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Proposal for Bike Skills Trails at Marolt Open Space

September 28, 2023 @ 5:00 pm 8:00 pm

Do you live in Aspen and interested in bike skills trails at the Marolt Open Space? Come to the Open Space & Trails Board Meeting on September 28th at 5 pm in the Pearl Pass Room of the new Aspen City Hall.

RFMBA has been working with City staff and our many supporters towards bike skills trails in
Aspen for years. An ideal location has been identified at the Marolt Open Space, and in 2021, the City’s management plan was adopted with the potential for skills trails at this location. We are now in
the detailed design phase, and need your voice to secure approval for this project!

Project Details:

  • The proposal includes a climbing trail and three descending trails with skill building features including berms, jumps, and other rocky technical features.
  • Aspen is lacking these types of skill building trails. Similar opportunities exist in neighboring communities, but are too far to drive to and from frequently.
  • The project’s location is close to Aspen’s schools, allowing kids to ride to and from the project using existing paths and trails. Parking for visitors is available along Marolt Place.
  • The Marolt Open Space totals 74.5 acres, this project will be located within a (~1,000’ long x ~160’ wide) ‘Strip’ of land totaling 3.7 acres between two paved roads. Less than 1 acre of land will be used for the new trails.
  • The project is located within a 1/4 mile of Highway 82, Aspen Valley Hospital, and many residential neighborhoods.
  • The quality level envisioned for the skills trails are very high, in line with other Aspen parks.
  • Sustainable trail alignments & drainage features will manage water to avoid trail surface erosion, limiting long term maintenance needs.

Benefits of Skills Trails:

  • Kids who learn to ride bikes at a young age have been shown to develop a life long love of the outdoors and the natural world.
  • The health and wellness benefits of riding bikes are well known. These skills trails will encourage both repeated uphill efforts, and development of new skills when riding back down.
  • Professionally designed and built skills trails allow riders of all ages to learn in a safe environment, and develop the confidence needed to enjoy the broader regional trail network. Marolt Open Space Usage:
    • The project is located in a far corner of this well-loved open space land. Given the existing vegetation that will remain, other open space users will not be impacted.
    • Area wildlife are currently tolerant of the constant coming and going of humans living, working, and recreating; wildlife will continue to utilize the area if the skills trails are approved.
    • Marolt Open Space is already used by: runners and cyclists, walkers, often with dogs, Nordic skiers, paragliders landing from above, community garden plot holders, visitors to the mining heritage museum, and even paddle boarders on the small pond at the north end.