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  1. #1
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    Eldora Ski Area Trails closed to mountain bikers

    It's a bit early, since the stuff up high won't be good to go for a month but I figured I'd pass the word since folks will likely be looking to get in Ned rides in the next few weeks if the warmth continues. I caught this off the Boulder Nordic Club (http://www.bouldernordic.org) website. I know Eldora cracked down heavily on motos last summer - even hiring a ranger to ticket folks - and it looks like the Toll family wants to do the same with mountain bikers. Eldora leases this land from the Toll Family in the winter: it is not USFS land (hence the legitimacy of these closures) This will obviously impact people driving to Eldora ski area to ride, as well as the Tennessee Mtn. traverse over to Eldora townsite. I assume the Jenny Creek access to Rollins Pass area is still legit, but I'll contact the USFS to find out for sure. Anyhow, here is the word from the nordic club website:

    Spread the Word - Eldora Trails Off-Limits to Mountain Biking

    The nordic trails at Eldora are all on private land, owned primarily by the Toll family. Bill and Tina Toll actively manage the land, and have been trying to prevent summer trespassing. They have installed more signs and have had a number of motorized users ticketed. Their major concern now is the large number of mountain bikers who are using their trails. Please respect their ownership and pass the word to the mountain biking community to use public land instead of the nordic trail system.

  2. #2
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    Too bad...

    upper part of setting sun is pretty cool.

    I definitely like to 'pause at the bench, a good time for reflection.

  3. #3
    DSR
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    So where does it turn illegal? There is so much conflicting info and signage up around there. Is TN Mtn Hut illegal? Is the main drag from West Mag through to the Jenny Creek trailhead at Eldo illegal? I knew that the nordic trail network was illegal, but thought that the main route was still USFS and legal.

    Great, and these are the Tolls that have threatened to shoot mountain bikers who happen upon their land. Which video business do they own so that I can at least not inadvertantly support them? It's their land, so they have the right to do whatever they want. But I have the right to not support a business who's owner threaten injury or death to fellow citizens.

    So there goes my idea of lobbying Eldora for mtb trails or an mtb park! S

  4. #4
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    The bench

    Yeah, that bench is a special, special place. I always stop there - or if the weather is particularly heinous, or I'm battling darkness trying to get back to Eldo, I at least do a little acknowledgement of what happened there. There is a lot of soul there. Who knows - any of us could join him on our next ride, or next trip out of the house for that matter. Hopefully there's damned good riding, skiing and massive sick mountains wherever and whenever that adventure comes.

  5. #5
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    Good question

    DSR - no, no - the Tolls are not the gun-toting video store owners. Mr. and Ms. Toll are elderly folks whose family has owned the land for an awfully long time. They are quite nice actually. That said, they are quite conservation minded, and I have an inkling that the heavy moto use up there the past couple seasons is coming back to bite bikers in the butt.

    I've been riding in that area for the past decade or so, and it's never been a problem until last year. I know folks think I'm a NIMBY and all, but it's this type of thing I've been trying to avoid. There are a lot of local places similar to the Toll's land - where property owners are "cool" with riders until it gets mixed with motos and/or big group rides. That's why I've sometimes come across as "anti-group rides" and all that. Not cause I don't want people to ride (you've got to see the land to want to protect it), but because I've seen past historical evidence that big group rides and definitely motos lead to closures. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but eventually.

    Anyway, a good friend works GIS for the county and he has access to property boundaries and all. I'll find out where and what is legal and what's not. We've got about a month before that stuff dries out anyhow, so that's my timeline for getting the info.

    The gun folks are more south towards Tolland Road. A trail goes through their land, and they were none-to-happy about trespassers. I'm not sure they would actually shoot someone intentionally, but I will say that they own a small arsenal of weapons (automatic too) and it would really suck for some poor sap rider enjoying the day to get shot by a stray bullet from an M-16. Obviously, this is the worst case scenario, but it's good to be aware of what you are riding on. Off West Mag, and definitely heading south into Gilpen things turn a lot less Boulder-namiste cool and a lot more backwoods South Carolina shoot-em-up.

  6. #6
    DSR
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    Cool, thanks for the heads up. Good info. And yes, keep us posted on what the legit rules are up around there. Between maps, signage and word of mouth, it's as clear as mud. S

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the heads up PP. I saw a lot of that signage last year, but figured it was the resort. Not the owners. Bad news.

