Yavapai Trails Association (YTA) was one of 48 organizations in the nation to be awarded $15,000.00 in funding to complete this trail maintenance project to benefit hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians. To successfully complete the project YTA has partnered with the Prescott National Forest, Back Country Horseman of Central Arizona (BCHCAZ), and the Prescott Mountain Bike Alliance (PMBA) to leverage private donations, collaboration, and volunteer resources to ensure the funding through the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance (NWSA) completes as much maintenance work as possible. The $15,000 grant award will be utilized to fund a critical backlog of maintenance on Groom Creek Loop Trail # 307 in the Prescott National Forest. The total restoration project budget is valued at $37,000 worth of trail improvements.
Groom Creek Loop Trail is an immensely popular 9.5-mile trail on Spruce Mountain for hikers, mountain bikers, and the equestrian community. It is one of the highest elevation trails (7,651 ft.) in the greater Prescott area. The American Conservation Experience will be hired for part of the trail work. The Over the Hill Gang volunteer trail maintenance crew and four volunteer workdays with YTA, PMBA, and BCHCAZ members will work on the remainder of the trail.
“We are grateful to YTA and all our partners for taking on this important work. The Prescott National Forest and our trail partner organizations have developed outstanding relationships to continue to build and maintain a robust system of trails for all to enjoy. This project represents the power of these relationships in the ability for trail user groups to not only partner with the Forest, but also between themselves and leverage those relationships to compete for funding. We are lucky to have passionate and committed partners contributing to the success and sustainability of our Greater Prescott Trails Plan efforts”, said Sarah Clawson, Bradshaw-Chino District Ranger.
It is anticipated that the work on the Groom Creek Loop Trail will start in early September after the spotted owl nesting season is over. A training day for volunteers in dry rock masonry will be conducted on a segment of this trail as part of the project. The work will consist of rock armoring, tread repair, drainage installation, erosion mitigation, and general brushing of the trail.
Ann Hendrickson, President of YTA said “we are pleased to once again partner with the Prescott National Forest, BCHCAZ, and PMBA to assist in maintaining sustainable trails in Yavapai County. We also greatly appreciate the donors who have (and will) generously back this project. A million thanks to all the volunteers who so willingly put in so many hours of service. We are grateful as are the thousands of trail users!”
For more information or to volunteer on this project please contact Ann Hendrickson, YTA President (262) 893-9479 or Jason Williams, Prescott NF Trails & Wilderness Manager at (928) 777-2220.