Foothills Rim Trail excites outdoor enthusiasts
KINGMAN - Hikers and bikers in the Kingman area will soon have a new trail to explore. The Bureau of Land Management and a group of mountain bike enthusiasts are looking for volunteers to help build the new Foothills Rim Trail in the Cerbat Foothills Recreation Area Saturday.
Volunteers will need to meet at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Coyote Pass Trailhead off Highway 68. Volunteers will be needed at the same time every second Saturday of the month through June. Volunteers should wear a hat, long-sleeved shirt, long pants and proper footwear and are urged to bring water, lunch or snacks, and gloves. BLM will provide tools, additional water and gloves.
"This was really a grassroots movement," said BLM Public Affairs Specialist Mike Brown. The mountain bikers designed the route themselves and came to the BLM with the idea, he said.
"We don't have enough trails and many of them are too short," said mountain biker Doug Dusharm. He and Jim Madison, another mountain biker, got together with a group of about eight of their friends to design and submit the trail to the BLM. It took the group about 400 hours to design the 10-mile Foothill Rim Trail, which will start at the Coyote Pass trailhead and connect with the Monolith Gardens Trail at three different areas.
"It's actually how most of the trails around Kingman were started," Brown said.
In the early 1990s, the department partnered with the city of Kingman, Arizona Game and Fish, and a group of trail enthusiasts to map the nearly 19 miles of trails in the Cerbat Foothills, including Camp Beale Loop, Badger, Castle Rock and Monolith Gardens trail systems, said Len Marceau, BLM outdoor recreation planner.
"There was always the option to build more trails, and I think the mountain bikers knew that," he said.
It took about a year and a half to move the trail through the BLM approval process, Dusharm said. The design had to go through an environmental assessment, an archeological assessment and a biological assessment before it could be approved.
The group's original plan for the trail was modified slightly during the approval process to protect important wildlife habitat areas and areas of cultural importance, Marceau said.
How soon the trail is finished depends on how many volunteers they get to help out, he said. The more volunteers, the faster they can get it finished. The last trail to be completed in the area was the Monolith Gardens Trail and it took nearly three years to finish that eight mile trail, Marceau said.
The Foothills Rim Trail will expand the non-motorized trails in the Cerbat Foothills Recreation Area from 19 to 29 miles. All of the trails within the area are open to hikers, mountain bikers and equestrian riders.
Residents interested in volunteering to work on the trail can contact Dusharm at (928) 718-0651; Madison at (928) 530-0097; or Marceau, at (928) 718-3724 or by email, Len_Marceau@blm.gov.