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Community Feedback Survey: Jud Wiebe Reroute

Due to the Jud Wiebe’s popularity with both mountain bikers and hikers, a west end reroute has become a common topic of conversation for community trail improvements. We have received a ton of feedback this summer regarding the user experience on the west end of the trail, specifically in regard to frustrating biker/hiker interactions. 

If it is decided that a reroute is the best option, our goal would be to improve the nature of the trail to a more sustainable trail alignment from both an environmental and social standpoint. Implementation of this large improvement would require unwavering community support due to the massive popularity and usage on this trail. Below are some key points of the project scope and how it would improve the trail experiences as popularity and use continues to increase. 

Once you have had a chance to review the information below, please provide your input on if you think the west end of the Jud Wiebe should be rerouted via this survey link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/judwiebe. Thank you for your feedback!

Reroute Details

What: Jud Wiebe Trail improvements to help solve trail sustainability and user experience issues on the west side of Jud Wiebe. A potential reroute would lengthen the trail and reduce grades from the current 25% average to a more sustainable gradient average of 10%. A reroute on this section would also add more undulation (up and down) to improve trail drainage and reduce user-based erosion. A reroute in this section would:
  • Improve user experience and reduce maintenance needs by reducing trail grade
  • Create more speed management for downhill mountain bike traffic coming off the Mill Creek/Waterline Trail
  • Extend trail distance to reduce trail gradient
  • Improve sightlines
  • Reduce maintenance needs
  • Retain and likely increase views of town

Where: West side of Jud Wiebe Trail, to highest point of elevation. Reroute will begin on the USFS property boundary as the trail begins to climb. 

Why: Currently, the Jud Wiebe Trail is one of the more popular singletrack trails originating from Telluride. The current west side trail alignment is steep and loose. This makes it difficult to maintain, creates erosion issues because proper drainage isn’t present, and causes startling hiker/biker interactions. 

How: By thoughtfully rerouting sections of trail on USFS land, we could extend the length of the trail to reduce the gradient while also integrating in more drainage features and undulation to reduce erosion and help to slow downhill mountain bike traffic. Trail improvements and decommissioning would be done with a mini-excavator in addition to a hand crew for trail finish work.

When: If the community feels a west side reroute makes sense, this reroute will likely need to go through NEPA planning. Timing of the reroute would depend on what level NEPA is required. 

Considerations: Trail improvements will need to be made using a mini-excavator. Due to the impact of the current trail and steepness of the terrain, machinery will improve efficiency and efficacy of these improvements. Some drawbacks of machine construction include: trail closure during construction and a visible impact in the short term. The proposed reroute is designed using sustainable trail construction principles meaning the trail will be significantly less steep and will integrate more undulation to shed water and manage the speed of downhill bike traffic. 

As interest in trail-based recreation continues to increase in Telluride, trail improvements like this one will help to proactively integrate more trail sustainability into the trails in and around Telluride to create a trail system that works better for the growing number of users. 

We’ve created a survey, https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/judwiebe, to help us better understand community interest and possible concerns of these trail improvements. Your opinion is an important part of the decision making process. We look forward to hearing your thoughts here: 

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Telluride Mountain Club advocates for safe, accessible, enjoyable and respectful opportunities for human-powered recreational activities in the Telluride region, through education, awareness and collaboration.

Telluride Mountain Club is a 501c3 nonprofit organization.