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Photo courtesy of Amy Menerey/Lost Cabin Photo The view along one of the Old Quarry Trails shows the many rock outcroppings and remnants of the quarrythat was once there. The Quarry trails are just one of the trail systems in Weston County open to the public.Other trails are Flying V Trails, Mallo Trails, and Serenity Trails, all north of Newcastle. Recent grants will allow Bent Sprockets, a Newcastle-based nonprofit trail organization, to improve the Old Quarry Trails.
Mary Stroka, NLJ Reporter

Bent Sprockets, a Newcastle-based nonprofit trail organization, has received a second grant for improving trails for Weston County.

As the News Letter Journal reported in June 2022, Wyoming’s Office of Outdoor Recreation and Bent Sprockets received a grant that month to make improvements at the Flying V Trails. Grant funding will now support similar work on the Old Quarry Trails, member-at-large Caleb Carter told the News Letter Journal after Bent Sprockets received a second grant through the Wyoming Office of Outdoor Recreation.

The Old Quarry Trails comprise about 5 miles of trails that are on Bureau of Land Management land about 8 miles east of Newcastle, according to Bent Sprockets’ website.

“We are very excited to continue our partnership with the BLM and continue efforts on improving and expanding the trails,” Carter said.

According to Carter, the task list for work on the Old Quarry Trails includes improving and widening some existing trails to make them more accessible for adaptive riders, expanding the trail system and installing new signage at trail junctions and posts with trail names and trail rating information. There will also be new trailhead map signage.

Bent Sprockets will also purchase trail-building tools and equipment using grant funding.

“We are very excited to continue expansion of this trail system that has become an integral part of our community for hiking and mountain biking and is a great trail system in the winter time, as the snow doesn’t stay very long,” Carter said.

Jeremy Dedic, the president of Bent Sprockets, said in an email that Bent Sprockets received $68,000 for the Old Quarry Trails work, which it hopes to start this summer and finish by summer 2025. The timeline depends on contractor availability and weather.

“As anxious as we are to use some new trails, we do want them to be constructed correctly, for sustainability and fun,” Dedic said.

The nonprofit does not plan to close existing trails for improvements or construction work.

“We do ask folks to be patient and aware that work may be going on,” Dedic said. “Please give equipment a bit of room, and make sure workers see you before passing.”

By constructing the routes approved with the funding, which are all within the current quarry trail area, there will be about 6 miles of trails at this location, according to Dedic, who said that these trails tend to still be in very good condition when other Weston County trails are muddy.

Dedic reported at the June 4 Northeast Wyoming Outdoor Recreation Collaborative meeting that Old Quarry Trails has gone from receiving little traffic to becoming popular with walkers and riders.

Serenity Trail project

Dedic noted that Bent Sprockets is also preparing to seek funding for maintenance and upkeep of the Serenity Trail, which is the closest public trail on public land to Newcastle. The trail, which is on state trust land, is about 2 miles away from the 4-way stop and is among the highest used in the county. The Wyoming State Forestry Division and the Wyoming Honor Conservation Camp built the trail in 2010. People can use it year-round, and it offers both a 2-mile loop and a 4-mile loop.

The trail has only received and needed light maintenance, but one section, the “Hell’s Rocks” portion, needs more care, Dedic said. The organization is considering conducting a mild re-route and drainage project on it. The area has about 15% grade for a “sustained amount of distance” and is very rocky and dry, he said.

“We get those periodic gully washers, and it’s washed that trail out,” Dedic said.

The organization hopes to receive a grant that can mitigate the challenges of that area and prolong the use of the trail by at least 14 years, he said.

“The Serenity Trail is one of our older trails and it is needing a little tune up that will address and improve some wore out portions of the trail,” he said.

Dedic said that the 4-mile loop, which is more rugged and sees roughly 10% of the use that the 2-mile loop does, needs about $10,000 worth of work. At the end of the trail, the farthest point from the beginning of the trail, trekkers can see a waterway wood pipeline that fed water to Newcastle that is more than 100 years old. The trail that comes out along that pipeline has about 25% grade and needs to be rerouted and reworked. The trail does not — and will not — have any negative impact on the pipeline.

The Serenity Trail also needs a new trailhead sign and map, he said. The map is weatherworn, and it needs to be updated with some new information to comply with state lands leasing requirements.

Dedic said that he would like to receive about $11,000 in grant funding, on top of a $4,400 match from the organization’s partners and members.

As a volunteer-run nonprofit, every Bent Sprockets project is funded through donations or grants, Dedic said in his email.

“This project is in its early stages and these amounts are rough numbers,” he said. “We think they are a good estimate and expect this to be a $15,000 project.”

The organization is also seeking letters of support for this project to help it gain funding. People who would like to learn more about how to help in that capacity can visit the organization’s website at or email its leaders at

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