The Forest Service reminds the public that seasonal trail closures are in effect on several popular Forest Service trails adjacent to Vail and Avon. These closures are in place to protect elk calving areas and mule deer migration stopover areas.
The Whiskey Creek and Eastern Hillside trails have been closed since December to protect elk during the challenging winter months and will remain closed during the calving season. The Knob Hill trail has also been closed since December to provide winter range for deer and elk and will reopen April 16.
Please note there will be come changes to seasonal closure locations and dates in the Vail area, these changes will be implemented this season:
Gates will be installed at all closure points this season. Several of these gates have already been installed and will be shut for the duration of the closure period.
“Updated signage, better gates, a new Adopt-A-Trail Ambassador program and your support will all help in protecting our sensitive local wildlife.” said Aaron Mayville, district ranger. “Thank you for your continued diligence with these closures this spring.”
The Ambassador program is a new, 2018 addition to Eagle County Adopt-A-Trail program. In conjunction with the Vail Valley Mountain Bike Association, the Forest Service has trained 20 volunteers to assist in further educating users about the needs of the valley’s wildlife and proper trail etiquette.
During seasonal closure periods, volunteer ambassadors will be stationed at trailheads to explain why the seasonal closures exist, as well as where trail users can recreate during these timeframes. This program, along with the newly-installed gates and signage, is expected to greatly increase compliance with seasonal closures on Forest Service trails and better protect deer and elk during periods critical to their survival.
As a reminder, please use alternate trails until these seasonal closures are lifted. Hiking, dog walking and mountain biking, as well as all other uses are prohibited during the closure.
These trails are currently closed:
Forest Service partners such as Vail and Beaver Creek Resorts, Eagle County, and local towns also have seasonal restrictions on some of the trails they administer. Visitors are encouraged to plan ahead and visit the appropriate web sites to ensure the trails they wish to use are open.
For more information about Forest Service trails and recreation opportunities, contact the Eagle-Holy Cross Office at 970-827-5715, or stop by during business hours weekdays 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.