National Forest Foundation

Local Volunteers and Youth Corps Team Up to Improve Trails in Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest

NFF Grant Partners and Projects


Nederland, Colorado, is a small mountain town located 20 miles from Boulder and surrounded by beautiful natural areas. There are large aspens groves, a plethora of trickling streams, ponderosa and lodgepole pine forests and rocky crags. People from all over Colorado enjoy this striking landscape.

TEENS, Inc. Youth Corps partnered with the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest and the Nederland Area Trails Organization, to maintain trails, build a turnpike, re-route a trail, and decommission an eroded section of trail in the popular mountain biking destination of Magnolia Trails.

TEENS, Inc. Youth Corps is made up of local teens, many of whom enjoy biking and hiking in the area. Magnolia Trails is heavily visited and many of the trails were not built to withstand the use they receive. We spent a few workdays maintaining sections of trails that needed minor repairs.

One trail we worked on weaves through a beautiful aspen grove. Each spring the ground held water and as people hiked, biked or rode their horse through it, it became filled with thick mud and rutted out, so a turnpike was needed. Everyone hauled huge rocks to line edges of the turnpike and then filled it with smaller rocks and dirt. It was hard work, but the youth corps and volunteers were pleased with their handiwork.

Building a trail turnpike.

Pulling musk thistle.

The next trail they worked on went through a drainage where water would rush down the trail and erode it each spring. TEENS, Inc. Youth Corps crews and volunteers rerouted the trail out of the drainage and made it follow the contours of the hillside. After completing the re-route, they decommissioned the eroded section of trail to allow the ground to heal.

The crewmembers are proud to bring their families to the area and show them the work they have done. Working with local volunteers also helps to bring the small, rural community closer together.

In addition to the trail building, the crew pulled noxious weeds near the trails to prevent them from spreading into other areas. This work helps to keep a beautiful and diverse ecosystem in the Magnolia Trails area.

This project was made possible through the National Forest Foundation Matching Awards Program. Thanks to funding from NFF, TEENS, Inc. Youth Corps could urgently repair trails on our backyard forest.

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