    BTW, no hard feelings about things said in the other thread.
    ****

  8. #8
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    too little, too late, but

    Would it help if there was a series of trail days up there that would allow local riders a chance to help fix any trail damage that has been done? I don't know the situation up there, so it may just be that the trespassing is causing a problem in general, and trail work will not make any amends.

    I'll be honest - when I ride up there, and I have seen the Eldora signs, I never knew if it was just closed in the winter, or the summer also. I guess I know now. It is too bad - the Eldora network was a convenient connection between West Mag and Jenny Creek.

    Steve

  9. #9
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    I wouldn't hold my breath

    Quote Originally Posted by gabbard
    Would it help if there was a series of trail days up there that would allow local riders a chance to help fix any trail damage that has been done? I don't know the situation up there, so it may just be that the trespassing is causing a problem in general, and trail work will not make any amends.

    It took ages for Eldora to allow the Boulder Nordic Club to do volunteer trail work on the nordic trails (to help reduce rocks and make the trails skiable with less snow in early winter). They were concerned about liability with volunteers working on their (or the Toll's) land. They finally started allowing it a couple of years ago, but I wouldn't be surprised if the same multi-year battle had to be fought by summer users.

    I sympathize with the Tolls not wanting their land destroyed by inconsiderate users. It's too bad a few of them had to spoil it for the rest of us.

  10. #10
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    I'm not

    To be honest, I have not heard of a semi-public trail day on private land in Boulder County. Probably too many liability issues related to that. I am also sorry that damage has been done to the Toll's land.

    Steve

  11. #11
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    Hey all,

    I'm with the Boulder Mountainbike Alliance, and we are monitoring this issue and trying to explore possible solutions. A few things:

    1) All access except Jenny Creek is trespassing at Eldora.

    2) From the West Mag side, the school bus/happy bus trail is legal up to the Champion Mine (FS trail 929). At that point it hits private property. If trespassing issues continue, the legal part of the bus trail may be in danger of potential closure. In other words, the 'f$%k it' attitute could affect legit trails.

    3) We're starting a bike patrol in the West Mag area this season to put a responsible face on mountainbiking and to compensate for the inevitable conflicts as this thing plays out. If you ride up there anyway, join the patrol to help resolve these conflicts. Contact me (the patrol director), or show up for the 'training' Wed, May 10 at the Boulder Ranger District Offices 5:30 pm till around 7pm, free pizza. You would be committing to riding three weekend/holiday days between memorial day weekend and labor day weekend.

    4) I'm interested in getting BMA involved in trying to work on this issue with the Toll family and Edora resort. Pluto Pilot - sounds like you have connections with the family. Perhaps we can talk sometime. Send me a PM or email.

    Jason Vogel
    Board of Directors
    Boulder Mountainbike Alliance

  12. #12
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    I think a detailed map of whats ridable and not would help people. This would also help the people up there for the first time stayoff private property. Its easy to just keep riding and not know whats legal and not.
    You could post em in the fancy new timber bulletin boards at the trail head.

    Just an idea.

  13. #13
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    The Forest Service does not want to antagonize the local land owners by condoning any kind of map indicating trails crossing private property. I think some people fear that such a map would attract some curiosity and actually have the opposite affect by stimulating tresspassing. I don't know the full story, but I hear the politics of the situation are pretty intense and that there are no really easy solutions to be had.

    These days it's pretty obvious when you hit private land. Last season the Toll's put up a whole helluvalot of no tresspassing signs. If you see one of them, you are tresspassing. BTW, there is absolutely no way to connect West Mag with Jenny Creek without tresspassing. All of the land west of the West Mag area is private, including Tennessee Mountain, Buckeye Mountain, and all of the roads in that area.

  14. #14
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    Good point.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vogelman!
    2) From the West Mag side, the school bus/happy bus trail is legal up to the Champion Mine (FS trail 929). At that point it hits private property. If trespassing issues continue, the legal part of the bus trail may be in danger of potential closure. In other words, the 'f$%k it' attitute could affect legit trails.
    Last year the landowner himself rerouted the trail to circumvent the mine, and the majority of his property, and he posted "no motorized vehicles" signs in spots. I posted this last year.
    ****

  16. #16
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    Just so everybody is clear, the owner of the Champion Mine and the surrounding Phoenix townsite is unrelated to the landowners with whom the tresspassing issue has come to a head (the Toll family). There are quite a few landowners interspersed in that area, and, unfortunately, they are not all cool with us playing on their land.

  17. #17
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    Correct; the owner of the mine and townsite is currently tolerant of mtn. bikers. We need to do all we can to keep on his good side.
    ****

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