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MEEKER I Thanks to community-wide efforts by the Meeker Chamber of Commerce, Rio Blanco County, the Town of Meeker, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service and the Wagon Wheel OHV Club, a grant for $265,300 has been awarded to Rio Blanco County by the Colorado State Parks Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) Program.
Rio Blanco County Commissioner Jeff Eskelson and Meeker Chamber Executive Director Katelin Cook testified before the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commissioners to receive grant approval.
Eskelson said, “The grant cycle offered through the State Parks OHV Program is very competitive; our requirement to testify before the Colorado Parks and Wildlife commissioners proves the competitiveness.
“There are great projects happening all around the state,” he said. “The commissioners recognized the importance of this connector trail to Meeker and awarded one of the largest grants to our community this year.”
The grant funds will be utilized to create a connecting trail, within the Colorado Department of Transportation right-of-way, along State Highway 13, from School Street to County Road 8. The trail will connect the Town of Meeker to the existing Wagon Wheel OHV Trail System on U.S. Forest Service (USFS) lands, and is critical to providing OHV enthusiasts with the best OHV riding experience possible.
According to Colorado State Parks and Wildlife, Rio Blanco County has experienced a 71 percent increase in the number of registered OHVs over the past five years, proving OHV travel and tourism have a significant direct impact on the local economic base as well as the state’s economic base.
This is the second grant awarded for the Wagon Wheel OHV Trail System. A grant for $100,862 was awarded in 2012 for enhanced marketing options, increased GPS capabilities, signage, trailhead and parking area improvements and educational information.
The Wagon Wheel OHV Trail System consists of more than 250 miles of trails, including 16 looping trails and is the largest organized trail system in Northwest Colorado. The terrain and difficulty of these trails are unique and diverse.
Through cooperation with the Town of Meeker and Rio Blanco County, OHV travel on city streets and certain county roads is approved with some restrictions.
For more information on the Wagon Wheel OHV Trail System, or for a map, please visit the Meeker Chamber of Commerce at 710 Market St.