The BCRD has been building trails at Galena Lodge this summer, and the crews have about 7 miles completed and open. According to Jim Keating, Executive Director of the BCRD, the build is ahead of schedule. “We didn’t expect to have this many miles open yet, but things are really coming along. People can enjoy the new trails anytime, but this Sunday’s Boulder Mountain Bike Tour will provide an ideal setting for checking them out.” Maps of the new trails will be available at the event, and some of the people involved in the project will be on hand to answer questions.
Having a little water in the mix is beneficial to the building of trails, as it allows for the good compaction of disturbed soils. With an early spring start to the build, the dirt had a nice amount of moisture in it. Then, during the summer, timely rain showers kept the moisture level nearly ideal for construction.
Last spring the BCRD took delivery of two pieces of equipment that have helped make the most of the summer build season. A Sutter 300 mini-dozer, and a John Deere mini-excavator are two small machines that pack a powerful, yet appropriately sized, punch to a trail building effort.
Partnering with the SNRA on the project, the BCRD is following the SNRA’s guidelines for environmental mitigation on the effort. Working within an SNRA approved trail construction corridor, and following a carefully established flag line, the Sweco operator roughs in the trail and turns. The mini-excavator comes along next, cutting the trail’s backslope, and further refining the shape of the trail tread. In the machines are Rob Giustina and Garrick Topp with Progressive Trail Design. Hiring the services of these two experienced trail builders has helped the BCRD keep things moving in the right direction, and at a good clip.
Eric Rector, Director of Trails and Facilities at the BCRD, has been leading his trail crew on the many hours of hand work that follows the machine’s heavy lifting. In addition to installing the network’s many bridges, signs, and other facilities, the hand crew’s work includes the raking out of rocks, smoothing of the trail tread, and the shaping and refinement of trail turns and features. Additionally, the BCRD hired and led a Northwest Youth Corp crew for a three-week stint on the project. The Wood River Bicycle Coalition is helping with the hand work too – hosting volunteer work sessions on the new trails, the most recent of which went off Tuesday evening.
The initial efforts at Galena are focused on bringing much needed beginner and intermediate level trails to lodge area, with the trail network’s more demanding trails slated to be built later in the project build schedule. When completed, the Rec. District’s Galena Summer Trails Plan will include about 45 miles of trails. Approximately 30 miles of new trails are being built, and about 15 miles of existing trails and roads that are being improved and connected to as part of the overall project.