The Norwood Ranger District of the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests is announcing the opening of the new Thunder Trails System. The trails, located four miles south of the town of Norwood, offer more than 19 miles of single-track routes that are open for use by motorcycles, mountain bikes, hikers and horses. The trails are in their final stage of construction as Forest Service crews continue to install signs and construct the trail tread. "We are excited about opening these new trails and hope people get out and ride them," said Kathy Peckham, Recreation Manager for the Norwood Ranger District. "The more use we get on the trails, the more it will help us establish the trail tread."
The new trail system offers fun and challenging terrain for all abilities as it travels through the ponderosa pine forest and along the scenic Naturita Canyon. Four interconnected trail loops, each about 4-5 miles in length, provide trail users different riding or hiking options. All of the loops are open to motorcycles, mountain bikers, hikers and horses. Camping is available in designated campsites along Thunder Road at the north end of the trail system.
The trail project was funded with a State of Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) grant. District Ranger Judy Schutza stated, "Thanks to the OHV grant, we are able to provide the first public trails ever constructed within close proximity to Norwood."
Trail users can access the main trailhead located on Thunder Road, Forest Road 609, about four miles south of Norwood. Specific directions to the trails and maps are posted on the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forest website at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/gmug/recreation.
Thanks to the efforts of state Rep. Millie Hamner, House District 61, Colorado State University plans to re-open the Rogers Mesa research site.
The facility was taken out of operation in 2011, due to budget cuts throughout the CSU system.