About the Stewardship Site:
The Pikes Peak Region is an international destination for outdoor activities, with nearly a half million people having quick access to the outdoors and the wide of abundance of outdoor recreation opportunities. Gray Back Peak is an unranked, but visually prominent, peak on the east side of Emerald Valley, just south of Cheyenne Mountain. The Gray Back Peak Trail is heavily used by the public and by outfitters in the area for hiking and trail riding with horses.
About the Volunteer Experience:
Much of the Gray Back Peak trail is badly eroded and is in need of reroutes to move the trail off the fall-line and onto the side slope. Assistance will be needed from VOC in order to locate sections to be rerouted, construct the reroutes, and then, decommission and stabilize the existing trail. Work will include roughly 1 - 2 miles of tread improvements and re-routes that will incorporate new trail construction and the installation of erosion control structures. There will also be an opportunity for re-seeding and re-vegetation in order to close the eroded sections of existing trail.
About the Overall Impact:
The Pikes Peak Region is experiencing an unprecedented increase in the amount of use on the nearby trail systems. Since the Gray Back Peak Trail is mostly used by outfitters, improving it would increase general public use and provide another option for recreation, more options for recreation would reduce user impacts and resource damage on other popular trails in the area. This project will prevent further resource damage and continue to allow for sustainable recreation opportunities, which would also directly benefit the local outfitters and add to an increase in economic activity in the Colorado Springs area.