filed under: economics of trails

Views on Nordic Ski Trail Easements and Property Values

The Crested Butte Nordic Council is developing a system of skiing trails in cooperation with private landowners that will connect towns and developments throughout the upper valley.

photo credit: TrailSource/Wikimedia Commons

Nordic skiing on Crested Butte Nordic Center trail system just north of Crested Butte, Colorado; photo by

The following quotes are from a brochure the Council provides to inform landowners.

"One of the misconceptions is that properties tend to be devalued if they have trail easements across them or even trails nearby. Nothing could be further from the truth in a resort and vacation mecca like Crested Butte. The judicious placement of a ski trail easement will give a property owner additional recreational opportunities and the perception becomes one of amenities for the property owner rather than a burden."

-- James Gebhardt, Broker/Owner, Coldwell Banker Bighorn Realty

"As a property owner at Trappers Crossing I feel that the Nordic Trails have been an asset to our lifestyle and property values. What a great opportunity to be able to hop on our skis and participate in this wonderful sport on your well groomed trails.

"Nordic skiing is surely a low impact sportÉ and today the wildflowers bloom where we skied last winter.

"I would encourage future planning and developments in the Crested Butte area to provide access and rights of ways for the Nordic skier. This investment into the future will not hinder property values and can only encourage a healthy well-rounded community by providing winter access and recreation in this valley during the long winter months."

-- Jeff Neuman, Trappers Crossing Landowner

"When considering the property, we were surprised that there was a right of way for two cross-country ski paths across our land. We do not feel that the ski trails are a problem for several reasons. First, cross-country skiing is a quiet and self-contained sport that follows pre-determined paths. Second, the trails are well situated so that they do not come too close to our proposed homesite. Third, we have some avid cross-country skiers in our family who look forward to being users of these paths. And finally, we believe, that as cross-country skiing is a 'natural' part of the landscape and is an indigenous sport to Crested Butte, there should be a right of way reserved for skiing as new development occurs."

-- Lisa Roberts, Trappers Crossing Landowner

"When I purchased my lot, I was grateful that the developers had already granted a right of way for the Nordic track. I feel that it is so important for these new developers to have a good relationship with the community of Crested Butte and allowing the track to stay in place on the Bench was a wonderful step toward accomplishing that goal. Besides, cross-country skiing is what I consider a 'no impact' sport.

"There has been an unforeseen benefit as well. Since my house is not close to the ski area, I've been able to tell guests and renters that they can not only have the fun of watching this beautiful sport, but can step right out the door and participate! I truly feel that you have enhanced the value of my property in many ways including as a rental property."

-- Phyllis Cowell, Trappers Crossing Landowner

"I was the first purchaser of a Trappers Crossing lot and purposely chose my lot for its proximity to town and its accessibility to the track. Besides recreational opportunities, nordic skiing offers a very low impact method for experiencing and appreciating the wilderness. As a resident and property owner, I could not be more supportive of your efforts."

-- Jeff Hermanson, Trappers Crossing Landowner

Published March 2003

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