The new trail is one of many upcoming trail construction and repair projects that OSMP is planning to conduct this year to help fulfill OSMP’s Master Plan and Trail Study Area Plans.
BOULDER, Colo. – The City of Boulder's Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) Department has begun construction of the North Sky Trail, a new 3.5-mile trail north of Boulder and west of U.S. Highway 36.
The new trail is one of many upcoming trail construction and repair projects that OSMP is planning to conduct this year to help fulfill past trail planning processes and OSMP’s Master Plan PDF, which has identified trail maintenance as a key departmental priority. OSMP invites community members to visit VolunteerOSMP.org to learn about and sign up for one of more than 40 planned volunteer projects to help the department construct and maintain trails in 2023.
In addition to routine annual trail maintenance, significant trail construction and repair projects will include work along the following trails:
North Sky Trail: The new trail will provide visitors a connection between OSMP’s Foothills North Trail in north Boulder to the Joder Ranch Trail near U.S. Highway 36 and Neva Road. It will be open to hikers, bicyclists and equestrians and will provide visitors with an opportunity to bike, walk or ride all the way from Boulder to Left Hand Canyon. OSMP anticipates that there will be closures along the Foothills North Trail and at the Foothills Trailhead while the department constructs the trail, which will include two new bridges.
This planned trail – which has required extensive design and permitting work to help protect sensitive natural resources – was called for in OSMP’s North Trail Study Area Plan. OSMP anticipates completing the new trail – weather permitting – in early 2024.
Saddle Rock Trail: OSMP will begin a multi-year project to re-route the Saddle Rock Trail to minimize erosion along the steep trail along Boulder’s mountain backdrop. Upcoming work also will include the construction of new trail that will connect it to the 1st/2nd Flatiron Trail and other popular climbing descents off the First Flatiron.
Mount Sanitas Trail: OSMP will continue its multi-year effort to conduct trail maintenance and native plant restoration along the popular Boulder trail. This year, the department will conduct trail repairs, install stone steps and improve areas where the trail has widened, which can damage nearby vegetation.
Greenbelt Plateau: OSMP will re-route the trail between Greenbelt Plateau Road and Community Ditch Trail to minimize erosion along the trail south of Boulder. This planned project also will align the path further away from sensitive wildlife habitats in the area.
East Boulder Trail and new trail sections on Gunbarrel Hill: OSMP will conduct repairs along the East Boulder Trail and, in some locations, may re-route the trail to reduce erosion along the path. Later this year, the department is anticipating beginning work to construct new trail sections to replace unmaintained, undesignated “social” trails that can reduce the size of sensitive habitats for grassland bird species.
OSMP also anticipates it will close select trailheads throughout the year to conduct parking lot maintenance and repair work. OSMP highly encourages community members to visit OSMPTrails.org or download the Boulder Area Trails app to see trail closures before visiting city open space trails. Visitors can also learn about trail closures OSMP implements when trails become muddy by texting "OSMP" to 888-777 and following @boulderosmp on Twitter and Facebook.