Cooperation between bikers and equestrians helps improve trails

In July, Horseplay featured an article on potential conflicts between mountain bikers and horseback riders, and precautions both sides can take to avoid them. But it’s important to note that organizations representing both groups have also been working together to improve public-lands facilities for everyone.

One instance of that cooperation occurred July 14, with the Mesa Top Trail construction project near Lands End Road on Grand Mesa National Forest. Twenty-four people, volunteers from both the Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Association and the Grand Mesa Back Country Horsemen worked to extend and recondition the trail near the Clear Lake Overlook.

Jan Potterveld, chairman of Back Country Horsemen of Colorado, joined the work team with 11 members from the Grand Mesa Back Country Horsemen chapter. He said this type of cooperation in the management and maintenance of quiet-user trails goes a long way toward improving the relationship between the different groups that use the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management trails.

Crew leaders were Barney Barnett and Kevin Foote. After a brief introduction and the safety-tool talk, Barnett took his crew back toward the trail head, reworking some rough sections and rerouting a small problem area, Potterveld reported. Foote’s crew started close by and continued with more new trail construction, removing rock, backfilling and smoothing another tenth of a mile of trail, he said.

“We look forward to more work and educational experiences that show how we can all have a safe and fun time on the trails.” Potterveld said. He added thanks to all who donated their time, money and support for the work effort.


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