SMT Accomplishments in 2016, Future Plans, and Thanks!

First and foremost, Salida Mountain Trails wants to thank all of our volunteers and partners who have contributed to our trail building and maintenance efforts this past year!  We’ve had great support from the community and have accomplished a great deal!  

2016 Accomplishments:

Trail Construction:

  • We designed the brand-new Chicken Dinner Trail, it was approved by the BLM, and is in the final stages of completion. Chicken Dinner provides 2.1 miles of new single-track on the southern end of the Arkansas Hills Trail System.
  • The existing Burn Pile Trail was redesigned this year and professionally built to provide 7/8 of a mile of mostly realigned and vastly-improved trail.
  • We also completed grant-funded trail construction work on the Cottonwood Trail system to provide final reroutes and aid in trail sustainability.
  • Finally, we collaborated with the City of Salida Recreation Advisory Board to build a hiking-only trail on the newly-purchased city property in the Arkansas Hills Trail System.    
  • A big thank you to Tony Boone Trails and Arrowhead Trails for their amazing partnership efforts on Burn Pile, Chicken Dinner, and Cottonwood trails
  • Another big thanks to our great BLM and Forest Service partners for their collaboration efforts with us both on new trails and maintenance of our existing trails.  

Trail Maintenance – We held monthly ShinDig trail work days and contributed a total of over 800 hours to maintain the following trails: Double Rainbow, Frontside, Burnpile, Columbine, Rainbow, Lost Trail, and Sweet Dreams.

Trail Signage – 34 new trail signs, trail maps signs, and new posts were designed, built, and installed in the Arkansas Hills Trail System.  New Trail signage for the Methodist Mountain System has also been designed and constructed, and will be installed soon.    

Membership Program Our third annual membership party at the River’s Edge Bar & Restaurant in May was an overwhelming success. We have over 160 members, and via membership dues and auction items we raised over $12,000!  Salida Mountain Sports, Subculture Cyclery, Salida Bike Company, and Absolute Bikes were substantial sponsors of this effort.  

Funding — Ray Kitson, owner of The Boathouse Cantina and the River’s Edge Bar & Restaurant continued this year a voluntary one-percent donation program at both restaurants to benefit SMT’s trail construction efforts. From January through November of this year, this program generated $24,500!  This has allowed us to contract professional trail building services that would not otherwise have been possible. Please show your thanks by frequenting the Boathouse!


  • The Run Through Time Marathon – held in March dedicated proceeds from that race to SMT totaling $3,000!  Thanks to race directors Rickie Redland and Jon MacManus
  • The 12th Annual Vapor Trail 125 endurance mountain bike race, sponsored by Absolutes Bikes, donated all of its proceeds of $2,500 to SMT.  
  • A screening of the movie “The Rider and the Wolf” by Grit & Thistle Film Company (Nathan Ward) and Monarch Mountain donated $1,134 to SMT.  
  • Monarch Fat Tire Race – $280
  • Wood’s High Mountain Distillery – Fundraiser $250

2017 Plans:

New BLM Trails — We have been working with the BLM since early 2013 on a proposal to add 12 miles of new trail that will substantially complete our Arkansas Hills and Methodist Mountain trail systems.  In coordination with the BLM, we completed the public comment process for the Draft Environmental Assessment and hope to reach a final decision on that proposal this winter.  Stay tuned for our 2017 plans based on this decision.       

Forest Service Trails – Work continues to possibly add the Gutz trail as a system trail to provide a link from the Rainbow Trail to the upper proposed BLM trails on the Methodist Mountain Trail System.  Without this, the BLM proposed upper trails will not be possible.     

Funding – As always, we need continued and ongoing financial support. Our goal is to contract experienced, professional trail builders as often as possible to build our proposed trails, which averages $5 a linear foot, or $26,400 per mile.  We have also applied for a State Trails Grant to fund some of our proposed BLM trails – fingers crossed.    

Thanks also to our partners and supporters (alphabetical order):

  • Absolute Bikes
  • Arrowhead Trails
  • Badfish Stand Up Paddle
  • Boathouse Cantina  
  • Bureau of Land Management – Royal Gorge Field Office
  • Chaffee County Commissioners
  • City of Salida
  • Elevation Beer Company
  • Hubbub Brewery
  • Jug Liquors
  • Mo Burrito
  • Monarch Mountain
  • River’s Edge Bar & Restaurant
  • Salida Bike Company
  • Salida Mountain Sports
  • Subculture Cyclery
  • Sweetie’s
  • Tony Boone Trails
  • US Forest Service – Salida Ranger District
  • Woods High Mountain Distillery

For more info and/or to get involved:

Happy Trails!  SMT