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As The Colorado Trail grows, so does the Trail Foundation’s Adopt-A-Trail program.

With the addition of the Collegiate West 80, the number of Adopter sections increased by 12, bringing the total to 76 (in February, 2004, the roster stood at 58 Adopter sections). That’s a lot of individuals and groups who serve as the CTF’s front line in making sure the trail is passable for hikers, bikers and horse riders.

At summer’s end, just one section, from San Luis Pass to West Mineral Creek in southwest Colorado, was unadopted, according to program coordinator Janet Farrar.

“The excitement from all involved in the new Adopter sections was truly contagious,” said Janet, who reported hiking 42 miles of the “New 80” and is looking forward to doing the rest next summer.  “I am so proud when I think of all the water bars cleaned and rebuilt, the trees cut, the vegetation trimmed, the signs put up, the communications and reporting of trail concerns,” she said.  As always, we are so thankful we have such great volunteers! We couldn’t do all this without you!!!

Snapshot: Adopters 2013

  • 76 Adopter sections
  • 71 Adopters
  • 156 Adopter Helpers
  • Section lengths vary from 1.6 miles to 16.8 miles
  • Over 2,793 hours spent on trail work this year alone


  • Maintained the entire 567 miles of the CT
  • Made multiple excursions each summer
  • Cleared the Trail, sawing and removing hundreds of fallen trees
  • Cut back foliage
  • Repaired rockslides
  • Cleaned hundreds of water diversions to preserve the tread and limit Trail erosion
  • Repaired, replaced and added signs, including wooden, steel and confidence markers
  • Reported Trail conditions to the CTF for planning & USFS coordination
  • Overview of 2013 Volunteer Accomplishments

Adopter Notes

Section 2.1 Sean Knieper & Scout Troop 999

Troop 999 removed 3 downfall trees, corrected 4 erosion areas with wood and diversion ditches, removed about 15 areas of weeds where trail narrows, replaced 2 signs and cleaned up afterwards.

Section 5.2 Chris & Heather Thiry

We hiked our section of The Colorado Trail this past Saturday. The Trail is in great shape with a few minor exceptions.

We are taking a crew out in 2 weeks to work on a 50 yard section that is very rutted, and hope to take care of 2 smaller sections that need only a little help.

Of weird note: an animal (maybe fox or coyote or Bigfoot) has made its home right on the Colorado Trail! It dug a hole about 2 feet across and rather deep, right in the middle of the Trail! People can easily move around it but we put some stones on the edges to make sure people see it. We’ll try to fill it in or something later in the summer. We just hope who ever lives there is not home when we’re doing the work.

Plenty of water in the streams. No mud. Leaves about to come out.

Section 8.5 The Yaks

Trail is in excellent shape. Encountered numerous user groups including mountain bikers, hikers, ten-person wilderness study group from a mid-western college, hunters and dog walkers. All very happy with the trail.

Bridge of Piney Gulch that was repaired last year is more stable and user friendly.

All the sign posts are in good shape and don’t need to be painted.

Section 10.2 Eric Mink & Robbie Miller

Trail was in great shape after the second trip. The wet summer allowed for tons of growth that had to be cut back. It also showed where more water bars were needed. We added water bars to prevent any further erosion. We also had time to work on the trail creep, mostly occurring on the last 3 miles towards Rock Creek. It rained off and on both days but evidently, even heavier later in the week so hopefully the trail held up well and will be in good shape next spring.

Section 12.1 James Luidl

Removed 25 deadfalls. Trimmed back all new growth.

Section 17.2 Tim McElderry

We started hiking around 8 am on a beautiful sunny day. The Aspens were already leafed out, but the trail was very dry. Using a shovel, we cleaned out 16-20 water bar drains and discovered 8 trees across the trail. We had planned to hike to Razor Creek, but decided that we didn’t have enough time. So we started back clearing trees as we hiked back to Lujan Pass.

We cleared 8 trees ranging from 4″- to 10″ with a 21″ bow saw and a great deal of elbow grease. Most of these trees were 8″ diameter dead fall.

Repaired a switchback retaining wall constructed of rock and timber.

Fixed a fiberglass sign that had fallen over. Signage was in good shape, well placed and easy to spot.

Section 24.2 Connie Wian

We did an overnight backpack to scout and GPS down fall and other problems. Later we spent 3 nights backpacking into Elk Creek section. Removed all trees crossing the trail; about 12. Repaired trail where a tree root had pulled out part of the tread when it fell over. Moved large boulders from trail caused by a rock slide; this area slides almost every other year. About 1-2 miles up Elk Creek above the Wilderness sign. Cleared all water bars from Continental Divide to Animas River on Elk Creek.

Section 28.2 Trails 2000

Trails 2000 worked on its adopted section of the Colorado Trail this weekend with great success! Starting at Champion Venture trail access (which meets up with Kennebec & is the second largest adopted section in all 500 miles of the CT), the crew of about 20 volunteers cleared approximately 15 trees, cleaned drainages, widened the tread, re-installed signs & a variety of other work. It was a long, hot weekend of trail work but extremely rewarding.