Stimulus money is headed to Grand Mesa National Forest; $500,000 will go to complete a project on the Mesa Top Trailhead.
The mesa top trailhead is generally a snow-play area that accommodates Nordic skiing, sledding and snowmobiling. The $500,000 in stimulus funds will go to help finish a previous project on the trail and make it more user friendly, “The mesa top trailhead was more or less unfinished with just the parking lot and everything else had been previously put in a few years ago,” says Ryan Fricke, Outdoor Recreation Planner for the Grand Valley Ranger District.
The money will help finish the parking lot and accommodate more vehicles which will help in the winter when it's especially busy, “Mesa top was originally designed for winter use and to solve some of the problems with parking along the highway in the winter time,” says Fricke.
Forest service employees hope the money keeps coming as there are other things they would like to see happen, “what I'd really like to see is tie in the part of the mesa into La Rue Creek and Gunnison National Forest,” says Visitor Center employee Chuck Branum.
Trail maintenance is among one of the proposals in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act so the Grand Mesa National Forest may receive more funding soon.
Along with providing a parking lot the money for Mesa Top Trailhead will also go to constructing concrete sidewalks and realigning a portion of the entrance road, which will make it easier to plow in the winter.