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OSMP Regional Trails

OSMP Regional Trails

New! Eldorado Canyon to Walker Ranch Connection Feasibility Study

The feasibility study – which is being conducted by City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks, Boulder County Parks and Open Space and Colorado Parks and Wildlife – will evaluate a multiuse trail between Eldorado Canyon State Park and Walker Ranch. Learn more about the Eldorado Canyon to Walker Ranch Connection Feasibility Study 

We're working to create regional trail connections for our community

Regional trail connections are a priority for the City of Boulder's Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) Department and continue to be of community interest. OSMP's participation in regional trail projects is varied and OSMP occupies a spectrum of roles, depending on the type of project and or/project phase, including:

  • Partner in evaluating, funding and/or designing a regional passive recreation trail (e.g. Boulder Canyon Path extension;
  • Process participant to help identify and resolve impacts to adjacent or nearby OSMP lands (e.g. CO119 Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and Bicycle and Pedestrian Connectivity Study

Several regional trail connections are being pursued and implemented. Staff also continues to work with regional partners to develop new initiatives and to identify new trail opportunities. 

Trail projects in the construction phase

Boulder Canyon Creek Path extension

  • Project Lead: Boulder County Transportation (Additional project partners: Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT)).
     
  • Project Description: Extension of the Boulder Creek Path to connect with the city’s Chapman Drive Trailhead. A goal is to eventually connect to the county’s Betasso Preserve, but that segment is not included in this phase. 
     
  • Status/Next Steps: The city will continue to fund a portion of the project in 2018. The county will continue funding, permitting and refining the project design, with construction anticipated to begin in 2018. 
     
  • Relevant Plans: West Trail Study Area (TSA) Plan, BVCP.

71st Street Shoulder Expansion

  • Project Lead: Boulder County Transportation (Additional project partners: CDOT).
     
  • Project Description: The goal is to improve safety for all users of 71st Street from Lookout Road to Highway 52. The project includes realigning a small section of the OSMP Cottontail Trail to allow for a safer crossing of 71st Street, and slightly rerouting Highway 52.
     
  • Status/Next Steps: The project is in the permitting phase with construction anticipated to begin in 2018.
     
  • Relevant Plans: 71st Street is a Community Bicycle Corridor in DRCOG’s 2035 Metro Vision Regional Transportation Plan.

Trail projects in the planning phase

Eldorado Canyon to Walker Ranch Feasibility Study

  • Project Lead: Boulder County Parks and Open Space (Additional project partners: Colorado Parks and Wildlife).
     
  • Project Description: As envisioned, this would be a multi-use trail connection between Eldorado Canyon State Park and the county’s Walker Ranch.
     
  • Status/Next Steps: 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. 
     
  • Relevant Plans: BVCP, VMP, West TSA Plan, OSMP Acquisition Plan. This project was also identified in the Colorado the Beautiful “16 in 2016” initiative. 

    Learn more about the Eldorado Canyon to Walker Ranch Connection Feasibility Study 

RTD Rail Trail (formerly known as Union Pacific (UP) Trail)

  • Project Lead: Boulder County Transportation (Additional Partners: Regional Transportation District (RTD), Town of Erie, City of Boulder Transportation, CDOT).
     
  • Project Description: This project is envisioned as a nine-mile trail along the RTD right-of-way connecting Boulder and Erie and connecting into existing and planned regional and local trail systems.
     
  • Status/Next Steps:  An RTD Trail Master Plan will be developed to analyze alternative alignments (generally all within the rail line right of way) and select a preferred trail alignment. The master planning process is anticipated to be completed in 2019.
     
  • Relevant Plans: BVCP, VMP.

Rocky Mountain Greenway: Jefferson County Line to northern City of Boulder limits

  • Project Lead: Jefferson County, Boulder County (Additional Partners: City and County of Broomfield, City of Arvada and City of Westminster).
     
  • Project Description:  The Rocky Mountain Greenway (RMG) is an effort to link the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), Rocky Flats NWR, and Rocky Mountain National Park using local and regional multi-use paths, multi-use trails and transit opportunities. The city has been collaborating with initiatives led by Jefferson County and Boulder County to connect the trail with city-managed trails and multi-use paths on OSMP and through the city.
     
