Welcome to Ridgway Area Trails (RAT) – 2016 Edition
Ridgway Area Trails (RAT) is both a very effective non-profit, NGO, dedicated to trail advocacy and construction, and a very fun system of single track trail in and around Ridgway, Colorado. RAT the organization is the local chapter of the Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association, Inc. (COPMOBA). COPMOBA has been around since 1989, advocating for and constructing trails (including Kokopelli’s Trail and the Grand Loop Trail) all over Western Colorado.
Building on the COPMOBA legacy, RAT has created an amazingly accessible trail system right in and around Ridgway. RAT spent 8 years advocating for the project on Ridgway Town, Ouray County, BLM and Colorado State lands. RAT/COPMOBA has approval from all 4 agencies to construct well over 30 miles of single trail. Construction started in 2011 and has accelerated the past 36 months. RAT has completed trails in Weaver Park (town land) and on BLM land north of town. In 2013 and 2014 RAT added approximately 8 miles of new trails, about 4 miles on Town land and the rest on BLM. Then, in March 2015, RAT the whole thing exploded as RAT received a $200,000.00 grant from Colorado Parks and Wildlife. The money became available in August 2015, work began immediately and RAT add an additional 7.5 miles to BLM lands by the end of November 2015. Amazingly, CPW awarded another $200,000.00 to COPMOBA in March 2016, $137,000.00 of which is reserved to construct another – believe it or not – 7.5+ miles of new trail on BLM land in the Summer and Fall of 2016. Meanwhile, we built another 1.7 miles in May 2016. It’s hard to believe so much has happened and so much trail – really sweet, hand-crafted single track – has gone down in the past 3+ years, but it’s true!! Incredibly, that does not even include one foot of the 5+ miles slated for construction in the near future on State land, immediately adjacent to the BLM parcel!!!
Look Out for Big Changes – More New Trail Coming Soon!
Construction is in progress as you read this, and the RAT single track palette grows more diverse every day. In fact, RAT opened up a new trail – Splinter – May 13, 2016. This section peels off to the left at the top of Speedy Gonzalez. The new trail climbs briefly, then descends through a series of swooping, in-flow turns, rock drops and other terrain features, and down a gully on about 40 acres immediately east of Speedy Gonzales. Please click the trails tab at the top of this page to open a map for orientation.
With Splinter, Ratical, Plague Ground, Rat Trap, the Maze and Squeaker, the RAT system now has a passel of super-fun, fast, swooping, rolling, rollicking descents, and several long, gradual climbs back up – all on super-buffed, hand-built single track.
We have one crew on the ground in June 2016 to install signs and perform clean-up work on the new trail. Later this summer, when the CPW money arrives, we will have two full crews on the ground, moving dirt 40 hours a week. Stay tuned for more new developments soon.
We have signed all the new lines with carsonite posts, and will soon have “You Are Here” signs at all major intersections. Be sure to click “The Trails” link to see a map.
As of May 31, 2016, we have about 22 miles of narrow-gauge fun, from Weaver Park inside town limits to the new construction across Highway 550 on BLM land. Paid trail crews and volunteers alike will continue building the system throughout 2016. You can now get in over 25 miles and over 3000 vertical feet with a ride from town, through Weaver Park and River Sage, cross 550 and up to four-corners, then multiple descents and climbs of the trail system, all without retreading anything but a few connector sections. That will involve only about 4 minutes of actual road riding, from the 550 crossing, up County Road 10 to the trail head. The rest is trail, from the concrete river walk, through the Weaver Park trails, and all that sweet, sustainable single-track on the BLM. It just keeps getting better.
Stay tuned for more news, please join us on one or all of our volunteer days, and by all means get out and have some fun on our new trails right now!!!