Colorado's trails are getting more use than ever.
But, there are also more people than ever who want to make sure they are cared for and preserved.
This story is part of 9NEWS' effort to Keep Colorado Colorful. We are taking to heart the issues with trash and waste that is being left in our open spaces, parks and trails and we want to empower you to get involved and to volunteer to make sure our state is pristine for generations to come.
Keeping the thousands of miles of trails that snake through Colorado in adequate condition takes a lot of work. And almost all of it is done by volunteers.
If you'd like to get involved, there is no shortage of opportunity. Here are just a few:
Participate in a trail construction and restoration project with the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative
Each summer, the CFI organizes both single and multi-day trail construction, maintenance and restoration projects on Colorado's Fourteener trails. On the set day, volunteer groups start their hike up to the project site around 6:30 a.m. and then spend all day digging trenches, planting vegetation, hauling rocks and more.
Learn more: http://bit.ly/22Pwzhy
Adopt-a-Trail from the Colorado Trail Foundation
The 486-mile Colorado Trail that runs from the mouth of Waterton Canyon to Durango is maintained by volunteers who have each adopted and are responsible for one of the 80 sections of the route. Each adopter, with volunteer helpers, is responsible for maintaining their section, clearing fallen trees, assessing signage, cleaning water diversions and reporting conditions to the Colorado Trail Foundation.
Learn more: http://bit.ly/2pXRliM
Volunteer with the Continental Divide Trail Coalition
The Continental Divide Trail is a National Scenic Trail that runs 3,100 miles along the Continental Divide in the Rocky Mountains between Mexico and Canada. And the Continental Divide Trail Coalition is a volunteer-based non-profit that maintains, protects and builds uncompleted sections of the CDT. They always need volunteers to help with that mission.
Learn more: http://bit.ly/2qyfH4w
Join the Colorado Native Brew Crew
The loyalty program for AC Golden's line of Colorado Native beers, the Brew Crew has adopted a section of the Continental Divide Trail from Herman Gulch to Berthoud Pass. So, they organize weekend trips for members to help maintain it each summer.
Learn more: http://bit.ly/2qyaCsL
Adopt-a-Trail through the city of Denver
Denver Parks and Recreation operates an Adopt-a-Trail program to help keep the city's trail system clean and trash-free. Those who are interested can apply and Denver's volunteer office will try match you with a trail in your area. Then you'll need to pick up litter, weed, trim branches, etc on your trail on a regular basis.
Learn more: http://bit.ly/2rsJdHX
Find and register for a trail project with the Wildlands Restoration Volunteers
An organization that focuses on ecological restoration around the state, the Wildlands Restoration Volunteers have a variety of opportunities to help out on trail projects on most summer weekends. Depending on the difficulty of the specific project, volunteers can be as young as 12 and range from one to three days.
Learn more: http://bit.ly/2qQoHC6
Join Jefferson County's trail stewardship team
Every summer since 1975, Jefferson County has hired a team of youth between the ages of 14-18 to manage and maintain their trail system. Those who are chosen for the team work Tuesdays through Thursdays from June 13 through July 27, covering 200 miles in that time. Participants are also paid an hourly wage.
Learn more: http://bit.ly/2rbatyF
Check out the trail projects on Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado
The Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado website has a huge range of trail restoration, maintenance and construction projects around the state available for almost anyone. They even offer opportunities to register a group or office and have specific projects designed for youth.
Learn more: http://bit.ly/2qb2vBA
Register for one the Poudre Wilderness Volunteers trail restoration projects
When both the High Park Fire and 2013 floods destroyed much of the wilderness in Northern Colorado, the Poudre Wilderness Volunteers stepped in to help the Canyon Lake Ranger District and US Forest Service start to restoring and rebuilding the trails that were forced to close. And they've been doing it ever since.
Learn more: http://bit.ly/2qbtXiw