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OSMP Projects

The City of Boulder’s Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) Department will highlight large projects for 2018 on this page. 

Eldorado Canyon to Walker Ranch Feasibility Study

OSMP is working with Boulder County Parks and Open Space and Colorado Parks Wildlife on an Eldorado Canyon to Walker Ranch Feasibility Study. As envisioned, this would be a multi-use trail connection between Eldorado Canyon State Park and the county’s Walker Ranch. A feasibility evaluation analyzing alternatives was started in 2014 but put on hold to investigate acquisition opportunities. 

The feasibility evaluation will re-start in early 2018 and is anticipated to be completed by end of 2018. This effort is being informed by the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan and OSMP's Visitor Master Plan, West Trail Study Area Plan and the department's Acquisition Plan. Learn more about the Eldorado Canyon to Walker Ranch Connection Feasibility Study

Xcel Transmission Line Replacement Project

Starting as early as Wednesday, Aug. 1, the Bear Canyon Trail west of the National Center for Atmospheric Research will be closed while Xcel Energy continues work to replace electric transmission line infrastructure on city-owned open space and utility lands. This long-term trail closure west of the Mesa Trail will be in effect 24 hours a day and is expected to continue through November, weather permitting.

Additional Closures beginning Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018

Beginning Tuesday, August 21 and lasting one to three days, the NCAR-Bear Connector and NCAR-Bear Canyon Trails and a section of the Mesa Trail will be fully closed, view a map of trail closures pdf. The closure will allow for concrete to be transported up Bear Canyon Road and poured for one of the structure foundations without encountering delays/stops. 

Also, the NCAR-Bear Canyon Trail east of the Mesa Trail – along with a Mesa Trail section connecting the NCAR-Bear Canyon and Bear Canyon trails – may see periodic, daily closures through August while this work is underway. When these intermittent closures occur, there will be no north-south through access along the Mesa Trail between the Chautauqua area and the South Mesa Trailhead. OSMP encourages open space visitors to regularly visit to plan alternate routes around these upcoming closures.

Temporary, intermittent closures will still occur on the Greenbrier Connector, Bluestem Connector, South Fork Shanahan, North Fork Shanahan and a Mesa connector trail in the area. 

OSMP recognizes that Xcel’s transmission line work, which will help to maintain transmission line structural integrity and electric reliability in the area, is having an impact on residents and open space visitors. We appreciate your patience while this work continues. For more information about Xcel Energy’s transmission line replacement work, please contact Larry Claxton, an Xcel project manager, at [email protected] or 303-571-7089. You may also visit:

View a map of the project area pdf.

OSMP Master Plan

OSMP Master Plan logo

Open Space and Mountain Parks has kicked off a long-term effort to establish a community-supported plan that will guide the management of the community’s open space over the next decade and beyond. Share your comments now and sign up for email updates. Our first "window of engagement" for the master plan will close on Friday, March 30.

Rocky Mountain Greenway + Review of Draft Soil Sampling and Analysis Plan 

The City of Boulder is part of a multi-agency partnership supporting the development of the Rocky Mountain Greenway in Jefferson and Boulder County.   

In May of 2016, the Boulder City Council approved the city’s participation in the partnership’s grant application to Federal Highways Administration (FHWA) for funding to create an underpass beneath Colorado Highway 128 connecting Boulder’s open space trails with the Rocky Mountain Greenway and the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge. 

To address public health and safety concerns, the City Council made the city’s support and financial commitment to the underpass project conditional upon the results of soil sampling for radionuclides demonstrating that contamination levels (if any) fall below federal human health standards.

Jefferson County has coordinated the partners in the grant application with FHWA, has led the contracting of a consulting firm and has prepared a website with more information about this project to ensure that community members of all the partner jurisdictions have the information available at the same time as the project moves forward. Part of the partnerships due diligence is conducting soil sampling to address public health and safety concerns. The draft soil sampling and analysis plan (SAP) is now available for review. Visit Jefferson County's site to review and comment on the draft soil sampling and analysis plan, learn more about the partnership and sign up for project updates.

There were two open house forums for members of the public to learn about the project and provide input and feedback related to the Sampling and Analysis Plan. The comment period is scheduled to close on August 24.

City of Boulder Background Information

Open Space Board of Trustees (February 11, 2016)

City Council Action (May 3, 2016)

Completed Projects

Boulder Falls

Boulder Falls opened Friday, June 8, 2018. Repairs began in February and included replacing gabion baskets, slope stabilization and trail widening. Additional site improvements will continue in 2019. Thanks for your patience as OSMP works to repair and improve this area.

Boulder Falls Trail construction work Completed Boulder Falls Trail work


South Foothills Trail

In March-May 2018, an OSMP contractor completed repairs of 2/3 mile of the Foothills South Trail from the Utica Ave neighborhood access north to Four Mile Creek. The trail was damaged by the September 2013 flood, which removed the gravel trail surface (crusher fines) and caused erosion. The trail had several drainage features installed to help lessen the potential for future erosion damage. Trail re-construction statistics include:

  • 12 rolling dips constructed on the trail to divert water off of the trail surface and prevent erosion.
  • Over 1400 linear feet of trailside ditch constructed to divert ground surface water away from the trail.
  • The trail surface was re-constructed at 8 feet wide (the same as the pre-construction width), with a 4-inch layer of crusher fines gravel installed as the trail surface.  336 cubic yards of crusher fines (enough to fill 4 ½ city buses!) were used on the project.

Future improvements are scheduled for the Foothills South Trail in upcoming years, including a new bridge over Four Mile Creek, and a short re-route on the section leading down to Wonderland Lake to reduce ongoing erosion issues.

Foothills South Trail before and after reconstruction

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