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BLM plan calls for enhancement of Old Spanish Trail in Delta County

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Photo by Pat Sunderland Newly installed metal silhouettes at Fort Uncompahgre depict travelers on the Old Spanish Trail.

A plan to increase general knowledge and usage of the Old Spanish National Historic Trail in Delta and Mesa counties is detailed in a draft document prepared by the Bureau of Land Management.

Stakeholders came together to identify Old Spanish National Historic Trail sites that could be marked and developed for the public, including trailheads, overlooks and interpretive locations. Further development of existing hiking/biking/equestrian trails, 2WD routes, 4WD routes, and ATV routes could make the trail accessible to the public.

Sites identified for future development in Delta County include the Big Dominguez Canyon overlook, Fool's Hill, Wells Gulch, the Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area parking area and the Escalante State Wildlife Area overlook. It's also suggested that Delta's mural collection be augmented with a new mural depicting travelers on the Old Spanish Trail.

The only current interpretive site is located at Fort Uncompahgre. Antoine Robidoux, an influential trader out of Santa Fe, established Fort Uncompahgre as a trading outpost in 1828. The location was a central hub for many trade and travel routes in the west, primarily the North Branch of the Old Spanish National Historic Trail.

The draft can be viewed on the Delta County Independent website, www.deltacountyindependent.com. Suggestions and feedback on the draft are welcomed by Courtney Fernelius at cfernelius@blm.gov through Sept. 7.

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Fort Uncompahgre, history
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