Jan 31

Colorado Front Range Trail

Colorado Front Range Trail logo

Front Range Trail

Colorado Front Range Trail from Wyoming to New Mexico

Most Colorado citizens are unaware that one of America’s premier trails is being proposed to run along the most densely populated portions of the state including Pueblo, Colorado Springs, Denver, Boulder, Longmont, Loveland and Fort Collins. The Colorado Front Range Trail would run all the way from the New Mexico border to the Wyoming border and would end up being 876 miles long. In a recent article from the Boulder Daily Camera, it was noted that not only does Governor John Hickenlooper support the trail, but “wants to see a bike trail from the Wyoming state line to New Mexico

completed waiting the next five years.” Now that is both ambitious and awesome!!

Colorado: The Trail State

Wouldn’t it be great if Colorado changed it’s state moniker from The Centennial State to The Trail State? That would more accurately reflect Colorado’s position as one of the leading states for bicycling, hiking and outdoor recreation in general. In addition to the upcoming Colorado Front Range Trail, Colorado is also home to some other incredible long distance trails including the Great Plains Trail, the Colorado Trail and the Continental Divide Trail.

Thank Governor Hickenlooper for Supporting Long Distance Trails

This is the second in a (short) series of blog posts encouraging trail fans to contact their representatives who support trails and cycleways.  I encourage you to Contact Governor John Hickenlooper and thank him for his support of the Colorado Front Range Trail and/or to encourage any and all elected representatives who support trail building and funding. So, once again, I will share the recent message I sent to Governor Hickenlooper about his support for Colorado trails:

Dear Governor Hickenlooper,

I recently read, in the Boulder Daily Camera, that you would like to see a bike trail from the Wyoming state line to New Mexico. Thank you for supporting this important issue. I am a huge fan of the Colorado Front Range Trail. I am glad to hear that it is still alive and well. I am on the Board of Directors for the Great Plains Trail Alliance as well as a supporter of both the Colorado Trail and the Continental Divide Trail. I would love to see Colorado become known as The Trail State. I appreciate your support of Colorado trails and especially bike trails. They are extremely valuable for health, safety, recreation, the environment and transportation. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help support the Colorado Front Range Trail either as a private citizen or through the trail advocacy website Trailsnet.com.

Kevin from Trailsnet.com

Permanent link to this article: http://trailsnet.com/2015/01/31/colorado-front-range-trail/

Jan 30

Trail Advocacy

Colorado Senator Larry Crowder

Senator Crowder

Support Politicians Who Support Trails

In this age of partisan politics, it is refreshing to note that trails seem to be a nonpartisan issue. Although it is true that some strongly anti-trail politicians such as John McCain and Jim Inhofe are republican, that is not necessarily the party’s default viewpoint. Recently, Colorado Republican State Senator Larry Crowder, from the Alamosa County area proposed a bill to fund more bike trails. Unfortunately, the bill did not make it out of committee. Fortunately, it was not voted down because of a lack of interest in trails but on a procedural policy issue. Hopefully Senator Crowder and his colleagues will continue to advocate for more trails as a safety issue, a recreational issue, an environmental issue, a transportation issue and a health issue.

Contact Your Local, State & National Politicians About Supporting Trails

In the meantime, I encourage all of you trail supporters to contact your policy makers about continual support for trails of all sorts including cycleways, hiking paths, rail trails, urban trails and more. Don’t just contact them when you want a favor or when something goes wrong. Contact them when they do anything in support of our trail systems. To that end, here is the email I just sent to Senator Crowder:

Dear Senator Crowder,

Thank you for attempting to build more bike trails in Colorado. I am pleased that you recognize the recreational, health and safety benefits of bike trails. I realize that the bill you proposed did not successfully make it out of committee, but I hope you will continue trying to improve Colorado by improving our trail infrastructure. It is my hope that Colorado will one day be known as The Trail State, and that designation will increase tourism as well as helping people to realize what a healthy and enjoyable state this is.
Alamosa County (& the surrounding area) is fortunate to have you as a representative and all of Colorado is fortunate to have you serving us in the state senate and on the Health & Human Services Committee. Thanks for all you do.
Kevin from Trailsnet.com

