Building the Pika Trail - August 20th - 21st, 2016

MALT will continue to add to the Pika Trail at Pennsylvania Mountain Natural Area near Fairplay, CO this summer with a trail building weekend on August 20-21. For this family stewardship experience, MALT will once again be partnering with Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) and Beaver Ponds Environmental Education Center (BPEEC).  The goal is to complete an additional 3/4 mile to the trail that was built in 2015.  This is a wonderful stewardship and camping opportunity for families to work together on an outdoor environmental experience! Make plans to join us!

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About the Volunteer Experience

FOR VOLUNTEERS AGES 12+: The work will be somewhat strenuous, conducted at an elevation of around 11,500 feet. After a mile-long hike to the project site, volunteers will construct new trail as well as build trail structures like drainages and steps, as needed. This project is great for experienced trail builders, as well as first-timers that are up for a challenge!

FOR YOUTH AGES 6-11: While adults and older youth are volunteering, young kids can partake in a spectacular (and free!) educational program at BPEEC that will include fun environmental activities alongside a caring and professional staff. On both Saturday and Sunday, as volunteers are shuttled from the campsite to the project location, kids will be dropped off at BPEEC along the way.

At the end of the day, adults and kids will come back together around the campfire to share stories and eat dinner (s'mores for dessert, anyone?), followed by the thrill of sleeping under the stars in a relaxing and safe environment. And, rest assured, everyone will sleep well after such a great day in the outdoors! Please note that breakfast and lunch will be provided throughout the weekend.

The Pika Trail is for Hiking Only. No motorized vehicles, hunting or camping is allowed.  It is private property owned and managed by the Mountain Area Land Trust.

Background:  MALT partnered with the Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) and other organizations to design and build a trail at the Pennsylvania Mountain Natural Area near Fairplay, CO.  Over a two-day weekend, August 29th and 30th, volunteers worked on constructing a loop trail on MALT's property.   It is the first scenic and educational outdoor trail MALT has initiated on its 92 acre parcel for public hiking and snowshoeing access.  During the two day project, there were 75 trail building volunteers each day working within diverse geographic habitats around tree line at 11,500 feet.  

A number of families were able to join this project while their young ones enjoyed a full day of activities at the nearby Beaver Ponds Environmental Education Center (BPEEC).  On the way to the trail project , the under 12 year olds were dropped off at Beaver Ponds where they learned about agriculture sustainability, alternative energy and ecology. They were also able to spend time hanging out with the Beaver Ponds alpacas and llamas!  

The weekend campsite location was an incredible donation by Bob and Jill White on their beautiful Bristlecone View Ranch surrounded by aspen trees with the scenic Mosquito Range mountain views in the background. Bob and Jill have held two Conservation Easements on their property with MALT since 2011.  

A very grateful thank you to all the trail building volunteers, the staff and crew leaders from Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, Beaver Ponds Environmental Education Center and BPEEC Executive Director Kevin Hosman, Bob and Jill White at Bristlecone View Ranch and MALT Seasonal Intern Roland Kiessling who made this project possible.  Thank you!

2015 Family Stewardship and Camping Experience - Pika Trail building
Photos courtesy of MALT Staff and Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado Staff