with the county, and try to scrape some money together to improve that area out there.”
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