Larimer County Has Released the HTMOS Draft Management Plan – Public Comment Open Until March 13th!

Larimer County has made their Horsetooth Mountain Open Space Management Plan Draft Update available for public review on their website.  Public comment is being accepted until March 13th on the same website. 
You can access the draft plan here.

At the beginning of this planning process, OMBA proposed updates that included trail reroutes, new trails, alternate lines & directional trails that we felt would improve the quality of mountain biking within Horsetooth – which you can view here.  We are happy to see that Larimer County adopted many of those suggestions.  While we support the overall plan and see some really good things, some questions still remain. 

Here are the positives we see & what we support:

  • Each of the new trail additions & the proposed rerouting concepts
  • The concept of building & restoring trails targeted to specific ability levels
  • The timeline & prioritization of new trail development ahead of the major maintenance & reroutes
  • Evaluating & improving connectivity & wayfinding to create a much better organized trail system
    • there will now be legitimate loop opportunities for all abilities – beginner, intermediate & advanced/expert
    • creating more of a stacked loop/hub & cluster organization of trail junctions
  • Focus group input & overall process

Some of our remaining questions & things we see missing include:

  • No designated trail for descending-only MTB access
  • No mention of trail junction signage & mapping improvements
  • No mention of the possibility for alternate lines to keep opportunities for all ability levels
  • Serious questions remain regarding any future public access to the Hughey OS property
  • No mention of potential upper connections into Lory SP
  • Not addressing the potential of a complete connector trail around the south end of Horsetooth
    • This area is not technically within the boundaries of HTMOS (it’s within the Horsetooth Reservoir property boundary), but it’s similar to Concept AA & BB which are included in the Additional Recreation Opportunities section
    • This potential trail would also have a major impact on access to HTMOS & we feel it should have been included in discussions
  • Parking at Soderberg TH being used for lake access reduces already limited access for MTB

This updated management plan does improve the connectivity of singletrack trails within HTMOS, and it should help improve the overall user experience for many.  The ideas in this plan are good, and how on-the-ground implementation happens is the most important piece remaining.  OMBA looks forward to working with the county however possible in implementing this new management plan while continuing to resolve these remaining issues.

Lastly, we want to thank Larimer County Natural Resources planning staff for being open to public input, for bringing in multiple stakeholders, and for reacting positively to the feedback they received throughout this process.