After months of work and preparation, the Glassford Summit Trail opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday, May 21 attended by numerous town officials and quite a few eager hikers.
There were quite a lot of people who turned out for the ceremony and Mayor Harvey Skoog noted that it was nice to see so many people come out for the trail’s ribbon cutting.
“It’s turned out to be a really nice feature for the community,” Skoog said. “We appreciate that.”
Skoog also thanked all those who put in work to put the trail together, such as the public works department and the parks department. The parking lot was also completed for the ribbon cutting ceremony, which Skoog called a miracle unto itself.
The trail starts at Antelope Lane and Castle Drive.
Parks and Recreation Commission Chairperson Ron Brinkman expressed appreciation for all the volunteers who put time and effort into working on the trail.
“The Over the Hill Gang spent a lot of time and effort, they have helped us out down in Fain Park, they have put amazing work on this trail and it’s really a beautiful trail,” Brinkman said. “The Scouts have done some work, we’ve just had a lot of volunteers do work and this is just going to be a real asset to the community.”
The work by the Scouts Brinkman referred to was an Eagle project that involved the placement of mile markers along the trail.
While the trail officially opened on Saturday, it’s already seen its fair share of travelers including Larry Pons and his wife. The two of them hiked up the trail a day after some rain, Pons wrote in an earlier email.
“The first half of the trail was a little damp but we had no issues with mud hiking up that part. The last half of the trail where the switchbacks start was much wetter and muddier,” Pons wrote. “In fact the mud was so bad that it had severely clumped up on the soles of our shoes to the point where we had to stop and knock the mud off our shoes every few steps in order to continue on our hike and more importantly avoid turning an ankle.”
Pons expressed his concern that the trail wouldn’t be enjoyable for hikers and bikers after rain and that it may be unusable during monsoon season.
While working on the trail, Town Manager Larry Tarkowski would talk to users as they were coming back down, including a number of bikers which he guessed made up 25 to 30 percent of those using the trail. He commented that at some point in time, gravel may be put on the trail so people can use it after it rains and it wouldn’t be muddy.
“The bikers said ‘don’t you dare put anything on it because it’ll make it unusable for us,” Tarkowski said. “They said ‘we want native material and if it’s muddy, we don’t use it.”
This weekend will see the inaugural Glassford Summit Trail 5K Fun Run, Hike or Walk, For the Hill of It, which starts at 7 a.m. at the Glassford Hill Middle School parking lot on Saturday, May 28.