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What would the CT be without our Adopters? The answer is that the CT would be in sorry condition without the hard working, dedicated volunteers involved in our Adopt-A-Trail program. Their energetic efforts are key to keeping the Trail in good shape.

CTF Adopters each take responsibility for a particular section of The Colorado Trail, clearing the Trail corridor of fallen trees, cleaning the water diversions to limit erosion, and reporting their findings to the Foundation. Each spring they schedule one or more trips, timing them with hopes to arrive shortly after most of the snow has melted.

Snapshot : Adopters 2008

  • 60 Adopter sections
  • section lengths vary from 3 miles to 15 miles
  • 56 Adopters (4 sections needing Adopters)
  • 21 Adopters recognized for 10+ years

With all that’s involved, you can imagine the Adopter logistics: road conditions, vehicles, camping gear, volunteer helpers, food, tools, you name it. Every Adopter shapes his or her own approach. Most gather family and friends and make an outing of it. Their first visit each season involves uncertainty as to what they’ll encounter – snow, fallen trees, hill slides, signs missing, etc. It’s always an adventure. The Adopters enjoy it; we know because they tell us. Quite a number of CT Adopters continue for many years.

The CTF is truly fortunate to have such dedicated Adopters.


  • 330 volunteers (Adopters + Helpers) gave 1,794 hours (plus more that may have gone unreported)
  • Removed 463 fallen trees
  • Cleaned 58 water diversions
  • Fixed signs and added/replaced dozens of Trail markers
  • Educated Trail users about the CT and CTF
  • Countless excursions, communication, reporting, etc
  • Accomplished the annual maintenance along the entire 485-mile length of the CT

Janet Farrar’s 2008 Recap

“This summer, at the Adopter’s suggestion, I split Section 3 (FS Road 550 to FS Road 543) into two pieces to make each more manageable. I recruited Jean and Bill Boettcher to adopt the new Section 3.2, Meadows Campground to FSR 543. Diane Parker retired from Section 6.4, Georgia Pass to North Fork of the Swan River. Bill Carpenter, who’s worked on crews, agreed to adopt it and he recruited Gavin Bailey to help. Lee Ashley of Vail adopted Section 8.3, Searle Pass to Kokomo Pass, which lacked an Adopter last year.

Dick Matthews decided not to continue with Section 12.2, south of Clear Creek Reservoir from Waverly Ridge to Pine Creek. Rolly Rogers gave up Sect. 13.3, the road section near Mt. Princeton, and I have a couple that is interested in replacing him. Dusty Little retired from Sect. 17.1, Sargents Mesa to Lujan Creek Road. To make this 19-mile section more manageable, at Dusty’s suggestion, I will split it into two sections. Ken Stagner retired from many years caring for Section 21.2, Continental Divide to Spring Creek Pass. For these three sections currently open, I will look first for adopters living in the Saguache, Gunnison or Del Norte areas, hoping to find volunteers who live relatively close. Living close-by your adoption is not a must, but it sometimes helps the Adopter succeed with their work.

Sections 26 and 27 were realigned to help the Adopters with logistics. Bill Vicary and Ian Altman took on the new Sections 27.2 and 27.3, from FS Road 564 to Grindstone Trailhead to Cumberland Basin Trailhead.

Adopters have generally been good about submitting their reports. But I’m still working on some of them to be better. Their reporting is a big help. CTF operations personnel, including volunteer Operations Manager George Miller, the CTF office staff in Golden and the US Forest Service, all rely on the information. So I’m still working to encourage better compliance by Adopters with their reporting.”

Janet Farrar
Volunteer Adopt-A-Trail Coordinator

Adopter Notes

Section 7 Suzanne Reed, Adopter Helper

Hi all – just returned from a snow shoe hike on CT Segment 7 starting at Hwy 91, heading east toward the top of Ten Mile Range. Last year this week we were able to hike snow free up to intersection with Wheeler Trail (mile 2.5). This year we had to put on our snow shoes as soon as we crossed the Tenmile creek bridge and entered the trees. The trail is covered in several feet of snow making navigation and footing difficult. The snow pack is alternating hard pack and soft so post holing is a problem as well as lack of footing on the hardpack. At about mile 1.8, the steep trail was covered with a snow pack on a 45 degree angle – I lost my footing (even on snow shoes!) and was heading downhill fast before coming to rest in a small indentation in the snow. At that point we decided to turn back and try again in a few weeks!

Segment 8.4 Julie Mesdag

Greetings all,

Jean Gray, Dick Maurer, John Gwin and myself worked on our section this week. A friend of mine (Bonnie) and her dog Max joined us for our walk up Kokomo on Tuesday. The section is clear with no downed trees. As noted in the trail condition report, the section could use widening is a few areas, and a few repairs to FS fences and display box is needed. We thought of Jim while we were there and adorned the adopter post with pine boughs. Creeks and streams were full from all of the snow this winter.

