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Chalet Nivale Preserve trails opening

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Frances Rogers, a ninth grader at Peebles High School, perfects her log-walking skills at the Chalet Nivale Preserve.

By Roy Willman – People’s Defender

“It’s a beautiful spot that my family and I have enjoyed visiting and working on, helping improving the trails and controlling the invasive plants.” said Laura Rogers of Peebles. “We love it and are pleased it’s opening to the public.”

The trails Rogers is referring to are part of the 106-acre Chalet Nivale Preserve on Bacon Flat Road just east of Peebles. The Grand Opening of these trails is scheduled Saturday, April 23 and the public is invited. There will be a brief ceremony and ribbon-cutting at 1 p.m., with delicious cashew bars available made by the excellent bakers from the Arc of Appalachia, who own the preserve.

There are three trails about one mile each. Two loop-trails meander through the low flood plain bounded by mossy rocks, intriguing outcrops, and vertical cliffs. A third trail crosses a meadow lying in a low bowl of land that is surrounded by a rim of Appalachian hills. Dion Savage, a friend of the Arc who has hiked the trails said “My favorite is the Early Buttercup trail, great views and good exercise walking up and down the ridge.”

While the advertised guided hikes are now fully booked, the trails will be open to the public and filled with spring wildflowers. Parking will be along Bacon Flat Road, so visitors are asked to drive slowly, park carefully and car pool if you can.

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