A new hiking and biking trail has been completed in a Dolores neighborhood.
The 1-mile, nonmotorized trail begins at 14th Street and follows a steep drainage to County Road V.2, near top of Granath Mesa. There is no parking at the trailhead, and no horses are allowed.
The trail runs adjacent to County Road 31 to the east. It was approved by the town of Dolores, private property owners and Montezuma County.
The trail was built to provide a safer alternative for walkers along the busy, curvy road.
In July, dozens of volunteers with the Southwest Colorado Cycling Association installed the trail, along with members of the Southwest Conservation Corps.
“The path is a little wider than most trails to allow for people to pass and walk together,” said trail builder Shawn Gregory, of the SWCCA. “Because it is in town, we expect it will get a lot of use.”
The trail has a fairly steep grade, which was intentional to avoid switchbacks that would have encroached on neighbors, he said.
Along the route, many drainage structures were installed — called grade reversals — because of the narrow and steep terrain. The structures direct rain runoff away from the trail, and have been effective during the recent downpours.
A bench near the trail’s midpoint will be installed. A name for the trail has not been officially announced.
The beginning of the trail was at first going to hug the county road guardrail, but when the town did a property survey it was discovered there was room for it to be constructed lower in the valley and away from traffic.
Easements with private property owners were established for the trail, and the town and county are covering insurance requirements.
The trail offers a peaceful, secluded hike with views of surrounding cliffs, piñon-juniper, ponderosa pine and oak brush.
During trail construction, a lot of garbage was removed from the drainage, Gregory said. Three water heaters, four truckloads of tires, furniture, a dead horse and trash were hauled to the landfill.
On Tuesday, SWCCA trail crews worked to repair the Overlook Trail in Dolores, which had been damaged by recent rain. Heavy rains created a gully down the middle of the trail surface, which only gets worse if not repaired.
It was filled in with soil and packed down. Drainage features also were installed. The repairs are just in time for the Boggy Beat Down race taking place this Saturday on area trails, including Overlook.