CREEDE— According to a press release provided by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission, the organization recently approved $4.547 million to fund work on several OHV trails in the state, including one close to Creede— Upper Pole Creek.
The funding for these grants comes directly from the registration fees obtained from users throughout the state and will go towards helping to fix and maintain several Colorado OHV trails. The organization passed the proposed grant requests in a meeting held in La Jara in early June. The requests came in at $4.4 million for the grants and the remaining $547,000 was received from the Recreational Trails Program.
“This is literally OHV dollars going right back into the trails,” said CPW State Trails Program Manager Fletcher Jacobs. “And of the 30 maintenance trail crews, 23 are good management crews, which allow CPW’s federal partners to get much needed consistent funding for trail crews.”
Upper Pole Creek is a very popular Jeep and OHV trail that is located on the edge of Mineral County and Hinsdale County. The route is used throughout the year, between summer guests with OHVs to winter guests who venture to the area for snowmobiling and cross-country skiing. The trail takes people to the top of the continental divide, through thick forests and raging rivers, making it a four-wheeler’s dream destination.
Due to the nature of the trail, it is hard to maintain without additional funding. This year, with heavy snowpack, the trail was in need of repair before it could be opened to use in late May, early June. The funding from this grant will help pay for equipment and crews that will be working on the trail and continue maintenance throughout the year, when possible.
According to a spokesperson from the Rio Grande National Forest (RGNF) Ann Sarnecki, the trail is a single-track trail that is continuously washed out during runoff and in the event of heavy rainstorms. It also has some erosion issues that are a concern that need to be maintained.
Work on the trail will be done by the RGNF in partnership with the Conservation Legacy District as well as the Southwest Conservation Corporation. “By partnering with these organizations, the RGNF will be able to do more work and maintain it throughout the year. Any work we complete will not change the nature of the trail. It will remain a single-track trail and it will not change current use.”
“The main goal for this project is to help stabilize the trail and prevent erosion and sedimentation. The trail will be maintained in a way that keeps users on the established tread which in turn will help prevent what is called braiding and vegetation loss,” continued Sanecki.
The trail is approximately four miles long and heads into the Rio Grande National Forest towards Stony Pass. There are several waterfalls that can be viewed while hiking off of the main trail, good stream fishing possible in Pole Creek and a campground further up near the base of the pass. For more information about the trail or to get specific directions to its location, please visit www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/riogrande and search for Pole Creek.