Craig is spot on with us having walked the trail a few years back. Craig, Matt, Bryan, Kirby, Steph, and I all walked the middle section of trail where it passes through the creek. What we found is that there is no suitable location to build a creek crossing on that side of trail. We proposed what was a great idea for Blue Ribbon, but due to my moving out of the stewardship role and the superintendent changing, we never saw it through. DNR has a very formalized process for trail review and changes. If it is more than just a few feet of trail here or there, then they have to due to a historical survey, sustainability survey, etc.
When I think about Blue Ribbon, I think of it this way:
Going clockwise. The trail is pretty well sustainable all the way through the re-route done about eight years ago. That section has bed in nicely and is quite technical (which is what you want from Blue Ribbon). Things get bad AFTER the final left hand turn coming out of that re-route. This is the long straight that leads up to that steep incline you mention. The trail in this section sits about 6 inches below the ground on both sides and is a mess every spring. This could be fixed by simply moving the trail up the hillside a little and connecting back to the existing trail near the top of that steep climb. The trail from there is sustainable again all the way to the second park bench. It's an easy fix that wouldn't add much trail but would be more sustainable. A formal presentation would need to be put together for DNR to approve as its several hundred feet of trail.
If you are interested in this, I would suggest working with the steward, the superintendent, and a few others to re-scout the area and get agreement on what needs to be done. From there, the superintendent can tell us what he needs from us to get approval. It all starts with those connections.
The longer term solution to Blue Ribbon is to find a way to avoid that creek crossing and low lying areas permanently. We talked about different scenarios, including the idea of a double lollipop trail. There's a lot of unused and nicely contoured hillsides in that area that could result in a much bigger trail. Once again, it's all about someone working with the superintendent to put together an idea, getting his buy-in, and then him running it up the chain.