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Dedication Of New Trail Segment Of The Continental Divide Trail System

Grand Lake Mayor Judy Burke and Park Superintendent Vaughn Baker prepare to cut the ribbon for the new trail segment. Brad Orr, Recreation Staff Officer, Sulphur Ranger District and Ken Rybkiewicz Colorado River District Trails Supervisor for the park hold the ribbon while Forest Service staff, national park staff and volunteers look on.

On Thursday, August 4, staff from Rocky Mountain National Park and the United States Forest Service joined by Grand Lake Mayor Judy Burke, dedicated a new one mile section of the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) in

Rocky Mountain National Park. The Bowen Connector Trail was developed to provide a better experience for CDT travelers and park visitors by rerouting this section of the CDT away from a motorized route that was several miles long. This section of trail creates a connection between the Onahu Trailhead in the park and Bowen Gulch in the Arapaho National Forest. The continuation of the trail on the forest is already in place.

A partnership with the US Forest Service provided critical funding for the trail planning process. The CDT extends from Montana to New Mexico and most of the trail is on land administered by the Forest Service. The CDT Alliance, which was formed in 1995 to assist federal land management agencies in the completion, management and protection of the trail, has a goal to have as much of the trail as possible on non-motorized routes.

Completion of this new trail section and rerouting the CDT has helped to accomplish this goal. The new segment involved the construction of a substantial bridge over Onahu Creek and creates a scenic trail through a beautiful area of the park with forests, wildflowers, meadows and the sound of cascading water.

Volunteers assisted the park trail crew in building the trail. It was a major focus of a recent National Public Lands Day project.

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