Winter Park Highlands Association
Status of Access to Granby Ranch (a/k/a Sol Vista) Trails By the Road To and Through the Red Gate
Many of you are familiar with County Road 8514; for those of you who are not, here is how you find it. Lions Lane is County Road 85 and the main artery road up Winter Park Highlands ("WPH"). If you go all the way to the top of the hill (north), there is a large cul-de-sac. County Road 8514 is the road that goes left (west) and provides access to an egress through a red gate to Ski Granby Ranch (aka Sol Vista and before that Silver Creek) and their cross-country and hiking trails. This road is important to WPH residents for two reasons. First, it is an emergency egress out of WPH in case of fire. Second, it provides access to Granby Ranch’s trails. The upper section of the road to the cul-de-sac and CR 8514 run through an area called the Eitemiller-Evers Outright Exemption (“EEOE”). While EEOE abuts WPH, it is not part of WPH.
Although members of the public have been using CR 8514 for many decades to access the Granby Ranch trails, about five years ago, some of the EEOE property owners took the position that CR 8514 was a private road and attempted to restrict our ability to use the road. WPHA engaged in extensive and protracted efforts to negotiate access with the EEOE property owners, to no avail. WPHA then approached the county with a request for an opinion on the issue. After much discussion and thorough consideration, the Board of County Commissioners ruled that the Red Gate road is non-exclusive and is open to anyone.
Accordingly, the County Sheriff will not enforce any trespassing claims.
The problem of parking remains. Please do not park along CR 8514 and do not park at the Red Gate. There are people who live beyond CR 8514 and they need access to and from their homes. Also, parking on county roads such as Lions Lane is not allowed. Alternatives are:
Use a designated driver to drop off and pick up hikers and cross county skiers.
Access the trails via CR 857.
In summertime use Granby Ranch free chairlift access.