Hope this finds you all well.

Segment 9.2 Ken Swierenga

Just want to pass along some trail information. On 6/27 while doing trail maint. we encounter snow across the trail just after entering the Holy Cross Wilderness from Longs Gulch. The snow in that area is still four to five feet deep. It looks like a few hikers have post-holed up the trail, but I’m sure the snow gets deeper going toward Porcupine Creek. This is a bowl area and collects a lot of snow in normal winters. Also, the skeeters are out in force!!!!

The CT Seventh Edition lists this location at Segment #9, mile 6.7, from Denver mile 149.8.

Ken S.

Section 12.3 Steve Staley

Hello Janet, I hope this note finds you out enjoying the Colorado Trail. Relative to our section 12.3, it is a 12 mile section from Pine Creek on the North to North Cottonwood Creek on the South. We are just East of Mt. Harvard and Columbia near Buena Vista. In mid June, we worked the South 6 miles with about 20 people doing treadwork and we took out a dozen or so trees over the trail. We weren’t able at that time to do the North 6 miles due to snow. Accordingly, 5 of us went back in mid-July and took out 10 or so trees on the North 6 miles. We note that there are 2 large widowmakers still to be taken out; one is ½ mile North of Frenchman’s Creek and one is ½ mile South of Frenchman’s Creek. We may need Forest Service help with these two areas. Finally the largest issue is a big bog about 1 mile North of Morrison Creek which needs drainage. This sounds like a good trail crew project. I am available for questions.

Happy trails, Steve

Section 14.1 George Miller, Operations Manager

Terry, I was up on your section from FR 243 to Browns Creek Bridge. I will have the FS folks in to look at a reroute for that section of erosion and rocks. I know you have been talking about it for several years but I didn’t realize how bad it was. The two crews that are scheduled to work that area this year will try to get the rest of the trail in good condition and then as quick as the FS approves it we will build a reroute.
Thanks for your attention and reporting of this section of the CT.


Segment 20.1 Steve Stadler

Dear Friends,

Welcome to 2008 the second season for the Far Out! gang. The gang has adopted Segment 20 of the Colorado Trail. The segment is 12 miles in length, all within the La Garita Wilderness in the south-central part of the state, and ranges in elevation from 10,300’ to 12,500’.

This distance and remoteness was one of the motivators for the name. The other motivator is that “Far Out!” is an expression John Denver used when he thought something was great. That, and his love of the Colorado mountains, seemed like a perfect fit. So we are the Far Out! gang.

The picture above is of good friend Bob Broussard (“Preacher”) after he and I reconstructed the cairn holding the Steward Creek Trail sign last fall.

Bob and I have done the preliminary planning for our 2008 summer activities and the purpose of this update is to let you know the goals. BUT FIRST, I want to thank Bob Broussard for accompanying me on the fall 2007 trip. While a single person can do some things, there are other maintenance tasks that simply require two or more people (hand chain-sawing comes to mind) and his hard work enabled us to clear our segment of downed timber and file an adopter report that went straight to, and earned the praise of, the Colorado Trail Foundation Managing Director. Guess we must be doing something right.

Here is our approach to 2008.

Base Camp. Last fall, Bob and I used llamas (boys) to haul our camp up canyon about 4.5 miles where we established a base camp. I want to find and establish a permanent base camp where we can build/accommodate some creature comforts (logs to sit on, fire ring, shower facilities, and a good bear-tree-Olympiad tree where we can hang food and trash safely). Yes, I do remember this is wilderness. Whatever we do will be respective of the wilderness status of the land we will be camping on.

2008 goals. Here’s what I’m considering/planning as goals for our 2008 trips.

Find and establish a permanent base camp at the 5 to 6 mile point from Eddiesville
Survey the trail from Eddiesville to the San Louis Pass for obstructions and other potential problems
Clear any obstructions to open the trail.

Address the “Twins” problem by either clearing them from the trail or building a re-route around them (the “twins” are two VERY large pieces of a tree trunk that have fallen onto the trail in a VERY tight place and there is no obvious place to move them to off the trail, assuming they can be moved).
START to address the side-hill water problems. This will be a long term maintenance issue, but I would like to capture some of the low hanging fruit this summer. It will be challenging and we have a lot of problems with water.

Address the signage issue from the Cochetopa Creek crossing to the end of the segment at San Louis Pass.

Address the thistle issue on both sides of the Saddle.

VERY Sincerely,

Steve Stadler
“Trail Boss”

Section 22.2 Mark & Joellen Fonken

We are very proud that the trail above the forest (B Buck Creek) is not a “Jeep road” anymore, it is a trail due to travel management signage and our continuous monitoring.