The Arkansas River Trail now has an accessible segment: A 0.3-mile segment of the Arkansas River Trail north of the Boathouse has been widened and resurfaced to accommodate wheel chairs, strollers and those that want a short level walk with a great view of the river.

The trail ends at an overview turn around. The town funded the construction of this trail and it was built by Timberline Landscaping. The trail surfaced needs some moisture (rain or snow) to pack it down and make it wheelchair-friendly. (Photos 1 and 2).

Connector trail with a stabilizing purpose

Eagle Scout Logan Trenkle’s service project resulted in a trail that connects the South Main Boulder Park to the Arkansas River Trail. This connector not only provides a stable path to the river, but also corrects an erosion problem that started when that area was used as an ersatz road.

The Buena Vista Trails Advisory Board had identified this area a problem, because water and sediment flowed down and created channeling in the Arkansas River Trail and dumped sediment into the Arkansas River.

Buena Vista Trustee Dave Volpe worked with Trails Advisory Board member Liz Murray to find a solution, which led to Logan Trenkle, who was looking for a service project. Trenkle designed the trail, recognizing that the steepness of the area required stairs. He used native materials to construct stone stairs and a packed trail that provides the town an amenity while fixing a problem area (photo 3).

Stage & Rail Trail project eyes start

The Stage & Rail trail is a proposed 70-mile route from Salida to Leadville that follows the historic stagecoach and railway lines that passed through the Upper Arkansas Valley. 

Chaffee County recently received a grant from the Colorado the Beautiful program to construct a portion of trail alongside CR 313 to connect Johnson Village to the southern edge of Buena Vista.  The 8-foot-wide paved path will be adjacent to the road and provide safer access for cyclists and pedestrians.  The new section not only helps expand the Stage & Rail trail but also improves connectivity for Johnson Village residents and connects to existing Safe Routes to School and other town trail systems. 

Construction is expected to be completed this fall with signage and a grand opening celebration to follow.

More info about the Stage & Rail project can be found online at www.stage-rail.com

Collins is the chair of the Buena Vista Singletrack Coalition board of directors and a member of the BV Trails Advisory Board.

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