Legacy Trails Program Awardee


Soda Ditch Loop Trail

The Soda Ditch Loop Trail is a popular connector and loop-access route based out of the busy Dry Lake Campground and parking area vicinity of Buffalo Pass. Over the past decade, a large amount of new trail development and construction has occurred on Buffalo Pass, thanks to a local tourism-focused lodging tax allocation that has funded many miles of new trail in the area. Routt County Riders, as the local cycling and mountain bike advocacy organization, has assumed a key role in helping maintain these many miles of trail alongside the USFS and in recruiting enthusiastic community volunteers to participate in maintenance and construction projects.

Applicant: Routt County Riders
Project Location: Hahns Peak/Bear's Ears Ranger District, Medicine Bow - Routt National Forest, Colorado
Amount Awarded: $11,000.00

Soda Ditch Loop serves myriad purposes and is used by many different trail user types, including hikers/runners, equestrians, and mountain bikers. It can be easily accessed from the Dry Lake area for a relatively short and easy 3.3-mile loop. For cyclists, it is often used on the return from the further-flung Soda Mountain Trail or Grouse, both expert-level backcountry experiences for riders and other trail users.

Soda Ditch is quite heavily used and crosses a seasonal drainage area. There are several low points in the trail that have become eroded, muddy, and dangerous to trail users as they widen the tread trying to ‘go around’ the wet spots. Seasonal flows in this area vary by year. The aim of this project is to reduce negative impacts to water quality and sensitive soils by constructing simple timber bridges over the wet and eroded sections. Project funds will be used to purchase lumber, supplies and materials to accomplish this task.

The USFS-HPBE and RCR will partner closely to complete the project. Starting in the spring of 2023, both agencies will collaborate to schedule volunteer work days over the summer months. USFS will establish design specifications for the bridges and will work with RCR to procure lumber and supplies needed for the work. It is likely that work will occur in July, August, and September of 2023 – the warmest, driest months up at the higher elevations of Buffalo Pass. RCR will be charged with recruitment of volunteers and overall management of volunteers on-site. Both agencies will provide the necessary tools to complete the work. We expect to have completed all 3 bridges (technically 2 bridges with one extended turnpike section) by October 2023, totaling approximately 150 feet of bridge and turnpike overall.

The completed project will provide a safer, less impactful recreation experience on the Soda Ditch Loop Trail that mitigates impacts to sensitive soils and water quality. Continued collaboration between RCR and the USFS -HPBE will further solidify working relationships and advance our goals of shared stewardship of this precious natural resource, highly valued by Steamboat Springs locals and visitors alike.

More winners of this award

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2024: Teton Trails Deferred Maintenance

2024: Phase 2 of the Arroyo Hondo Project

2024: Greenhorn Gulch Trail Reroute and Bridge Rebuild

2024: Trail Rehabilitation in Beaverhead Deer Lodge National Forest

2024: Trail Maintenance and Repairs in Pisgah National Forest

2024: Wasatch National Forest Deferred Maintenance and Weather Resilience

2024: Rio Fernando de Taos Watershed Revival

2024: Mineral Creek Trail Reroute

2024: Second Fork Trail Project

2024: Trinity River Watershed Trail Improvement Project

2024: Salmon-Challis National Forest Trail Restoration

2024: Manistee, White, Muskegon, and Pere Marquette River Watershed

2024: Mount Shavano Trail and Riparian Habitat Restoration Project

2024: South Park Ranger District Singletrack Connector Trail

2024: Oak Creek Canyon Watershed Restoration Project

2024: Bartram National Recreation Trail Maintenance

2024: Idaho Panhandle National Forest Sandpoint Ranger District Trail Reroute

2024: Pony Express National Historic Trail Improvement

2024: South Lake and Moss Lake Trail Restoration

2024: West Ridge Trail #176 Improvements

2024: Blue Bend Loop Trail Restoration

2024: Catamount Trail Improvement

2024: Munson Meadow Trail Restoration

2024: Vesuvius Recreation Area Trail System Restoration

2024: Hurricane Creek Trail Restoration

2024: Cove Creek Trail Rehabilitation

2023: The Storm Creek Connector Trail

2023: Backpacker and Lakeshore Trails

2023: Beaver Meadows Trail

2023: Munson Meadow Trail

2023: Imnaha River Trail

2023: Maxon Meadows Trail to Chamberlain Meadows Camp

2023: Lost Lake Trail

2023: Virginia Highlands Horse Trail

2023: Pasayten Wilderness Project

2023: Catawba River Headwaters

2023: Continental Divide National Scenic Trail

2023: Southfork Trail, White Mountain Wilderness

2023: Black Canyon and Trail Creek Drainages

2023: Twenty Lakes Basin Toads and Trails

2023: Dickey Bell Trail Reroute and Bypass

2023: Horseshoe Canyon Trails

2023: Lower San Francisco River Wilderness Study Area

2023: Trails in Ontonagon and Sturgeon watersheds

2023: Bandit Springs Trail System

2023: Caton Lake Trail

2023: Yellowbelly Trail

2023: Santa Cruz Trail

2023: Bridge Replacement for Trail Access

2023: Pioneer Mountains Trail Maintenance

2023: North Country National Scenic Trail Connections

2023: Pincushion Mountain Ski Trails

2023: Rocky Gap Horse Trail System

2023: Shrode Lake Trail

2023: Johnson Creek Trail Re-Establishment

2023: Restoration of Buckhorn and Indian Trails

2023: Hauf Lake and One Horse Lakes Trails

2023: Building Resilience on the TRT/PCT

2023: Camp Creek Watershed Improvement

2023: Pomas Creek Trail and Entiat River Trail

2023: Western States Trail & Tevis Cup Trail, within Granite Chief Wilderness

2023: Western States Trail Improvements

2023: Sipsey Wilderness Trails Restoration

296 views • posted 05/25/2023