April 10

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The Iron Mountain Trail Building Project: A Collaboration Of Volunteer And Mechanical Construction

Last month, thanks to  generous donations of the Medicine Wheel Trail Advocates and the Friends Of The Peak ,  Manitou Springs got two mechanical trail construction days with Tony Boone, one of the premier trail builders in the USA.   What we learned was that the higher eastern part of the Iron Mountain Trail is on a hillside that is too steep and rocky to have volunteers using picks and shovels to build it.   The Open Space Advisory Committee (OSAC) and the City of Manitou Springs contributed enough money to have Tony  Boone come back and build on six more days in April.   We still have a long way to go.  We have been waiting a long time to have a mountain trail from the Barr Trail to Red Rock Canyon and the trail system of the Pikes Peak region.  This is the summer to do it.

Citizens and volunteers will need to build the lower west side of the trail if it is going to be done this year.  It is a big job, but it will be worthwhile, enjoyable and builds community pride.   There is a collaboration of regional trail-building groups who are working to make this happen (Medicine Wheel. FOTP, RMFI and TOSC).  Manitou has even created its own volunteer group of trail builders called Manitou Springs Trail Cats or Manitou Cats for short.  Together we will build as much of the trail  as we can  over six volunteer workdays this spring and summer.  Then it will be up to the City to find the money to  bring Tony Boone back in the early fall to complete the trail.

Many trail experts agree that when this  Iron Mountain Trail is complete, it will quickly become one of the most used  and famous trails in the state.   Its dramatic high route with beautiful views and multi-use sustainability will encourage residents and tourists alike to run, hike, bike or just get out to enjoy the natural beauty around Manitou.

The volunteer workdays will be from 8:00 Am to 1:45 PM and will meet up at the Manitou Springs Free Parking Lot  (10 Old Man’s Trail) just east of Memorial Park.  The dates of the workdays are:  May 18 (Sun),  May 31 (Sat),   June 8 (Sun) ,   June 22 (Sun) ,   July 13 (Sun) ,   and July 27 (Sun).  Volunteers will mostly be building two foot tread, which will be expanded to three foot tread by the Mile High Youth Corp.  The trail needs to be 36 inches wide to safely accommodated mountain bikes and walkers

After each workday we will have a social gathering at a local Manitou establishment.

Because of logistics on the trail, the workdays will be limited to fifty volunteers.  To save your space and to make sure we have enough tools, you must register in advance (as soon as possible please).

Go to  www.ManitouCats.com .