Silverthreaders continue volunteering in South Fork area
SOUTH FORK — Over the past several years a local recreational group known as the Silverthreaders in South Fork have done more for the trail and recreation community than most people dream of doing.
The tiny group comprised of outdoor enthusiasts spend their days walking, hiking, fishing, climbing, snowmobiling, grooming and cleaning along the hundreds of miles of trails that can be accessed around the South Fork area.
After a small break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the group is back out doing what they love to do.
According to newly elected Vice President Ashlee Bratton, the group was recently awarded a grant through the Rio Grande National Forest Service that was written by fellow member and Treasurer Linda Treibly. The grant will allow the group to continue their work on local trails and help with associated costs along the way.
Bratton also gave a brief outline of the group and what it is they do in the community.
"The Silverthread Outdoor Recreational Club of the San Luis Valley, also known as the Silverthreaders Club is a non-profit that was established in 2001, with the Silverthreaders Club established in 2011," Bratton said. "On top of providing weekly organized hikes and ATV rides in the area, this outdoor group focuses on assisting the Forest Service in clearing and maintaining ATV trails, and to promote riding safely on trails at all times, and enjoying other outdoor recreational activities as well.
"Over the last few years, hundreds of trees have been cleared from multiple trails. Some of the club’s projects include adding rails onto the Lake Fork bridge and repairing broken rails on the bridges at Big Meadows. We just received a grant this year through the Forest Service for two electric chainsaws and two reciprocating saws to assist in trail clearing this season. Partnerships with other organizations are key. Club members that want to participate in an upcoming chainsaw certification course in June, compliments of the Forest Service can sign up online and learn about trail clearing safety — www.voc.org/event?data-id=22135. We also help with highway beautification, assist Rio Grande Search and Rescue, and help other organizations in our area needing a helping hand. Our goal is to promote activities and friendships that relate to being outdoors and enjoying the natural beauty of our area."
Bratton continues, “Silverthreaders are an official sponsor of Highway 160 miles 185-187 and organize yearly trash cleanups along Highway 160. We just did one on May 3 and will meet again on June 7 at 9 a.m. at the Visitor Center for another Highway Clean-Up Power Hour. Bring your work gloves, a trash bag and wear your orange safety gear to help make our town even more beautiful. Highway cleanup is in partnership with the Friends of South Fork organization who hopes to have regular clean-ups on the first Monday of every month. The wind brings in so much trash — our highways need regular TLC.”
The group recently completed a highway cleanup day earlier this month with the help of the Friends of South Fork. They are also the official sponsor of the Lake Fork Trail — organizing regular trail workdays to remove downed trees and keep the trail clear and safe for visitors.
Membership is $20 a year per family or $30 a year for a business. Sign up online at https://silverthreaders.helloclub.com.
- Monday Fun Day Trail Hikes start at 9 a.m. and are suitable for beginner hikers or people with a tighter schedule that want to stay under 5 miles. They also offer a club hike. The hiking group turns into a snowshoe group in the winter season.
- Wednesday Hikes (also known as "Bushwack Wednesdays"): Led by area expert Dennis Shepherd with more challenging off-trail explorations. There is a new group of hikers forming that will also offer easier hikes on Wednesdays. The fabulous “Wimpy Wednesday” group will offer people that come to the Visitor Center on Wednesdays the option to choose the group that fits them best.
More information on the individual weekly hike destinations and signup calendar can be found through the member Hello Club account — Silverthreader.helloclub.com. You do not need to sign up on the Hello Club calendar ahead of time to join in on a hike, but the online tool is a way to find out ahead of time where the group is going that week and RSVP attendance.
- Thursday Kids Hikes: Also led by Shepherd, the hikes are a way for families to burn some energy and explore the area.
- Weekly ATV Adventures will start soon. Go to the Silverthread Outdoor Club Facebook public page, for more information on when those start.
- Silverthread Member Meetings and Potluck: Third Tuesday of every month held at the Community Building — bring a dish to share with the group.