VERNAL, Utah – Biking trails in the McCoy Flats area were badly damaged after rain swept through the area, but every week for the last month volunteers have gone the extra mile to make the trails rider-friendly once more.
Aiden Deletant is one of the volunteers, and he said several outdoor biking organizations have come together to give back to the land they love.
“We're out doing a bit of trail maintenance on the McCoy Flats trail system,” he said.
Dan Gilfillan is an outdoor recreation planner with Utah’s Bureau of Land Management, and he said the volunteers were the ones who approached them with a plan.
“The mountain bike club, Aiden Deletant and the Northeastern Utah Mountain Bikers, they approached the BLM and said they would like to do some volunteer work,” he said.
Gilfillan said the volunteers are crucial to their efforts in the area.
“The base funding for the recreation program for the Vernal BLM, it’s not increasing to the point where we can hire a whole trail crew to maintain our trail systems and other recreational facilities, so the work that the Uintah Mountain Club does is essential to keeping these facilities up and running,” he said.
The rain washed out trails and weeds have obstructed some of the paths bikers use, and volunteers have made themselves responsible for smoothing out the rough areas and keeping trails clear. Melissa Hendrickson is part of the volunteer efforts, and she said the trails rely on volunteer work to stay in use.
“A lot of these trails we would actually lose, because we don't have enough riders to keep them around, so, doing the trail maintenance helps keeps these trails established,” she said.
Deletant said the biking trails are open to the public, which makes them a valuable resource for those who want to spend time in nature.
“You don't have to pay to ride, anyone can ride the trails, but they need a bit of volunteer work just to keep them running,” he said.