  • Status/Next Steps:
    • Federal Highways Administration staff is currently designing an underpass at Highway 128 and Coalton Road to connect the RMG northward to Boulder County from the Rocky Flats NWR. Another connection is being designed from the refuge across Indiana St. toward Arvada, Broomfield and Westminster. 
    • Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) has approved a request by Boulder County to retain $400K from $8 million originally designated for the RMG through Boulder County. These funds will be used for a routing feasibility study from the CO128 underpass through the city. Boulder County will lead the study in unincorporated Boulder County, and the City’s Transportation Division will identify routing through the city. Staff anticipates beginning the routing feasibility studies in 2018.
    • The RMG steering committee received a proposal from the Colorado Front Range Trail (FRT) proponents to use the same alignment for the FRT and the RMG through the Rocky Flats and north into Boulder County. OSMP staff will support coordination among the various regional trail efforts along the CO93 corridor (RMG, CO93 PEL Study, and FRT).
       
  • Relevant Plans:  BVCP. This project was also identified in the Colorado the Beautiful “16 in 2016” initiative. 

Longmont to Boulder (LOBO) Trail: Jay Road Segment

  • Project Lead: Boulder County Transportation.
     
  • Project Description:  The Jay Road Segment/section of trail is a missing link, approximately 1.5 miles in length, in the Longmont-to-Boulder regional trail. This section of trail would connect State Highway 119 and the city’s Cottonwood Trail to the Longmont-to-Boulder Trail.
     
  • Status/Next Steps:  A preferred alignment has been selected. The project is in the preliminary engineering and design phase, which is anticipated to conclude in 2018.
     
  • Relevant Plans:  BVCP.

CO119 (Diagonal Highway) Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and Bicycle and Pedestrian Connectivity Study

  • Project Lead: BRT: RTD, Bike and Pedestrian Connectivity Study: CDOT
     
  • Project Description: These are two separate but related planning processes that will be coordinated to generally occur simultaneously. The limits of the studies are between downtown Boulder and the north side of Longmont. The intent of the BRT study is to evaluate the viability of implementing BRT service to address growing congestion and travel demand, environmental impacts, multimodal access, transit reliability, and transit travel time. Likely BRT alignment alternatives will be within the ROW and include dedicated side-running or center-running BRT lanes and buses operating on the highway shoulders.

    City open space is adjacent to the ROW. The purpose of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Connectivity Study is to develop and evaluate alternatives to provide a designated bicycle facility along the Diagonal Highway to avoid conflicts with BRT improvements and to upgrade the bicycle and pedestrian facilities in the corridor. City Open Space is adjacent to the ROW/corridor.
     
  • Status/Next Steps: These planning processes are in the initial phases. Generally, the planning processes will include existing conditions analysis, alternatives development and evaluation, selection and development of a preferred alternative concept design. The projects are anticipated to be completed in late-2018.
     
  • Relevant Plans: N/A

SH 7 (Arapahoe) Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) Study

  • Project Lead: Boulder County Transportation
     
  • Project Description: The goal of this study is to identify future transportation improvements along the SH 7corridor, from 75th to US 287. The improvements will enhance safety and meet the growing demand for mobility for all modes of transportation. This type of study takes preliminary steps toward obtaining a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) clearance by performing analysis that identifies likely impacts to natural, cultural, and historic resources. City open space is adjacent to this corridor. 
     
  • Status/Next Steps: Complete a draft study and collect final public input about transportation improvements and initiate a SH7 Station Area Design Study. The study is anticipated to go through 2018. 
     
  • Relevant Plans: N/A

WestConnect Coalition PEL Study: along the CO93 corridor between Golden and Boulder

  • Project Lead: CDOT
     
  • Project Description: The PEL study will evaluate options to reduce congestion, improve operational performance and safety, and address future transportation needs. As part of the study process, public, environmental, and resource concerns and opportunities in the corridor will be identified and used to develop alternatives to address capacity restrictions and safety. City open space is adjacent to the corridor. The PEL study will include documenting the goals, objectives and visions of various jurisdictions for the corridor, and will develop an agreed-upon list of prioritized projects to move toward implementation. The PEL process is a study approach used to identify transportation issues and environmental concerns, and result in information that may ultimately be used to prepare a NEPA study and final design.  
     
