Join the Greater Arkansas River Nature Association (GARNA) and Loretta McEllhiney of the Leadville Ranger District for a guided cross-country ski tour along Leadville’s Mineral Belt Trail on Saturday, Jan. 18.

Participants will ski the east side of the loop, including the historic mining district where the trail is fairly flat and scenic. This paved, high-elevation (10,000+ feet) trail has views of the Sawatch and Mosquito mountains as it journeys among pine and aspen trees. The guided tour will be just over 3 miles round-trip, with historical talks along the way.

The MBT helps to chronicle the rags-to-riches stories of such notable figures from Colorado’s history as Horace and Baby Doe Tabor, Meyer Guggenheim, Charles Boettcher, David May, Father John Dyer, (Colorado’s “Snowshoe Itinerant”) and the “Unsinkable Molly Brown”. It also helps tell the story of the building of the Cloud City, whose ornate Victorian architecture once housed the entrepreneurs, gamblers, miners, outlaws, and ladies of the evening of Colorado lore.

McEllhiney earned degrees in kinesiology and nutrition from Kansas State University. In 1989 she joined the Forest Service and moved to Leadville, where she has put her passion for public lands to work managing the Colorado Fourteeners Program. Since 1998, she has been a member of the Mineral Belt Trail Committee and has learned a boundless appreciation for the history of her hometown.

The program will start at the trailhead at 10 a.m. and last between 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Participants can continue farther on their own, or return with the group. Cross-country ski rentals are available in Leadville at Alpine Ski and Sport, or Bill’s Ski Rentals. This program is recommended for participants over 8 years old. No dogs are allowed.

Cost is $5 for GARNA members and $10 for non-members.

To register visit https://garna.org/calendar/cross-country-skiing-on-the-mineral-belt-trail/ or contact Hillary Fuller at 719-539-5106 or at info@garna.org.

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