Trail Restoration Projects

The IPWA coordinates with the U.S. Forest Service to develop a prioritized inventory of projects each year and over a multi-year timeline (such as bridge repair, tree removal, trail reconstruction, grading etc). These trail projects are aimed at creating safe and passable trails and restoring natural areas to enhance the public's enjoyment of the wilderness.​ 

Trail work projects include:

  • cutting away fallen trees impending the trails

  • rebuilding washed-out bridges

  • improving trails by grading and adding berms, retaining rock walls and turnpikes

  • maintaining and improving water diversions to prevent trail erosion

  • protecting fragile areas by redirecting trails, removing social trails and restoring eroded areas

  • removing invasive species 

  • restoring camp sites, signs, removing illegal fire rings and doing trail clean-up


Trail restoration crew working on revegetation

2017 Sawyer Trainees.jpg

Cross cut sawyer training for trail crew volunteers

Did you know...


The Wilderness Act prohibits the use of most motorized equipment and transport in the wilderness? Click here for more information.

This means that chain saws are prohibited, so trail work is done using traditional non-motorized tools. IPWA works with the Forest Service to offer Crosscut Sawyer training for volunteers (note: Basic or Wilderness First Aid Certification is required to take this training). 

Interested in joining us for a trail restoration project?

Check out the Events page! 

These projects are open to volunteers and members of the public who are at least 18 years old (or younger with parental consent). Volunteers for tree projects must attend the Sawyer Certification Training (and have Basic or Wilderness First Aid Certification). 


The IPWA also organizes trail projects in conjunction with other volunteer-based organizations. In the past, the IPWA has conducted trail projects with the Colorado Mountain Club, Wildland Restoration Volunteers, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, Rocky Mountain Conservancy Conservation Corps, Teens Inc. and Boy Scouts of America. If you're part of an outdoor group and would like to work with us on a trail project, let us know!

Please contact us for more information.


Recent Activities

In 2018, trail crews completed 3 projects at the South Boulder Creek Trail Head (James Peak Wilderness).  

On Saturday, September 29th, the IPWA Trail Crew spent a brisk autumn day cleaning
ditches and constructing a textbook rock water bar on the South Boulder Creek Trail in
the James Peak Wilderness. Working just above the junction with the Forest Lakes Trail, the crew installed a new ditch and reinforced it with four large rocks.

Sept 29 2018 Trail After
Sept 29 2018 Trail After

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July 2018 Crew
July 2018 Crew

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Rock Water Bar Before
Rock Water Bar Before

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2018 Trail Project Photos

These rocks were set low and level to provide stepping stones for hikers. Rock water bars such as this one can last for decades, and will help keep this section of the South Boulder Creek Trail dry and free of mud for future generations of hikers and backpacks.


On July 21st, with a group of 9 IPWA volunteers and 3 Wilderness Society employees, the crew:

  • Cleaned and widened half a dozen water bar ditches

  • Set several new water bar rocks

  • Mitigated a very wet section of the trail by digging new drainage and adding screen

  • Built a 3 foot berm of rock and dirt at the lower junction of the winter (ski) trail, which will keep hikers off this social path and allow it to revegetate

On August 18th, a crew of 4 IPWA volunteers met up in the rain and completed the following:

  • Cleaned/cleared four rock water bar ditches

  • Built a four rock water bar to help redirect water from a seep on a wet section of trail about 100 yards above (up-trail) from the Forest Lakes trail junction

  • Screed the trail around the rock water bar to help focus hiker traffic and improve water flow from the seep

  • Inspected illegal campsites below the Forest Lakes trail junction

IPWA Invasive Weed Removal

2016 IPWA Invasive Weed Removal Day

In 2016, the IPWA sponsored an Invasive Weed Removal day on Saturday July 30 at the East Portal/Moffat Tunnel area in the James Peak Wilderness (shown at left in the third picture). The IPWA provided support for the program though providing volunteers, tools, and assistance with project coordination in working with the USFS. Bev Baker from the USFS coordinated the project and we received funding for this from the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance (NWSA) and Pulling For Colorado (P4C). Over 30 volunteers helped with this effort.

Also in 2016, the IPWA volunteers performed trail project work at Brainard Lake in coordination with youth from TEENS Inc. Andy Gup, the IPWA's Vice-Chairman, coordinated the project for the IPWA. In addition to removing fire rings from both Forest Lakes and Crater Lakes in the James Peak Wilderness, the crew worked to improve the Jean Luning/Niwot Cutoff in Brainard Lakes.