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Adopters are the front line volunteers caring for The Colorado Trail. They ‘take on’ the responsibility of their section and do the annual maintenance on it. Some do the work themselves and some assemble a group for the outing. Visiting as soon as they can after the snow melts in late Spring, they cut and remove fallen trees clearing the trail, rake and hoe silt & debris out of the water diversions to limit erosion, assess the signage, and report their work and findings. They enjoy their outings immensely and develop a sense of ownership.

The program has grown. In 2004 there were 58 Adopter sections. Now in 2015, due to section splits and the addition of the 80-mile CT Collegiate West, the number of Adopter sections has risen to 80. Adopters make sure the trail is passable for hikers, cyclists, and horseback riders.

Snapshot: Adopters 2015

  • 234 Adopters and Helpers
  • 2,681 volunteer hours just this year


  • Maintained the entire 567 miles of the CT
    Cleaned hundreds of water diversions to limit Trail erosion
  • Repaired, replaced, and installed directional signs and confidence markers
  • Cut back foliage
  • Simplified Adopter Reporting process
  • Reported Trail conditions to the CTF for planning & USFS coordination

Adopter Notes

Section 6.2 Nate Johnson

We removed two large fallen trees that were crossing the trail, but leaning on trees and thus dangerous. We also removed smaller trees encroaching on the 3ft allowance, along with various under brush. Due to heavy traffic, we were not able to complete the entire segment, but having done this for nearly a decade, the portion of the trail we did clear has traditionally been where the both the larger trees, and just trees period, have been found.

Section 8.2 Tim & Jacque Burroughs

Removed two small trees that were partially blocking the trail and trimmed back half-a-dozen others; cleaned approximately 60 water diversions (including 15 new ones that we cut last year to improve drainage in boggy areas); checked signage, which meets or exceeds guidelines.

Section 9.3 Ken Swierenga

Removed 13 trees, cleaned 12 water diversions, replaced two confidence markers, replaced the foot bridge at the St. Kevin Gulch TH

Section 21.2 Kevin & Kelly Mahoney

Dug out water diversions that we put in last year (about 10) they were working wonderfully! We then added roughly 10 more diversion ditches on top of the snow mesa too. Put in a creek crossing (stepping stones and dug a channel for water) on the snow mesa. We also trimmed 100 ft. of willow brush around tree line.

Section 26.1 Brent Adams & Anne Englert

Removed/cut 6 trees, one 21″ diameter tree needs additional cut to completely clear corridor (chain saw problems).
Cleaned 43 existing drainage diversions, constructed 17 new drainage diversions.

Section CW01C Rhonda Weiler

I have maintained this area for a few years now. This season like last season I trimmed all shrubs, bushes, willows, etc. that were encroaching on the trail. As of my last visit on the trail June 22 there were no obstacles on the trail.

Section CW03B Lyndon Berry & Jeanne Younghaus

Placed rocks onto trail tread for approx. 200 feet in alpine section that becomes wet and muddy during late spring/early summer. This will discourage hikers from making braids by going off trail over alpine meadow.