Findlay Subaru Prescott Takes Part in a Community Collaboration; Celebrating the Commencement of a New Trailhead

The active community of Prescott and its visiting out-of-towners are thrilled to use the new trailhead at Spence Springs in Prescott to access the newly constructed trailhead.

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September 10, 2019 - Community members, Prescott Mountain Bike Alliance (PMBA) members, city workers and officials, members of the Forest Service, Findlay Subaru Prescott, and volunteers came out to celebrate this benchmark event. From the day this project was breathed into existence, many brains, manual labor, volunteer hours, heavy equipment, fundraising, and funds went into its completion in record timing, to say the least.

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How the Spence Springs Trail System Project Came to Be

Back in 2013, the mere idea of sanctioning the social trails located in the Spence Springs trail region was only just a conversation. Through many hours of design and planning, the Forest Service was finally ready to step into action with the construction of this official trail system in 2017. 

The idea of this trail system came to fruition when the Forest Service wanted to make authorized trails out of the “social,” unofficial trails created by the use of adventure goers exploring the woods in this area. The Forest Service decided to make these trails more sustainable and safer for users and the environmental economy. 

400 × 267The construction of the 30 mile Spence Springs Trail System is a part of the Prescott trail plan, which consists of a total of 70 miles of trails. After the reconstruction broke ground in 2017, the 30 miles and seven trailheads were complete in a short but very tedious 18 months. 

The Dedicated Soldiers March On

Trails and Wilderness Manager Jason Williams, has been with the Forest Service for 10 years. He humbly states that he is in charge of the maintenance, planning, and construction of 900 trails across three districts, eight wilderness areas, and 1.2 million acres.

“You would think I would have a crew of workers under me, but know that I have an army of volunteers I manage, from the Over the Hill Gang, the Verde Volunteers, and the efforts of the coordinated workdays to help maintain the trails.” 

350 × 233Chris Hosking, Trails and Natural Parklands Coordinator for the City of Prescott's Recreation Services Department, shared in the experience of many community members and leaders stepping up to make the completion of the project a reality.

“We were able to hire the help of Rob Hehlen, Trails Specialist from the Forest Service, through funds raised from EPIC Rides’ Whiskey Off-Road Race. PMBA [Prescott Mountain Bike Association club] provided funds for the equipment,” all to help with the building of the trail system.

To protect the land and to serve the people, the Forest Service had to start planning for the destination of the trail system’s official trailhead. The six available parking spots on the side of the road were not sufficient enough to meet the demands of the trail system’s increasing popularity. This was also starting to cause concern for the local, private residences that are also nestled away in the same area. 

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350 × 525Access is Granted

Through partnerships and generous donations the proposal to build the Spence Springs Trailhead was underway by May 2019. 

Findlay Subaru Prescott donated $15,000 to help fund this project, the City of Prescott and the Forest Service also put forth thousands of dollars, manual labor, and equipment labor to bring the trailhead to public use. 

“We thank Findlay for their help to get this going, we love this partnership to make this happen. And look forward to more in the future,” said Hosking.

Williams expressed his gratitude to all of those who made this entire project possible. “Joe Baines Prescott Parks and Recreation Director lent us the backhoe and equipment and spent a good 2 ½  weeks working and reading plans. Subaru’s funds were a huge help, and the Forest Service was flexible to help us out, it all came together.” 

Williams recalled when the Spence Springs Trail System wrapped up, “It was one of the proudest moments of my career. And it was a community collaboration that brought this together.” 

 

Let’s Get Ready to Hike, Bike, Walk and Trot!

The popularity of the new trail system is really taking off. With the active community that Prescott is and the trail apps on mobile devices that make finding these trails a lot easier for out-of-towners, Williams says the lot was already full at 9 A.M. on a Monday. 

The Forest Service is already on the move for their next project. Williams proclaims, “And there are more trails to come to accommodate more users!”

Prescott Area Trail Runners - Group Trail Run from Spence Springs Trailhead. Photo courtesy Noel Kingston

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