State Awards 25 Year Special Use Lease
On August 14, SCLT was granted a 25-year Special Use Lease for the 160-acres of State Land that surrounds Red Grade Road (see map). The lease allows SCLT to build up to 5.3 miles of non-motorized, natural surface trail while improving the existing parking areas for both motorized and non-motorized visitors. SCLT anticipates initial improvements and construction on Phase I to begin in 2015, pending successful grant applications and fundraising. The Red Grade Trails project will take place in 5 phases to complete the 33-mile Red Grade Trails system, a process that will likely take 5 or more years to complete.
“This project is in response to a community desire for high-quality recreation opportunities that are convenient, safe, and scenic. Trails are an essential ingredient for building and sustaining healthy communities and we are very excited to move ahead with the first phase of this project,” said Executive Director Colin Betzler.
This past June, and after more than one year of research and planning, SCLT announced their intention to create a new non-motorized trail system on State, Bureau of Land Management, and US Forest Service lands accessed via Red Grade Road. Later that month, SCLT contracted with the professional trail design firm that recently designed Curt Gowdy State Park, as well as others in Wyoming, to create a Master Plan for the Red Grade Trails system. Joey Klein of Trail Solutions hiked more than 60 miles during the course of his 2 weeks on the project, finishing with a design that maximizes benefit for hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians and highlights the natural beauty of the Bighorns. The design process closely examined multiple factors focused on building sustainable trails: steepness of grade, scenic values, user safety, while minimizing the impact to the land, plants and wildlife. For more background information on this project, go to https://sheridanclt.org/red-grade-trail-experience-your-backyard/.
Click the image below to view proposed trail map.