Changes in the Josie’s Cabin area could warrant permitting group special event use
By Summit Voice
BRECKENRIDGE — A corner of the Cucumber Gulch wetlands that was once relatively peaceful has become much busier with construction of new trails in the area. As a result, the Breckenridge Open Space Advisory Commission will consider whether to open a trail that descends from Gold Digger/ Interstate to Josie’s Cabin, then ascends to the overlook for special events.
A recreation plan, protective overlay plan and general info on Cucumber Gulch are available here.
According to a staff report prepared for the Sept. 20 BOSAC meeting, special events with groups of more than eight people have been denied access to the area because of restrictions on group sizes and the seclusion of the area from disturbance and development. Since those policies were adopted, a new sewer line, pump house and access road have been built and the narrow single track in the area was replaced by a wider soft-surface trail that enables greater year-round access.
The staff report also points out that an increased number running races, youth bike races and educational tours have been seeking access around the Shock Hill/Pence Miller area. As well, the Shock Hill Lodge development will close several alternate trail alignments that have been used for events.
According to the staff report from the open space and trail department, “Overall, the changes that have occurred in the vicinity of Josie’s Cabin have altered the seclusion and perceived pristine nature of this area, warranting consideration for use by special events permitted by the Town. In the joint Council/BOSAC meeting, this topic was brought up and Council directed BOSAC to discuss the issue further.”
The staff report goes on to outline pros:
Pros for opening this trail segment to special event permits would include: providing clear direction for staff to address special event requests; designating a public route for use by special events without requiring additional private landowner permissions or challenging trail alignments; and recognizing the changing nature of this portion of the Cucumber Gulch Preserve.
Cons for opening this trail segment to special events include: providing additional access into a portion of the Preserve; and potentially prompting temporary displacement of wildlife affected by trail use in the area.
BOSAC will discuss whether there is support for allowing special events to use the trail portion between Gold Digger and the overlook, past Josie’s Cabin; whether any specific limitations should be implemented with regard to special events in the area, and whether BOSAC has any specific direction on other trails that should, or should not be used for special events.
The BOSAC meeting is at 5:30 p.m. at town hall.