OSMP Regional Trail Efforts
The City of Boulder's Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) Department is committed to working with other city departments, Boulder County and other partner agencies to advance regional trail connections. In 2017, OSMP worked with Boulder County to complete the IBM Connector Trail, which connects paths around the Boulder Reservoir to trails in Gunbarrel. The department also assisted Boulder County and other local government entities on many other trail connection projects this year. In 2018, OSMP anticipates participating in numerous regional trail projects, including:
- Longmont to Boulder (LOBO) Trail – Jay Road Connection: Boulder County is the lead agency for this joint project. The Jay Road segment is a missing link, approximately 1.5 miles in length, in the LOBO trail. This section of trail would connect the city’s Cottonwood trail to the existing terminus of the LOBO trail. An evaluation of potential trail alignments has occurred and a recommended preferred alternative has been selected. The Open Space Board of Trustees will consider approving the use of OSMP lands to complete this connection at the July 11, 2018 meeting. More information on this project can be found on the project website.
- Boulder Creek Path Extension: Boulder County is the lead agency for the CDOT-City-County joint project extending the Boulder Creek Trail to connect with the city’s Chapman Drive Trailhead and eventually Betasso Preserve, which is managed by the county. The city will continue to fulfill its responsibility for funding the project in 2018. The county will continue permitting and refining the project design, with construction anticipated to begin in 2018.
- Rocky Mountain Greenway: The overarching goal of this multi-agency effort is to create regional trail connections between the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), Two Ponds NWR, Rocky Flats NWR and Rocky Mountain National Park. OSMP staff contributed to both a feasibility study for trail connections between Rocky Flats NWR and Boulder, as well as a collaborative grant application led by Jefferson County to plan and construct a trail connection between Rocky Flats NWR and city and county open spaces north of Highway 128. Grant funding has been allocated for this project by the Federal Lands Access Program. OSMP staff will continue to provide assistance to integrate city interests, including public safety, resource and visitor experience considerations, into the grant project and the ongoing feasibility study assessing trail connections between Boulder and Lyons.
- Joder to Heil Valley Ranch Connection: City staff will continue to work with partners at Boulder County Parks and Open Space on long-term plans to develop a trail connection from the western part of the city’s Joder property to the county’s Heil Valley Ranch property, which is accessible from Lefthand Canyon Drive.
- Eldorado Canyon to Walker Ranch: Boulder County is the lead agency for the “Eldo-to-Walker” trail. City, county and state staff continue work on the evaluation of alternative trail alignments and anticipate presenting findings to the appropriate appointed and elected officials in 2018.
- Colorado the Beautiful “16 in 2016” Initiative: This initiative represents the state’s 16 most important trail gaps, missing trail segments and unbuilt trails from the Front Range to southwestern Colorado. Identification of the 16 trails is designed to build upon strong existing support and partnerships to push them to completion, and start a more focused, coordinated conversation to support trails and promote outdoor recreation across Colorado. Of the 16 trails in the initiative, three are likely to be part of the OSMP network, including the Eldo-to-Walker Trail, The Front Range Trail and the Rocky Mountain Greenway.
- Local and Regional Trail Assessment: In 2018, OSMP staff will undertake an assessment of existing and proposed regional and local connections between adjacent agency trails, community trails and the OSMP trail system. The purpose of the assessment is to develop a more comprehensive picture of existing and desired connections, along with potential gaps, that can help guide and inform where the best opportunities reside for OSMP to collaborate and align efforts with partner agencies to complete trail connections.