Coronado National Forest, renowned for its serene landscapes, has seen an emergence of diverse interests beyond traditional nature seekers. The Red Spring Singletrack area in the Tumacácori Mountains caters to the adrenaline-fueled desires of dirt bike enthusiasts and mountain bikers, reflecting a unique collaboration between public groups and the National Forest Service.
Unveiling Red Spring Singletrack: A Necessity Realized
The establishment of the Red Spring Singletrack, spanning 25 miles of exhilarating trails, was a response to the absence of dedicated spaces for dirt bikes, e-bikes, and mountain bikes in the Coronado National Forest. Mindi Lehew, the NEPA Coordinator for the Forest, highlighted the pivotal role played by the Trail Riders of Southern Arizona (TRS), a Tucson-based motorcycle nonprofit, in identifying the need for motorized trails in the area.
Collaborative Efforts and Project Implementation
The initiative took shape through meticulous planning, leveraging existing trail networks in the remote Tumacácori Mountains. TRS, recognized as a 501c3 nonprofit, spearheaded efforts, securing a $250,000 grant that funded environmental surveys, trail planning, and execution. Detailed mapping, environmental analyses, and public scoping were integral steps, ensuring minimal environmental impact, such as protecting the Pima Pineapple Cactus.
Inauguration and Trail Dynamics
In 2019, the trail system officially opened, tailored primarily for motorized bikes but welcoming mountain bikers. Trail difficulty, while challenging in parts, remains comparable to other offerings in Arizona’s national forests. The area’s setup includes multiple trailheads and amenities like ramadas and picnic tables, catering to a niche audience seeking an off-the-grid experience.
Unique Experience and Future Aspirations
Red Spring Singletrack offers an alternative recreational experience, attracting users seeking remote adventures and self-sufficiency. Plans for further trail expansion, maintenance, and partnerships with other bike nonprofits signal TRS’s dedication. Meanwhile, the Forest Service continues monitoring usage to determine future developments and facilities, balancing demand with environmental preservation.
Conclusion: Paving the Way for Diverse Recreation
The Red Spring Singletrack stands as a testament to collaboration and innovation in diversifying recreational opportunities within Coronado National Forest. It caters to a distinct subset of thrill-seekers while respecting the wilderness, showcasing the Forest Service’s commitment to meeting diverse recreational needs.