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The original item was published from 8/31/2015 2:16:15 PM to 12/1/2015 12:00:03 AM.

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Trail Updates

Posted on: August 28, 2015

[ARCHIVED] Rim Trail Improvement Project

Sections of the existing Rim Trail suffer from fall-line design; some of which surprisingly hold up nicely, while others do not. Substantial rain amounts like we’ve endured this summer only exaggerate erosion issues caused from unsustainable, fall-line style trail design. This project will ultimately decrease the existing trail’s susceptibility to erosion and improve drainage to ensure sustainability on the existing route before it’s too late and too far gone that the only solutions are re-routes, a solution that is not viable for many of our trails such as the Rim Trail that are located on narrow recreational easements.

TOSV staff will begin working on field planning/design the first week of October. The project will begin at Sinclair and complete the North Rim section first before moving on to the South Rim section. Specific attention will be paid to tread angulations for optimal ride-ability/run-ability and proper drainage while providing long-term physical sustainability. This will include constructing new grade reversals, enhancing existing grade reversals, out-sloping and de-berming cupped trail, and adding gradual rolling grade dips and knick drains. Care will be used to uphold the natural landscape. However, please be prepared for the inherit impact that ground workers and machines will create along sections of the Rim Trail in need of maintenance and improvement. There will be sections of trail where the bench width of the trail will be widened. Please know, that the trail will ‘mature’ again and vegetation will grow back to the user generated trail tread.

The overall goal of the project is to add long term (5-10 years) physical sustainability while preserving the Rim Trail’s existing character. Sustainability in regards to trails can be defined as: “Sustainability on natural surface trail corridors is defined as the characteristic of a travel surface to support currently planned and future uses with minimal impact to the natural systems of the area. Sustainable trails have negligible soil loss or movement while allowing the naturally occurring plant systems to inhabit the area, recognizing required pruning and eventual removal of certain plants over time. Sustainable trails will not adversely affect the naturally occurring fauna. Sustainable trail design will accommodate existing and future uses while only allowing appropriate uses. The sustainable trail will require little rerouting and minimal maintenance over extended periods of time.” [January 1991, National Park Service; Rocky Mountain Region]

For more information on the Rim Trail Improvement Project and why maintenance is needed, please email Parks and Trails Manager Ted O’Brien.

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