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Community News from the Heart of Summit County

Community Members and Adopt a Trail program keep Blue River Trail clean

Published March 9, 2020
community members cleaning Blue River Trail
Members of Keystone Symposia cleaning up their section of the Blue River Trail

A connection to Summit County and beyond

The Blue River Trail in Silverthorne is a favorite among residents and visitors alike. Providing an accessible rec path for all to enjoy, the Blue River Trail connects Silverthorne to the rest of the rec paths in Summit County, making it easy and fun to bike from Silverthorne to Dillon, Frisco and beyond.

For the past 15 years, stewards of the Blue River Trail in Silverthorne have been helping clean and maintain the trail for all to enjoy through the Town’s Adopt a Trail program. Started in 2005 when the first portion of the Blue River Trail opened, the program has since expanded to include add-ons to the Blue River Trail as well as Angler Mountain trail, and now, the new Cortina Trail in Silverthorne.

Cleaning the Blue River Trail for 15 years and counting

Silverthorne resident Diane Godfrey, along with her co-workers at the Pearl Izumi Factory Store, has been maintaining the switchbacks along the Blue River Trail by the Dillon Dam since the program began. They have affectionately dubbed their portion of the trail “mini Hoosier Pass” and many of Pearl Izumi’s employees regularly bike along this section, keeping an eye out for anything out of order. If an employee notices a particular area that needs attention, a clean-up mission is added to the schedule.

Diane says, “I was at the ribbon-cutting for the trail opening and I was so excited that the new path would connect Silverthorne to Dillon, as well as provide a safe alternate route to riding Highway 6 through the gauntlet of the I70 interchange.” She adds that Pearl Izumi is happy to make early-season cleanup missions with their brooms, shovels and trash bags on their beloved section of the Blue River Trail. “What a great opportunity to get outside and do good for our community.”

Making a difference in our community

Doing good for our local community is what makes the Adopt a Trail program so special to so many people in Silverthorne. Suzanne Reed, chair of the town’s Silverthorne Parks, Open Space, Recreation and Trails (SPORT) committee, says, “It’s a great way for people to participate in our community in a positive way.” The trail is broken up into small sections and the program consists of adopters keeping their eyes out for any issues and picking up trash. Each month from May to October the adopters turn in a monthly report highlighting the trail conditions.

Suzanne says, “The adopters are very proud to be part of the program and people really enjoy seeing their plaque highlighting their section. It’s another way for people to participate in the community on their own time.” Suzanne also reports that some adoptees have been very creative in their methods of picking up trash in steeper sections closer to the Blue River. “If you help keep it clean, others are more likely to keep it clean as well,” she says.

Keeping the trail clean not only benefits our residents and visitors, but also the abundant wildlife that call Silverthorne home. “It’s a great place to see wildlife with the willows and water, there are moose, fox, birds and more. It’s very peaceful and serene,” says Suzanne. “If you haven’t walked or biked along the Blue River Trail you are really missing out. It is so accessible and is a great trail any day of the year.”

Adopt a Trail openings

In 2020, there are four openings available for residents to Adopt a Trail and participate in this much-loved program. Two sections at the north end of the Blue River Trail are available for adoption, as well as the new Cortina Trail connecting downtown Silverthorne to Wildernest, and Angler Mountain trail. While three of the sections are new and available for adoption for the first time, Angler Mountain Trail is being passed on in 2020 from long-time adopters John and Pat Taylor. The Taylor’s have been hiking Angler Mountain since 2005 as part of the program, and have been a huge help with identifying wildflowers and other plant species along the trail. With their retirement from the program, the SPORT committee is also looking for a community member to help with educational wildflower signage along the Angler Mountain trail.

If you are interested in participating in the Adopt a Trail program, please contact Mahlon Dysart at mdysart@silverthorne.org or 970.262.7367 for more information.

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