Mountain Studies Institute (MSI) and the residents of Silverton have built a new trail, improved existing pathways and planted native vegetation along the Animas River. In a series of volunteer work days, MSI staff planned, designed and coordinated the construction of the new trail in town and improvements of the abandoned railroad right-of-way on which the Rainbow Route trail is located. Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) staff offered technical input on some of the more difficult sections of the Rainbow Route; the trail in town generally follows an alignment that had been recommended by RTCA. The MSI outreach coordinator, Whitney Gaskill, has been working with the local schools to get youth involved in planning activities and restoration work along the Animas. On one outing, middle school students learned how to use native plants to help anchor a shifting stream-bank, then they planted willow cuttings along impacted sections of the river. Whitney is also working with the local youth on researching Silverton's history for interpretive facilities along the trail.




Please check out the Mountain Studies Institute news letter for more information on this project. 


  Click here for a full size map.




 Some art along the trail.