Telluride Mountain Club Regional Trails Survey
Telluride Mountain Club (TMtC) initiated the Telluride Regional Trails Survey to seek community input on trails. The survey was open from November 1, 2021, to January 31, 2022, and collected 769 responses.
The majority of respondents are full and part-time residents of the Telluride region, spanning many neighborhoods and subdivisions. Over 70% of respondents use the current trail system three plus times per week and identify as advanced or expert users. People engage in hiking/walking, followed by mountain biking, trail running, and horseback riding.
People identified that the current trail system could use some improved connectivity, maintenance, and new trails. An overwhelming 78% plus of respondents think that the current system should be thoughtfully expanded to accommodate increased future use and demand. Those in support of new trails are mostly interested in user-specific trails, followed by multi-use trails, and stacked trail systems. People are seeking a diverse level of challenge, everything from easy to expert trails. The results suggest that our trail system could use more of every challenge. Majority of people get trails information via word of mouth or via an app/website.
Respondents are somewhat torn on signage but over 59% feel we could use more signage. A majority believe signage is impactful in educating trail users for better stewardship efforts. Most people do not believe there is a conflict between local trail development and local conservation efforts and that trails do not negatively impact conservation efforts or wildlife.
Less than 11% of respondents’ main priority when biking within the ski area permit zone is the bike park. Most users pass through the ski area to access cross country trails or USFS trails outside the ski resort permit zone (Wasatch Connection, Magic Meadows, etc.). Likely because of the previous statistics, over 74% of respondents think it is important for the ski area to offer an affordable cross country pass to access USFS trails.
The majority of respondents were in favor, in differing levels of agreement, of all trails mentioned in the survey: Jud Wiebe reroute, Hidden Lakes, West side Deep Creek Reroute, Perimeter Trail, a Telluride and Mountain Village connector, and loops off the Magic Meadows trail.
The open-ended survey questions represent Telluride’s diverse community and reflect the varying opinions of how to handle the regional trail system moving forward. Every position and perspective were covered with no gaps on the spectrum of options and thoughts.
TMtC is focused on using the data collected from the survey to shape our planning and future projects. The responses reflect the community’s vision, and we plan to use the results accordingly.
TMtC needs your feedback on regional trails to help shape our planning and future projects. TMtC wants to be sure our work aligns with your visions for Telluride’s trails. THIS SURVEY IS NOW CLOSED.
For Immediate Release:
Telluride, Colorado (November 5, 2021) – The Telluride Mountain Club (TMtC) is seeking feedback from the community on all things trails via their Telluride Regional Trails Survey. The survey seeks to understand the community’s input for future trail planning and projects (or lack thereof). The survey is 33 questions and takes most respondents 10 to 15 minutes. TMtC hopes to generate hundreds of responses to help shape their role with trails moving forward.
TMtC has been involved with trails since 2015. It all started with a simple survey to understand the community’s vision for trails in and around the Telluride region. The survey results were used to formulate and compile a Trails Proposal that was submitted to the United States Forest Service (USFS) in 2017. In 2019, with funding support from San Miguel County, SMART, the Town of Mountain Village, and the Telluride Foundation, TMtC released a Trails Sustainability Plan with the purpose of providing an updated inventory of the existing trail network and develop a proposal of non-motorized trails which would connect and build upon the current trail system.
Fast forward to 2021. TMtC has been successful in partnering with community governments and entities to help bring trail projects to life, including the Bridal Veil Trail and new bridge, the Jud Wiebe replacement bridge, NEPA approval on the Eider to Mill Creek Connector, and ongoing trail maintenance. Now is the perfect time to check in with the community, trail users, and stakeholders to understand current and future needs.
TMtC will use the survey responses to guide future planning, projects, priorities, and so much more. The club is interested in supporting the community’s vision, not creating its own.
“We are hopeful that everyone who has an interest in the future of trails will fill out this survey. The more feedback, ideas, and input we get, the more thoughtful our strategy can be moving forward,” says Heidi Lauterbach, TMtC Director. “Our community’s trail wants, and needs are incredibly diverse. In creating this trail survey, we hope to better understand what the community is seeking.”
The trail survey will be online through the end of the year. If you enjoy Telluride’s trails, please take the time to fill out the survey. See you on the trail!