To create a memorable adventure this year why not try chopping down your own Christmas tree out of the Pike National Forest here in Colorado while helping the Forest Service thin an overgrown area? To help prevent forest fires the Forest Service maps out an area in the Pike National forest each year that needs thinning and allows cutting of trees up to 6 inches in diameter.
To add to the holiday spirit the Forest Service brings in Smokey the Bear for everyone to meet and to have a chance to get their photo taken with the "bear". This year Smokey is going to be found at the Woodland Park Middle School on December 11th and 12th until 2:00 PM.
Tickets are $10 and can be purchased Monday through Friday at the U.S. Forest Service office at 601 S. Weber 477-4221 or on site at the Middle School on Saturday December 11th and Sunday December 12th until 2:30 PM. All trees must be cut by the 15th of December.
All trees must be cut by either a handsaw or axe- no chain saws. 4 wheel drive vehicles are required or chains although I would not venture into the forest this time of year without 4 wheel drive.
Some of the varieties found are Douglas-fir, Engleman spruce, Lodgepole pine, Ponderosa pine, and Limber pine (Forest Service pamphlet). The Forest Service recommends allowing at least 4 hours for the trip and make sure you leave the area before dark.
Have a safe and happy tree hunt for the holidays!