While the volunteer patrollers directly serve the visitors and parks; the Trail Users Forum works as a liaison with the county and other users.
The Trail Users Forum was originally created in 1995 to facilitate the increased park attendance and different types of trail users. The forum is made up of volunteer citizens from the majority user groups – equestrians, hikers and mountain bikers, as well as Open Space Advisory Committee representatives and Open Space Staff representatives. The purpose of the forum is to take ideas, compliments and concerns from the different user groups and then make recommendations to improve trail use experience for all users to enjoy a safe, quality experience while they also consider the protection of the natural resource. There are eight Equestrian and Hiking Representatives and seven Biking Representatives.
The Trail Users Forum improved the horse trailer parking at Centennial Cone as well as implemented the alternating use schedule for hikers and bikers. The schedule is as follows: equestrian use is allowed everyday; weekdays are multi-use and weekends allow bikers on even days and hikers on odd days. This way, equestrians that do not wish to encounter bikes can plan accordingly. In March 2010, the forum implemented changes at Apex Park once it was learned that equestrians had nearly stopped using the trail because the speed of bikers was a safety issue with the horses. Now the park strictly enforces that on odd days, bikes are only allowed to travel one way to allow a safer speed for bikes and horses to interact. For more information on the Trail Users Forum go to: http://jeffco.us/openspace/openspace_T56_R127.htm. The Trail Users Forum Equestrian Representatives also have a FaceBook page at “Jeffco Colorado Open Space Equestrians”.
Get out and enjoy the many trails in our Jefferson County Open Space Parks this summer with your friends and horses! Remember the folks who volunteer to protect the trails, users and our natural resources and maybe even consider serving along with them as a patroller or on the forum. Happy Trails! Copyright 2013 H. McWilliams, MtnHomes4Horses.com