Seasonal Wildlife Trail Closures

Seasonal Wildlife Closures

Every spring and winter on Forest Service land, BLM in Eagle, Town of Eagle Open Space, Eagle County Open Space, and the West Avon Preserve there are several trail closures that may alter bikers and hikers plans.

Why do these closures exist? Recreation activity often causes a flight response in deer and elk. Read more on our blog here.

During the winter: When they flee, they burn precious body fat stores that they spent the summer and fall seasons packing on. These fat reserves help them to survive the winter, when they are living in a state of near-starvation due to the limited plant availability. If they burn through their fat stores too quickly, they will starve and die before spring.

During the spring: Spring triggers deer and elk to migrate from their winter ranges to their high-elevation summer ranges using historic migration routes as they follow the receding snowline and green-up of vegetation that comes with it. This is known as “surfing the green wave,” which allows these ungulates to continually access nutritious, newly emerging plants. This helps them to recover their weight losses from the long winter, so they can calve/fawn and subsequently nurse their young. During this time, mule deer does, and elk cows seek places of seclusion to safely give birth and feed their newborns. Studies have shown that human disturbance during this time lowers the survival rates of their young.

In short, after a long winter, our local deer and elk herds are stressed, starved, and the females are pregnant. They just want to eat healthy food and be left alone to give birth to and feed their young. Human disturbance interferes with this by causing them to flee instead. Studies have found that human interruptions on their spring calving and fawning grounds have led to fewer young surviving to the fall.

Read the Full FAQ from the Forest Service Here.

How You Can Help?  Become a Wildlife Trail Ambassador

Become a Wildlife Trail Ambassador!  We are holding our Winter Training on December 7th from 5:30pm-7:30pm at Yeti’s Grind in Edwards.  Please join us (food & beverage provided)!

Protect our wildlife, protect our trails.  Become a Wildlife Trail Ambassador.  Watch our training videos and learn about the science, data, and importance of why seasonal wildlife closures exist.  Do your part and help educate and inform trail users on the importance of respecting seasonal wildlife trail closures, trail etiquette, and leaven no trace principles.

If interested please watch the training videos on our Youtube channel here and get in touch with Erinn at erinn@vvmta.org

Forest Service Seasonal Trail Closures 

*Closed to all users (foot, bike, & equestrian)

November 23 – June 20

December 1 – June 20

April 15 – June 20

May 15 – June 20

May 6 – June 30

Beaver Creek & Arrowhead Seasonal Trail Closures:

May 6 – June 30

Beaver Creek & Arrowhead Seasonal Closures

Eagle Area Seasonal Trail Closures:

December 1 – April 15

  • East Eagle: (Pool & Ice, Dirt Surfer, Will’s Thrill, Hillbilly, Bellyache Road Gate) *Closed to mechanized (bikes) and motorized use.  Open to foot and equestrian year round.
  • West Eagle: (World’s Greatest, Abrams Ridge, School House Rocks, etc.)  *Closed to mechanized (bikes) and motorized use.  Open to foot and equestrian year round.
  • Third Loop of Haymaker: *Closed to all users: foot, bike, equestrian, and motorized
  • Extra Credit: *Closed to all users: foot, bike, equestrian, and motorized
  • Eagle Ranch:– All trails including Eagle Ranch Loops, 2nd Gulch, 3rd Gulch, Lov Connection and Adam’s Way. *Closed to all users: foot, bike, equestrian, and motorized

December 1 – June 30

(Brush Creek Valley Ranch & Open Space)

  • 3 Sisters Trail: *Closed to all users: foot, bike, and equestrian
    • Hikers and equestrian users will still be able to utilize the Salt Creek area of the Brush Creek Valley Ranch and Open Space

 

 

 

West Avon Preserve & Knob Hill Seasonal Trail Closures:

December 15  – April 15

 

Other Seasonal Trail Closures:

December 1 – April 15

December 1 – May 1

What Trails Are Open?

Muddy trails are always closed trails.  These trails are open (pending conditions).  Check our trail conditions page for updates:

Mountain Biking, Hiking, & Equestrian Trails:

*Forest Service Trails Closed to wheeled vehicles November 23 – May 21

Hiking/Equestrian Trails Only:

*Forest Service Trails Closed to wheeled vehicles November 23 – May 21

How You Can Help?  Become a Wildlife Trail Ambassador

Protect our wildlife, protect our trails.  Become a Wildlife Trail Ambassador.  Watch our training videos and learn about the science, data, and importance of why seasonal wildlife closures exist.  Do your part and help educate and inform trail users on the importance of respecting seasonal wildlife trail closures, trail etiquette, and leaven no trace principles.

If interested please watch the training videos on our Youtube channel here and get in touch with Erinn at erinn@vvmta.org

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