Posted by: columbiahighlands | November 5, 2010

Volunteers break ground on Gibraltar trail

On Oct. 22nd-23rd, over a dozen volunteers from Conservation Northwest, Spokane Mountaineers, Washington Trails Association and the Ferry County Trails Association broke ground on the new Gibraltar trail east of Republic. The trail, the product of a five-year effort between recreation groups and conservationists, will provide non-motorized and motorized recreation opportunities close to town.

The final trail, which will likely be in the range of 17-18 miles long with several trailhead and loop options, will wind around Quartz Mountain and Camel Back Mountain on a combination of new singletrack and existing, closed forest roads. Open old-growth ponderosa grasslands and rocky knobs provide ample views of Republic to the west and the Kettle Crest to the east, as well as making for an interesting and fun trail for mountain bikers and hikers.

A new trailhead will provide access from the popular Quartz Ridge Road (FS 2053) and will include a toilet, trailhead signs, and a parking lot large enough for trailers.

Slightly under 12 miles of the loop will be open to non-motorized use including hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and Nordic skiing. Eventually, easements across state and private land will allow for a non-motorized connector trail from the Ferry County Fairgrounds in Republic, which could add another 5-6 miles of trail.

Approximately one mile will be open to motorized and non-motorized use. The motorized portion of the trail will link to existing motorized routes, with future motorized routes to Republic a possibility.

Once open, Gibraltar will be the closest National Forest trail to Republic, and, because most of the trail is under 4000 feet of elevation, will provide early- and late-season snow-free recreation opportunities.

“What’s unique about this trail is the collaboration with the Forest Service by several local organizations,” said Steve Anthes, president of the Ferry County Trails Association.

“Once this trail is completed and it connects with a new trailhead near the Republic Fairgrounds, it will be an economic asset to our community, giving hikers and mountain bikers one of the most scenic and unique trails in the region right on the edge of town,” said Anthes.

The purchase of tools and equipment for the construction of the Gibraltar Trail this season was made possible thanks to a grant from the Spring Trust for Trails Foundation, a charitable trust fund that provides grants for trail building and maintenance projects in Washington state

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Responses

  1. CONGRATS TO ALL VOLUNTEERS,JOB WELL DONE..

  2. Looking forward to work with WTA and other volunteers this next year on this new addition.

  3. […] in northeast Washington this summer, including two week-long volunteer vacations: June 11-18, Gibraltar Trail; and July 9-16, in the Salmo Priest Wilderness. They also have several shorter trips scheduled: […]


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