Nuclear physicist sues Oprah Winfrey over trail access near her new megamansion in Telluride

TELLRUIDE, Colo. - A hiking-trail dispute between an 86-year-old nuclear physicist and Oprah Winfrey, one of the world's wealthiest and most famous women, has sparked a lawsuit as she prepares to build a megamansion high above Telluride.

An attorney for retired physicist Charles D. Goodman has filed a lawsuit in San Miguel County District Court claiming that Winfrey's Yellow Brick Road company, the couple who sold the property to Winfrey and Mountain Village made a below-the-radar deal to close off access to trails that Goodman's family and his neighbors have had rights to use for nearly three decades.

"I don't care if Oprah is a neighbor, but if she is going to cut off access to trails, I don't find that acceptable," Goodman said Wednesday in a phone interview.

The disputed trails that Goodman still hikes during his summer visits to Telluride cut across 66 acres Winfrey purchased in March for $10.85 million in Mountain Village. Her lots are next to the Telluride Ski Ranches, a residential development where Goodman built a vacation home in 1972.

A spokeswoman for Winfrey's company issued a statement this week that promised cooperation but didn't allay fears Winfrey would try to close off access to some of the trails.

Read more about the dispute in The Denver Post.