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Chautauqua Trail Repair Project

Damage to Chautauqua Meadow Trail

Starting as early as Monday, April 17, the City of Boulder’s Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) Department will begin work to repair a section of the Chautauqua Trail, one of the city’s most visited open space trails. 

Why is OSMP improving the Chautauqua Trail?
The Chautauqua Trail – which heads west from the department’s Ranger Cottage, 900 Baseline Road – has long provided visitors access to the Flatirons and breathtaking vistas along the city’s mountain backdrop. However, the September 2013 floods and sustained visitor traffic around muddy areas over the years has widened and eroded the trail, along with disturbing nearby vegetation.

How will OSMP improve the trail?
To make the Chautauqua Trail more sustainable for the future, OSMP will repair the path with some slight alignment changes to improve drainage and to minimize trail erosion. This minimal alignment change will feature a re-surfaced trail tread and will allow visitors who use wheelchairs to access one of two gathering areas that have provided generations of visitors with breathtaking views of the Flatirons. The project will include restoration and revegetation of areas along the Chautauqua Trail.

OSMP anticipates completing it by the end of the year – weather permitting.

Will the trail be closed during this project?
No. The current Chautauqua Trail will remain open. However, it will be an active construction zone with fencing and slight detours. To see alternate routes in the area, please visit OSMP staff at the Ranger Cottage or visit the department’s interactive maps

How will this project affect views in the Chautauqua Meadow?
The potential effect on visitors’ views in the area has been heavily considered and played a critical role in shaping the project's design, which aims to blend and restore the natural view shed of the Chautauqua Meadow. The minimal trail alignment adjustment is necessary to make the Chautauqua trail more inclusive for our community and to help ensure its sustainability for future generations.

There has been other work completed in the Chautauqua Meadow in recent years. How does the Chautauqua Trail project fit into those efforts?
Since 2014, OSMP has been working to improve trails and restore impacted areas in the Chautauqua Meadow, an open space area west of the Ranger Cottage and east of the First Flatiron. This trail and restoration work will repair damage from the 2013 floods, and help the department to fulfill management goals for the area and complete projects identified in the West Trail Study Area Plan, a long-term open space management plan the Boulder City Council approved in 2011.

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