Private Property Trails Key Link!
We are lucky within Black Forest! Like many American communities, we have a series of parks that allow us to move about in the woods, but we also have civic minded property owners that have allowed Black Forest Trails Association to establish a series of trails across private properties to link the neighborhoods and roadways throughout Black Forest. The paths run along fence lines and right of ways, through pastures and forests, and through rural and urban settings. This open access concept is embraced by generous land owners that keep paths clear and maintained, allowing the public to walk, ride or bike whenever they wish without objection by the land owner. In addition to encouraging members of the community to exercise in the outdoors, the paths serve to strengthen our community bonds as neighbors get to know each other better and we encounter folks “from the next street over”! How did this happen?
A trail can come about in a myriad of ways. I’ll give you three examples of new trails that were established this past year...as you’ll see the Fariss Trail, Didleau Trail and the Bissell Trail all came about in different ways.
Fariss Trail: Property owner approached BFTA with a plan to link Juniper and Danford Roads
Didleau Trail: BFTA contacted the property owner about re-linking Meadow Glen and Forest Heights
Bissell Trail: BFTA member linked up the property owner to BFTA to link Wildflower and Huntsman
Bottom line is these wonderful trails came about due to someone’s initiative! Don’t wait for someone else to initiate. You could be the next person who helps our community with another networking trail! To date, with your help, approximately ten non-motorized trails have been established. This is a wonderful concept the BFTA is embracing seeking to expand in several ways:
- We are installing gates and signs on new trails which will be named in honor of the owner.
- We are offering free BFTA membership to those who open their property to trail users.
- We have obtained permission from the county for land owners with trails to receive a tax break.
- We are approaching land owners who have strategic properties that would link unpaved roads.
- We are openly soliciting all property owners to evaluate their holdings for possible linking trails.
To jump start this expansion though, we need it to begin with Black Forest property owners. I am asking each of you to join BFTA in examining your property and if you see an opportunity for a linking path across your (or a friendly neighbor’s) property to contact us directly. At your invitation, a BFTA Board member will swing by to meet with you to review your concept. With your help we seek to expand the community trails tenfold in ten years! With our larger land holdings and rectangular shaped acreage, Black Forest is in position to have the best trail linking network in the Pikes Peak region!
Please feel free to contact any board member if you have ideas that help us meet our mission: To create a safe, legitimate, non-motorized, multi-use recreational trail system that connects Black Forest neighborhoods to each other and the El Paso County Regional Trail System.
Sincerely, Larry Fariss President BFTA