Story and Photo by AARON RICCA
KINGMAN—As the weather warms up and the wet winter subsides, area trails will need maintenance.
The Colorado River Area Trail Alliance is seeking roughly 40 volunteers April 6 for National Trails Day, a nationally coordinated event designed to unite hikers, bikers, trail runners, equestrians and other human/animal-powered trail activities with the goal of connecting more people to the outdoors.
CRATA Trail Committee Chair Ed Mann is hoping to bring any and all interested parties on a trek into the Cerbat Foothills Recreation Area for a project to improve the Sidewinder Trail connecting the Badger, Castle Rock and Rattler trails north of Kingman.
Expect a mixed bag of new construction a bit of maintenance on existing trails.
“It can be a ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ type of work day,” Mann said.
He and his CRATA crew are already using tools built, tested and constantly improved by a local fabricator. Mann encourages volunteers to add to the arsenal. He’s working with the Bureau of Land Management to shuttle folks via van to the site and back.
This is a strenuous part of the trail system, so bring water (they’ll be plenty available, but a backpack of extra water and other alternate liquids and snacks couldn’t hurt), gloves, sturdy shoes, long pants (preferably), hat and sunscreen.
The Badger and Castle Rock trails are brutal enough to test even the fittest of the fit. Those portions of CFRA we’re removed from the 2018 Rattler Race due to the remoteness and demanding skillset of the average mountain bike rider.
“It’s 15 switchbacks of fury,” Mann said.
Mann is one of many entrepreneurs opening/relocating a business downtown within the next month or two.
‘The SpokesMann’, the bike repair shop and area trail liaison at 111 N. Second Street (formerly ‘Bit of the West,), is slated to open sometime next week. He plans on using his shop as a headquarters for future bike events.
The staging area for volunteer meet up is planned for the Coyote Pass Trailhead at 9 a.m. and those plans are subject to change
“We would like to complete this segment,” Mann said. “It’s an important piece of trail that connects Rattler, Castle Rock, and Badger trails.”
The CFRA includes nearly 40 miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails between Badger, Castlerock, Monolith Gardens Camp Beale Loop areas. After heavy rains wrecked some of the trails last October, CRATA volunteers, Bureau of Land Management crews, City of Kingman and Mohave County Public Works employees all scrambled to expedite repairs to accommodate the 2018 Rattler Race.
CRATA has been working furiously with Kingman City Council, Bureau of Land Management and other private entities to expand county trail systems. Mann and others would like to put county trail systems on par with those in Flagstaff and Prescott and connect CFRA to larger state and interstate multiuser systems such as the Purple Heart, Arizona Peace and Sun Corridor Trails.
Consider helping CRATA help maintain public lands and trails outside and inside the City of Kingman.
“It’s really critical to unify people to make these trails usable for everyone,” Mann said.
For more info on how the process will come together, visit the Colorado River Area Trail Alliance Facebook page; National Trails Day via American Hiking Society at www.americanhiking.org; and Arizona trails at www.trailforks.com.
For questions on the volunteer efforts can best be answered by Ed Mann himself at 928-303-8329.