by BRENNAN REGO
The Blaine County Recreation District and the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation are partnering to groom eight to 10 kilometers of Nordic ski trails in Croy Creek Canyon just west of Hailey.
Rick Kapala, Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation Cross Country Program director, said he is working with Blaine County Trails Coordinator Eric Rector to get the new trails done in time for this year’s ski season.
A Blaine Country Recreation District pass will be required to use the trails. The property is owned by several private individuals who have given the district permission to use the land, Rector said.
Kapala said the cross-country ski team’s south valley development team will use the trails to train this winter.
“It’s what we need for our little guys,” he said.
Previously, the “little guys” trained at Quigley Canyon Ranch, but property owner David Hennessy closed trail access at Quigley on May 24 after the city of Hailey declined to annex the property. The property’s previous owners, Fred Judd and Stoney Burke, had originally given the green light for the ski team to train on the property and Hennessy allowed them to do so after purchasing the land, until this year.
“We were really fortunate for many years to be able to train at Quigley,” Kapala said. “The owners were under no obligation to help us develop our Nordic skiing program in the south valley.”
Kapala said it’s important for the ski team to maintain a presence in the south valley.
“Parents are looking for an easily accessible after-school program for their kids,” he said. “We’ve got to go where the kids are and that’s the south valley.”
Kapala said the ski team has “landed on its feet” in working with the Recreation District to construct the new trails.
“Right now we’re running around like crazy trying to get the trails ready for winter,” he said. “Croy Creek is a great location as it’s close to the core of Hailey. It’s just as close as Quigley was, just on the west side of town as opposed to the east side.”
Kapala said new trails will feature more “interesting, undulating” terrain than the trails at Quigley Canyon Ranch.
“All it takes is us deciding where to run the PistenBully [groomer], wherever we want a trail,” he said.
Brennan Rego: firstname.lastname@example.org
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