Tuesday, November 3, 2015

New KCR Trail, Lower Cougar

New KCR Trail, Lower Cougar
By Joseph McCabe 11/3/2015

For those who haven't been blessed to actually experience the new trails, here is a quick report.
The start of the Lower Cougar Trail shows its curvy, sinuous track cut into the slope on the south part of Ken Caryl Ranch. It gently slopes upward in the foothills of the ranch.

I”ve been on many trails in my days, and this one is an excellent trail. There are secret spots where nature provides a shaded, wetter feeling. This trail reminds me of Chautauqua up in Boulder without the flatirons.

Just off Valley Parkway before you get to Amaranth Dr, up into the foothills a 1.9 mile hike gets you to an intersection that can take you back along a relatively flat 1.9 mile trail to the Massey Draw trail. The new October map has all the deets, including the under construction Upper Cougar Trail currently accessible to the 6600 foot mark. There you will see Egyptian like wall building efforts on the tricky switchbacks. All being built by volunteers who carefully pick huge rocks and slide them into the right locations. You can join the community by sending an e-mail to the trail club, be sure to give your KCR street address.

To me, KCR stands for Kind Cyclists Rule. Whenever I mountain bike ride, I always leave space for hikers, never skid and am not in a race. Some of the switchbacks require a slow careful negotiation going up hill. And some of the down hill on this trail can be deceivingly gentle, until you come to a sharp right turn before a deep 8 foot deep ravine dive. Lately, I have been running this trail, taking an hour round trip to the site of the volunteers building the new section at 6600 feet. A 600 foot elevation from my doorstep. Can’t wait till it gets up to 7,300 feet. Now that will be a serious work out for these old bones.
Here is a detail from the on line trail map as of October 2015:

Thanks to all the volunteering and the funding for the professional building of these trails. An excellent partnership. Couple of 3D spherical photos uploaded on my Google+ account, click on the photo withing Google+ to see the cool 3D view. You can scroll around, look up and down and see the full views. Juncture of Lower Cougar trail in KCR and in this one you can see the wall built by the volunteers

Hope this helps understand the new trails. They are excellent.