Western Gateway: Extensive 27-mile trail system for hikers, equestrians, trail runners, mountain bikers

Construction of the Western Gateway, a sustainable 27-mile multiuse trail system in the Coconino National Forest, will begin in fall 2018. The Verde Valley Cyclists Coalition (VVCC), building upon its 2017 fundraising success, is establishing a $75,000 goal for the Western Gateway Trail Construction Project. Funds raised by VVCC will be used for trail construction only and leveraged with matching funds from other sources such as grants, raffles, direct mailers and online donations.

The primary trailhead is accessible from the West Sedona Cultural Park, with northern access planned from Aerie Trailhead. The system will include 3 miles of reroutes of Girdner Trail, 8 miles of social trails adopted into the trail system, and 16 miles of new trail construction. Trail profiles and layout will create an extensive, environmentally protective and sustainable system.

The City of Sedona has stated that the Western Gateway is a community asset for outdoor recreation, open to hikers, equestrians, trail runners, and mountain bikers. A series of concentric loops starting at the Cultural Center trailhead will offer a variety of challenge levels and experiences.

Marty Glinsky, VVCC President is very enthusiastic about the project, saying, “One objective is to shift trail users, particularly mountain bikers, from the more crowded areas in Sedona and the Village of Oak Creek. With a declining budget, the Forest Service depends on a collaborative trail creation approach. While volunteers will be used extensively, professional trail crews will be essential for all project aspects.”

For more information about this community trail project, visit www.westerngatewaytrails.org. Donations are accepted either online or by mail to VVCC, P.O. Box 20332, Sedona, AZ 86341-0332.

ABOUT THE VVCC: The Verde Valley Cyclists Coalition works to improve the bicycling environment and quality of life in the Sedona-Verde Valley region.

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