It’s official: the Solar Trail in Angel Fire is now the Frank Young Trail. During its Oct. 20 meeting, the Angel Fire Village Council approved the change. Resolution 2015-38 cited Young’s 18-year residency in Angel Fire and his work of at least 10 years on the Pedestrian Trails Committee. The resolution stated, “Frank Young was instrumental in the development of many pedestrian trails in Angel Fire.”
The Solar Trail was laid out at the former sewage treatment plant behind Village Hall just east of the Angel Fire Fire Station (see map below). As Young envisioned it, the trail would eventually continue all the way to Eagle Nest. In the more immediate future, village officials hope to extend the trail to the Sports Complex on Camino Grande.
In an Oct. 2007 “Letter to the Editor,” Young wrote, “The (Moreno Valley) Trekkers, AAFPO (Association of Angel Fire Property Owners), and the Angel Fire Resort have built a wonderful network of recreational greenbelt trails.”
Young was instrumental in the development and construction of many of those trails.
He died unexpectedly July 18, 2015.
Kris said, “He just had a love of nature. The Trekkers were a social group that we met here a week or two after we moved here. He needed something to get involved in and he loved the outdoors. He’s one of those type A people. He was an electrical engineer. I heard a cute quote from one of his bosses. He said, ‘Frank has an uncanny ability to make people do what he wants.'”
That included his work on trails in Angel Fire.
“Signs, kiosks, he had a hand in all of it,” Kris said. “That was his retirement fun.”
Angel Fire residents Bill and Cheryl Mason emailed the following to The Chronicle: “Frank Young was known by most of us in Angel Fire. He always had a winning smile and an infectious laugh. One of his loves was building and maintaining the trail systems in Angel Fire. He was instrumental in staking out and building the Oeste Vista Trail, most of the Green Belt trails, the Sundera del Sol trail, plus other local trails. He served on the Moreno Valley Trails Committee for many years and worked closely with the Forest Service, State Parks Division and other local departments to get permission to build these trails. Most of the signs one sees on the trails in the area were made by Frank. There is no one more deserving to have a trail named after him than Frank Young. We miss him.”
Friend and fellow Trekker Bill Chapman said, “He was always getting people involved with the trails. It was hard to say no to Frank. When I first moved to Angel Fire around 2003, Frank had a crew of the Trekkers working on the Oeste Vista Trail. We stopped on the trail and Frank reached into an old tree stump and pulled out a watermelon. Always full of surprises, that guy. That was one of our first experiences with the Trekkers.
“He put the red diamonds on the trails. The rumor was, he was out snowshoeing and he got lost so he put the red diamonds out.”
Friend Bob LaGasse, “Without his vision the (Angle Fire) trail network would not be as great as it is now, not just the layout but the interconnecting trails. Instead of just out and back, you can do a variety of hikes.
“Up until about two years ago, anytime there was work to do, he was there. He was always willing to contribute. He was just so enthusiastic about it. He had this ability to motivate other people to help out. It was hard work but working for Frank and with Frank was just so much fun. It was just fun working with him. He was a fun-loving guy.”