Poudre Wilderness Volunteers (PWV) is hosting eight Trail Restoration work days this season. The dates are May 28 and 29; August 6, 8, 20 and 21; September 4 and will conclude on the weekend of National Public Lands Day, September 24.
You (or your organization, company, civic organization or church group) are invited and encouraged to join PWV restoration efforts.
The Canyon Lakes District of the Arapaho Roosevelt National Forest suffered a great deal of fire damage in 2012 and damage from large scale flooding in 2013. Many trails were damaged; several had to be closed to the public for extended periods. Of the six damaged trails three have been repaired and are fully open; one has had extensive work done and is open but with a temporary section on private land; the other two trails are still closed.
The two trails to be restored this year are the North Fork Trail, which is located near Glen Haven, and Lion Gulch Trail, which is located just south of Estes Park on Highway 7. These two trails have historically been among the most traveled in the forest. The North Fork Trail provided access to the northwest corner of Rocky Mountain National Park while Lion Gulch Trail allowed users to access a very popular historic area.
Our goal is to complete the restoration of these two trails and have them open to the public by the end of the summer.
WHAT is PWV?
(PWV) is a Larimer County, Colorado nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization founded in 1996 to assist the Canyon Lakes Ranger District of the United States Forest Service in managing and protecting wilderness and backcountry areas within its jurisdiction. To achieve this mission, PWV recruits, trains, equips and fields citizen volunteers to serve as wilderness rangers for the purpose of educating the public and provides other appropriate support to these wild areas. About 320 uniformed volunteer rangers patrol 286 miles - 69 trails - and sponsor programs such as Trail Crew, Weed Crew, Kids in Nature, Adopt-a-Trail, and Trail Restoration.
TASKS and PROCESS
Restoration consists of repairing existing trail tread and building water diversion structures when needed; building totally new trail where the existing trail is no longer there and building bridges and horse fords as necessary. We work under the guidance of the U.S. Forest Service who has overall responsibility for the trails, with PWV coordinating and managing these projects.
The general public is invited to work alongside PWV members to perform the physical labor necessary to restore the trails. PWV has experienced trail crew leaders. Crew leaders manage small groups of volunteers in the specific tasks for that work day.
At the start of each work day crew leaders provide trail training to crews of between four and ten volunteers. This training includes safety issues, the specific skills that will be used that day and proper tool use. Each crew leader directs and monitors their crew throughout the day. A lunch and snacks are provided for the volunteers. While some of the work is physically demanding most requires moderate physical activity and some tasks can be accomplished by anyone in generally good health. We assign volunteers to work crews based on their abilities and the task that need to be done. Our crew leaders will ensure that no one is assigned a task he/she is unable to perform safely.
Car pools are organized and leave from both Fort Collins and Loveland. We normally plan to meet at the trailhead at 9:00am to start. You will be back at the trailhead by 4:00pm.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP
If this sounds like fun you can join us on one or more of our work days. Again, we have tasks for everyone who is in generally good health (we have had volunteers in their 70s and 80s who have even come back for multiple work days). The only restrictions are you have to be at least 18 years old (16 and 17 if accompanied by a parent) and no guns or dogs are permitted.
HOW TO JOIN IN THE FUN
If you would like to help with trail restoration, register using the web form accessed below.
Registering helps us finalize plans for each work day and will let us inform you of any changes due to weather.