Protect eagles and have more singletrack at Heil Valley Ranch? Yes!

Nearly a year ago, Heil Valley Ranch’s southern side reopened after the October 17, 2020 Cal-Wood Fire. As we reported then, a section of the Wapiti Trail was not reopened due to a nesting pair of golden eagles.

The fire destroyed the eagle nest, and they chose a new location very close to the Wapiti Trail. Boulder County and the US Fish & Wildlife Service determined that the detour will be in place year-round for the next several years to allow for monitoring of nest activity.

It was with sadness that BMA said goodbye to this section of trail. In 2019, BMA volunteer groups put in over 360 hours of volunteer work and another 175 in 2020 in maintaining and improving this section. We had that trail dialed! But we agree with Boulder County that this trail section should remain closed until the data shows that the eagles are thriving.

We were excited to learn that Boulder County is considering a new trail alignment to bypass the road section. Staff announced an initial idea, but we believe that it needs significant improvement. And we have a new trail proposal that we think is much better.

BMA trails program director, Mike Rutter, used his years of riding experience and expertise in trail building to come up with a new alignment that eliminates three-quarters of the proposed switchbacks while providing a more fun visitor experience and less environmental impact. The new alignment will require fewer rock walls and less engineering, making it easier and much cheaper to build and maintain.

Boulder County conceptual reroute

BMA suggested changes

BMA suggested reroute

In fact, we’ve taken it one step further. What if the new trail extended all the way to the trailhead? This trail proposal would add almost 2 miles of new singletrack to Heil, protect the eagle nest, provide a great user experience and will be cheaper to build – especially with BMA staff and volunteers to help.

So far there hasn’t been any opportunity for the public to interface with Boulder County staff regarding this new trail. We need your help in letting Boulder County staff and commissioners know that you support the BMA proposal to build a better trail addition.

Please take a minute to sign our petition by Monday, May 15 and support more fun trails at Heil Valley Ranch.

BMA’s proposed new singletrack trail


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