  • Status/Next Steps: OSMP staff will support the coordination among that the various regional trail efforts along the CO Hwy 93 corridor (RMG, Co Hwy 93 PEL and FRT).
     
  • Relevant Plans: BVCP, Eldorado Mountain/Doudy Draw TSA Plan.

Trail projects in the conceptual phase

East Boulder Trail

  • Project Lead: TBD
     
  • Project Description: As envisioned this trail would connect the Teller Lake Trail to the South Boulder Creek Trail. 
     
  • Status/Next Steps: The development of an alignment for this trail will require real estate acquisition. Other than pursuing appropriate acquisitions, this trail connection is not on the 2018 OSMP work plan. 
     
  • Relevant Plans: BVCP, VMP, OSMP Acquisition Plan.

Boulder to Lyons / Rocky Mountain Greenway Boulder to Lyons

  • Project Lead: Boulder County Transportation (previously); TBD
     
  • Project Description: This trail is envisioned to connect from the northern extent of the city’s trail system to the town of Lyons. This trail connection is not on the 2018 OSMP work plan and would likely be included in future feasibility studies associated with the Rocky Mountain Greenway north of Boulder.
     
  • Status/Next Steps: This project was put on hold indefinitely due to objections by various community members and is not on the 2018 OSMP work plan.
     
  • Relevant Plans: BVCP, VMP, North TSA Plan. The RMG project was also identified in the Colorado the Beautiful “16 in 2016” initiative. 

Joder to Heil Valley Ranch

  • Project Lead: TBD
     
  • Project Description: This trail is envisioned to connect the western part of the city’s Joder property to the county’s Heil Valley Ranch property, which is accessible from Lefthand Canyon Drive.
     
  • Status/Next Steps: The development of an alignment for this trail will require real estate acquisition. Other than pursing appropriate acquisitions, this trail connection is not on the 2018 OSMP work plan. 
     
  • Relevant Plans: North Trail Study Area (TSA) Plan.

Indian Peaks Traverse

  • Project Lead: Community lead initiative
     
  • Project Description: As envisioned this 66-mile trail would connect Boulder County and Grand County/Winter Park. The first segment, and only segment on OSMP lands is the Eldorado Canyon State Park to Walker Ranch connection. 
     
  • Status/Next Steps: Supporters will continue the conversation to work with the four land management agencies whose lands/trails networks comprise the envisioned route. (OSMP, Boulder County Parks and Open Space, The Boulder Ranger District of the US Forest Service, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife)
     
  • Relevant Plans: N/A

Colorado Front Range Trail (FRT)

  • Project Lead: Colorado Parks and Wildlife
     
  • Project Description: In 2003, Colorado State Parks initiated this project. The vision of this 876-mile trail is to create a multi-purpose trail from Wyoming to New Mexico, along the Front Range of Colorado. As envisioned, when completed the trail will connect 15 cities, 14 counties -including Boulder. 
     
  • Status/Next Steps: Colorado State Peaks is working to continue the collaborative efforts that are necessary to complete the vision. OSMP staff will support the coordination among the various regional trail efforts along the CO93 corridor (RMG, CO93 PEL Study, and FRT).  
     
  • Relevant Plans: BVCP. This project was also identified in the Colorado the Beautiful “16 in 2016” initiative.  

Recently completed regional trail projects

IBM Connector

  • Project Lead: Boulder County Transportation
     
  • Project Description: This project connected the existing OSMP Cottontail Trail on the east side of Highway 119 (Diagonal Highway) to the existing Boulder Reservoir trail system on the west side of 63rd Street. The trail is about one mile in length and provides a regional trail connection between the Gunbarrel area and Boulder Reservoir and is part of the Longmont-to-Boulder (LOBO) trails system.
     
  • Status/Next Steps: The project was finished in the summer of 2017. OSMP will perform the maintenance.
     
  • Relevant Plans: Visitor Master Plan (VMP), Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan (BVCP).
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