Summer is just around the corner and the Fish Creek Falls trail is the first beneficiary of the Trail Maintenance Endowment Fund. The U.S. Forest Service will use a $2,303 grant to perform erosion control, shore up retaining walls and stabilize the steep part of the trail that starts just past the iconic bridge at the base of the waterfall. The images below show the extent of the maintenance required on this portion of the popular trail.

According to the Forest Service, the trail sees more than 20,000 users each year.

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The Trail Maintenance Endowment Fund was set up last year in late November as a way to help pay for the maintenance and upkeep of the growing roster of area trails.

If that goal is reached, the earnings from fund could be used to pay for at least $60,000 of trail maintenance each year.

The endowment fund’s success could also help to prevent local land managers such as the Forest Service from imposing any additional user fees to cover the cost of trail maintenance.

Applications for endowment fund grants are submitted in September.

A seven-member board that consists of local land managers, two community members and a Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association representative evaluate the requests and choose a winning project.

The endowment fund is held by the Yampa Valley Community Foundation and supports non-motorized trail maintenance projects in Routt and Moffat counties.

To learn more about the fund or to donate, visit YVCF.org/trails.