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Contact: Kyle Patterson, 970-586-1363
Rocky Mountain National Park and the Sulphur Ranger District of the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest cordially invite the public to attend an open house to review and provide input on proposed hiking and equestrian trail reroutes near Grand Lake. The open house will be held from 6:30 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 17, 2006 at the Grand Lake Fire Station, 201 West Portal Road.
Within the Arapaho National Forest, the proposal calls for the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDNST) to be rerouted off of a motorized route and onto the Bowen Gulch Trail, which is an existing non-motorized trail. With the proposed reroute of the trail within the Arapaho National Forest, the CDNST would enter the park via the Bowen Gulch Trail. This would require a reroute of the CDNST within the park onto an existing seldom used dirt road and the construction of one mile of new trail to connect to the existing trail system in the park. The rerouted trail will rejoin the existing CDNST north of the town of Grand Lake. No changes are proposed south of that point.
Unrelated to the CDNST, the park is proposing to change public access to the Bowen and Baker Gulch trailheads in the park. During the hunting season, hunters and the public are permitted to drive to both trailheads in order to gain access to hunting areas in the Arapaho National Forest. Park staff are proposing to consolidate all parking at the Bowen Gulch trailhead and to construct a new ¼ mile-long trail to connect to Baker Gulch. The access road to Baker Gulch and the parking lot would then be removed and restored to natural conditions. With the proposed change and enforcement of current park regulations, dogs would not be permitted beyond the Bowen Gulch trailhead.
Staff from the Sulphur Ranger District of the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest and staff from the park will be attending the open house to answer questions and to seek input from the public on these trail proposals. Detailed maps and related information will be available for review. Because new trails will be constructed within the park, park staff will be preparing Environmental Assessments for the CDNST reroute and the proposed changes at the Bowen and Baker Gulch trailheads. Following the completion of the Environmental Assessments, in early 2007, there will be a 30-day public review and comment period.