Permanent link to this article: http://trailsnet.com/2015/01/30/trail-advocacy/

Jan 27

Ontario Hiking and Backpacking Trails

Ontario Becoming Best Trail Destination Worldwide

La Cloche Silhouette Trail in Ontario Canada

La Cloche Silhouette Trail

If you are planning your summer hiking excursion, you may want to add Ontario to your short list. Over the past couple years,  Ontario has become one of the leading trail destinations worldwide. If you search trail information on Twitter, chances are, you’ll run across a number of trail-related Twitterites in Ontario. In general, Ontario provides a robust outdoor recreation scene with trails as one of their main focuses. Although hiking and backpacking trails make up the lion’s share of their trail system, bike trails are also beginning to pop up throughout the province. Whereas certain cities such as Amsterdam, Portland, Denver and Minneapolis are well known for biking and other areas such as Colorado, California and British Columbia are noted for hiking, Ontario is quickly and quietly becoming Trail Central by providing great trail opportunities including biking trails, hiking trails and backpacking trails. What sets Ontario apart among the various worldwide trail opportunities is their trail infrastructure and trail support system such as that provided by organizations such as Ontario Trails Council.

Trail Access via Parkbus

So what is trail infrastructure? Of course it includes the construction and maintenance of trails themselves, but where Ontario seems to have a distinct edge is trail access. A region can have thousands of miles of trails, but without access to those trails, many people will be left out of the loop. Consider that most trail users are quite environmentally conscious and big supporters of alternative transportation. Therefore, the idea of driving cars to trailheads goes against the environmental ethos of many avid trail users. That’s where a service such as the non-profit Parkbus initiative, in Ontario Canada, is way ahead of the game. Parkbus links major urban areas such as Toronto and Ottawa to nearby outdoor playgrounds such as Bruce Peninsula, Killarney, Georgian Bay Islands, French River and Grundy Lake. The Parkbus service is a boon to hikers, backpackers, canoeists and bicyclists.

Park and Trailhead Access

Take a look at the Parkbus website, and you’ll notice an award-winning system that connects both locals and tourists to the great Canadian outdoors. Start by checking out the pull-down menu below their DESTINATIONS link to find out information about recreational and trail opportunities in Algonquin Provincial Park, Killarney Provincial Park, Bruce Peninsula National Park and more. Each web page features useful information about outdoor recreation packages, canoe trips, backpacking information, campground availability, lodging and trail information. You will find information about everything from short day hikes to the spectacular La Cloche Silhouette Trail in Killarney Provincial Park. At 78 km (49 miles) this is truly one of the best long distance loop hiking trails in North America.

Permanent link to this article: http://trailsnet.com/2015/01/27/ontario-hiking-backpacking-trails/

Jan 16

Safe Community Paths are the Answer

Walking to School Isn’t Inherently Dangerous

boy walking on trail

Encourage kids to walk!

Parents in Maryland are being investigated because they let their elementary children walk a mile home from school. If they really believe that the community isn’t safe for walking, then they should be using their time and resources to build safe community trails rather than hassling parents for doing something that they should be congratulated for. Kids should walk to and from school. It’s good for exercise, good for the environment and good for independence. Instead of avoiding issues, we should be meeting them head-on rather than treating the symptom. In this case, the only legitimate safety issue is cars, and that issue can be avoided simply by building safe paths around schools and throughout the community.

Build Community Trails One Mile at a Time

Community trails and bike paths are a wise investment. They are much cheaper than constantly building more roads and constantly battling childhood obesity. Trails can be built one section at a time and should be required infrastructure that is built every time new roads, bridges & housing developments are built. A modest up-front investment in community paths will save money over the long run and promote a more healthy citizenry.

Permanent link to this article: http://trailsnet.com/2015/01/16/safe-community-paths-answer/

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