SMT 2015 Accomplishments, 2016 Plans, and Thanks!

SMT-Tenderfoot 1

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

2015 Accomplishments:

New trail construction – Via our partnership with the Forest Service (FS) and with a huge boost from a substantial grant, we completed the last major section of the new Cottonwood Trail.  Two additional miles of existing trail were also reworked to become more sustainable, and a new parking lot was constructed.  From the junction of CR175 & FS181 to the Backbone Trail, this project provides 8 miles total of new and existing “system” trail on both USFS and BLM land.  We now have a 17-mile mountain biking loop beginning and ending in downtown Salida!  

We have developed a great partnership with the FS who have coordinated and heavily participated in this effort.  A huge thanks goes out to FS employee Brett Beasley.  Local trail building professionals, Arrowhead Trails, were contracted to build several miles of new trail, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado organized two work weekends, and the Southwest Conservation Corps did reroute and rehab on 2 miles of trail.  

Trail Maintenance – We held monthly shindig trail work days and contributed a total of over 800 hours to maintain the following trails: Race Track, Sweet Dreams, Double Rainbow, Cottonwood, Columbine, and Dead Bird.  

Membership Program – Our second annual membership party at the Boathouse Cantina in May was an overwhelming success. We have over 160 members, and via membership dues and auction items, raised over $17,000!   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 Rivers Edge Bar & Restaurant continues 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 $26,793!  This has allowed us to contract professional trail building services that would not otherwise be possible.  Please show your thanks by frequenting these cool restaurants!     

Events – The Run Through Time Marathon, held in March by the Chaffee County Running Club, dedicated proceeds from that race to SMT totaling $5,786!  

The 11th Annual Vapor Trail 125 endurance mountain bike race sponsored by Absolutes Bikes donated all of its proceeds of $2,500 to SMT.  

Grants – We received a grant from the Colorado Parks and Wildlife State Trails Program for $72,350, utilizing matching funds of $6,000 from Chaffee County and $1,500 from The City of Salida.  This money is being used to complete new and reconstructed sections of the Cottonwood Trail.        

2016 Plans:

New BLM Trails – We have proposed over 12 miles of new trail to the BLM that will substantially complete our Arkansas Hills and Methodist Mountain Trail Systems.  In coordination with the BLM, we completed the initial public comment process early this year and hope to get to the approval stage this next year.     

Cottonwood Trail – We will complete some remaining reroutes and trail sustainability efforts this spring.

Burn Pile Trail Realignment – SMT has contracted Tony Boone Trails to complete a realignment of the Burn Pile Trail. The goal is to make for a better biking and hiking trail and take bike traffic off the Frontside Trail.

Trails on City Property – SMT is working with the City of Salida Rec Board to plan and build trails utilizing the new 80 acre parcel recently purchased.

New Trail Signage – SMT has planned and developed all new signage for both the Arkansas Hills and Methodist Mountain Trail Systems and will implement these in early 2016.

New Kiosk, Maps, Signage – As the city completes the agreement with the Union Pacific Railroad for a legal crossing from the F St. parking lot, SMT will develop and install first class signage.  

Funding – As always, we need continued and ongoing financial support. Our goal is to have as much new trail as possible to be built professionally, which averages $5 a linear foot, or $26,400 per mile.

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

  • Absolute Bikes
  • Arrowhead Trails
  • Boathouse Cantina  
  • Bureau of Land Management – Royal Gorge Field Office
  • Chaffee County Commissioners
  • Chaffee County Running Club
  • City of Salida
  • Elevation Beer Company
  • Jug Liquors
  • Ploughboy
  • Poco
  • Rivers Edge Bar & Restaurant
  • Salida Bike Company
  • Salida Mountain Sports
  • Salida Parks, Open Space, and Trails
  • Southwest Conservation Corps
  • Subculture Cyclery
  • Sweetie’s
  • Tony Boone Trails
  • US Forest Service – Salida Ranger District
  • Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado

Tim Ryan created this for us last year, and it still rings true, so enjoy!   

For more info and/or to get involved, contact us at

Happy Trails!  SMT