Aspentimes.com - Full Article
Snowmass | September 4, 2019
Town of Snowmass Parks, Recreation and Trails Department
Our trail development in Snowmass Village is rapidly changing as we build new trails and make new connections. How lucky are we to have the opportunity to separate use on trails within our small community, giving everyone a unique experience.
In the village, hikers and equestrians have their own trails, like Tom Blake and North Mesa equestrian and hiking trails. Aspen Skiing Co. maintains Vista, Rabbit Run and Sierra Club for hikers only. All of these trails prohibit mountain bike use. The Town helps the U.S. Forest Service maintain the Ditch Trail, which allows users to access miles of hiking- and equestrian-only trails in the Maroon Bells Wilderness Area.
On Snowmass Ski Area we built the Discovery Trail, a single direction beginner uphill only mountain biking trail, and Skico continues to provide miles of downhill-only trails for mountain bikers. Most communities do not have the luxury to provide such diversity in their trails systems as we have here in Snowmass Village.
Even with the separation and diversity, we are still faced with the problem that most trail users want peace and solitude on the trail. The reality is population will continue to grow and every user will eventually see others on the trails.
When we share the trails, who has the right of way? The first thing you need to know is there is a hierarchy on the trail. You may have seen the yellow trail etiquette triangle with a horse, hiker and biker. Horses have priority, followed by hikers, and then bikers. It’s pretty simple to remember and makes encounters much more pleasant when everyone knows who gets to go first...
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