Creating a New Trail
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Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Creating a New Trail - the VVRT on 10/27/2011 21:30:37 MDT Print View

Here in Las Vegas we (our trail committe) have been working for well over a year on a project called the Vegas Valley Rim Trail (VVRT). When finished it will cover over 110 miles and be a trail system, i.e it will join parts of several other trails as sections of the VVRT.

We have been extremely fortunate that the Outside Las Vegas Foundation has been able to sponsor us ever since Clark County ran out of funding early on when the Great Recession hit us hard. So far our professionals at Outside Las Vegas and some of the committee members have raised over $40,000. for preliminary work and research on economic benefits to the community. This is needed to be able to present a realistic "ask" to future deep pockets donors who we need to come up with donations from $250,000, to $1 million or more. The entire project may run to $10 million. when completed with signage, bridges, parking trailheads and rest benches/shelters. (Remember, this is 'Vegas, where it gets HOT.)

We expect to see the tread alignment surveying begin around 2014 or maybe even earlier, depending on grants and right-of-way negotiations with the BLM, County government and the three cities in the valley.

Yes, the VVRT is an urban system that is ALSO a non-urban trail in certain sections.
Camping will be permitted off-trail in certain areas but water sources are scarce here in the Mojave Desert so it's mostly "bring-your-own-water".

This a going to be a long process and may not see the last section completed until 2018 or even 2020 but by the end of this summer about 1/3 of the loop will be finished in terms of municipal trail building, not VVRT made trails. The City of Henderson (southern 'Vegas city) has done the lion's share of trail building so far. The BLM is in the process of building 44 miles of trails south of the valley but they will not be part of the VVRT, just linking to it. The point is that the VVRT will link MANY miles of other trails for hiking and/or backpacking, equestrian use and mountain biking. NO motorized vehicles permitted, natch.

The umbrella organization that weighs in on this is called "Neon-to-Nature". A fitting name given 'Vegas' reputation for The Strip. When finished the Las Vegas metro area can boast of a trail that runs from Red Rocks NCA in the west to the River Mountains Loop trail in the east, linking people to other great trails and spectacular scenery that surrounds us. Can you say "ecotourism"?

Wish us luck in our oddessy.

Edited by Danepacker on 10/27/2011 21:33:02 MDT.

Edward Zwibel
(YetiEddie) - MLife

Locale: Sunny San Diego
Fantastic! on 10/28/2011 10:14:14 MDT Print View

That'll be a great trail and BP alternative for those of us less inclined to gamble in the winter seasons! Good luck and keep posting about it please!

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Sounds great on 10/28/2011 10:36:03 MDT Print View

We're in the process of building the Cumberland Trail here in TN. Similar to your project, it requires tons of volunteer hours, bridges, equipment, and money. It takes many years, but the payoff is well worth the effort you will put into it. Good luck!

Ryan

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
OK on 10/28/2011 19:34:03 MDT Print View

I'll update on the VVRT every few months or as we get big donations. It's a long slog bringing this trail into existance.

Just returned from a 2 hour conditioning hike on a new (1 year old) urban/mountain trail. They builder opted for parallel dirt channels uphill of the trail in certain water runoff areas instead of stone waterbars in the tread. The result in our sudden and often heavy downpours has been as I expected - severe tread erosion DESPITE the uphill channels.

The city of Henderson is in the beginning construction pahse of a new 8 mile trail and I'm going to check to see if the same usless "uphill channel" system has been opted for on that trail.

I'll be overseeing the design phase of our new trail and I'll insist on stone waterbars. Any design (within reason) that reduces trail maintenance saves money in the long run.