Mountain Biking

Walmart Owners to Build Public Mountain Bike Trails on Their Colorado Land – Bicycling

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  • Members of the Walton family who own are constructing public mountain bike trails on their Coal Basin property near Redstone, Colorado.
  • Around 4.5 miles of public trails will be designed for mountain biking.

    First, Walmart wanted to become your newest riding destination by adding more green spaces in their Walmart Town Centers, and now they want to take that one step further: Walmart owners are giving new life to an old coal mine by revamping the land into public trails for mountain bikers.

    Cousins Tom and Sam Walton, who own Coal Basin and Crystal Basin Holdings LLC near Redstone, Colorado, are turning some of their land into public mountain biking trails.

    The heart of the property owned by the Waltons is Coal Basin, an old coal mine that was never fully restored. Now, the land will be turned into trails. The restoration project will create approximately 4.5 miles of trails for public use.

    Designed to provide optimized experiences for mountain bikers, the trail system will also be open to use by runners and hikers, Lee Bowers, property manager and project manager for the Coal Basin Property told Bicycling.

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    The landscape was heavily damaged by its former use as a coal mine, so creation of the trails will also focus on restoration and erosion control. For instance, the land use application for the trail’s construction includes restoring a wetland area and controlling erosion during runoff.

    The project will demonstrate how pairing restoration and recreation can advance both healthy landscapes and healthy lifestyles.

    “The owners are passionate about both restoration and recreation, and advancing healthy lifestyles. The guiding mantra for the property is ‘Restoration, Recreation, and Education,’” Bowers said.

    It will also provide another location for schools or clubs that have mountain biking programs or outdoor education programs to have an optimized place to ride, run, and hike while learning about restoration, sustainably built trails, stewardship, and conservation, according to Bowers.

    Construction on the project is slated to begin the first part of July of this year, with the goal of a grand opening in the summer of 2020.

    While the county does not have much to do with building the trails, they have accepted an easement to ensure the trails stay public, Gary Tennenbaum, Pitkin County open space and trails director, told Bicycling.

    “There are plenty of trails in the area, but none created specifically for mountain biking,” Tennenbaum said. “I feel this will be a positive addition to the Redstone area providing more recreation opportunities to the people living and visiting the area.”

    Local residents are also excited about the prospect of trails being built closer to home.

    “I think Redstone is super magical and this will make it even more magical,” Suzy French, an avid mountain biker from the area, told Bicycling. “It will be a positive addition and help build the bike community here.”