The Boulder Mountainbike Alliance has some serious vision. Here's our hopes, dreams, or just plain ol' priorities for the different land management agencies present in Boulder County:
We've organized the discussion under three major headings: Foothills, Mountain, and Plains Trails. The Foothills and Mountain Trails are primarily natural surface singletrack trails and require cooperation with other land management agencies. The Plains Trails involve new regional trails (to the northeast and east) and completion of various missing links in existing trail systems in the southeast. Some of these trails may have an improved surface (e.g. crusher fines) and also serve as transportation corridors. In the foothills, we'd like to see completion of the Heil Valley Ranch Management Plan Trails System, and connections from Boulder to the Heil Valley Ranch, Betasso Preserve, and the Walker Ranch. We'd also like to see alternate bike access to the Nighthawk Trail at the Hall Ranch to compensate for the closures at the Betasso Preserve. In the mountains, we'd like to see improved connections from County trail systems to Forest Service trails (including connections west from Hall Ranch and Walker Ranch) and cooperation with the Forest Service on trails in the Magnolia and Winiger Ridge areas. We'd also like to be involved in the development of a new recreational trail system east of Gold Hill. Boulder County Parks and Open Space has been acquiring privately owned properties (mostly old mine claims) with the intent to combine them with BLM properties which the County is also acquiring. These properties should provide real opportunities for a new multi-use trail system. In the plains, we'd like to see several new regional trails in the north and east including the Saint Vrain, Dry Creek, Feeder Canal, and UPRR trails. In the southeast, we'd like to see new connections for existing trail segments including the completion of the Rock Creek/Coal Creek Trails System and cooperation with the City of Boulder to create a trail loop paralleling the old Mogul Bismarck road bike race alignment.
- Heil Valley Ranch Trails completion of the northern loop (Wild Turkey Trail completed 2007) and a connection to Lyons (Picture Rock Trail completed 2008)
- Alternate bike access to the Nighthawk Trail at the Hall Ranch (coordinated with the alternate use at the Betasso Preserve)
- Heil Valley Ranch connection from Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks (via North Foothills trail & West Beech Trail or northwest from Lefthand Trail)
- Walker Ranch connection from Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks Betasso Connector trail reroute to connect with Boulder Creek Trail (at Boulder Canyon & Fourmile Canyon Roads)
- Mud Lake Trail System completed 2005
- Bike access to Buttonrock Reservoir and Forest Service Trails to the west (in cooperation with the Forest Service and Longmont City Utilities Department and including a connection from Hall Ranch)
- Meyers Gulch/East Aqueduct Loop Trail (creates a loop from north end of Myers Gulch via the Aqueduct alignment and includes a connection to Magnolia Road)
- Boy Scout/Dot Matrix Trail System (in cooperation with the Forest Service to complete and improve trails on and east of Reynolds Ranch)
- Winiger Ridge Trail from West Magnolia Road to Walker Ranch (in cooperation with the Forest Service)
- New recreational trail system east of Gold Hill.
- New Regional Trails (northeast and east): Saint Vrain Greenway (Lyons to Longmont, with a connector to Rabbit Mountain). Dry Creek Trail (Niwot to Longmont). Boulder Feeder Canal (Boulder to Lyons). UP Rail Line (Boulder to Erie)
- Trail Connections (southeast): Dirty Bismarck Loop to be completed late winter/early spring 2011 - this new loop will approximate the old Mogul Bismarck road bike race alignment.
- New trail opportunities to replace the Coalton Road ag road.
- Rock Creek/Coal Creek Trail System completion
- Missing connections at the east and west edges of the Rock Creek Farm Trails
Within the City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks we are interested in connections between existing trail segments (primarily to the east), the designation of additional bicycle trails west of Highways 93, and the construction of new regional trails (to the east and north). We would like to see extensions of the Marshall Mesa trails in the southeast to connect with Superior and the Rock Creek/Coal Creek Trail systems (and to ultimately create a loop that parallels the old Mogul Bismarck road bike race alignment). We would like to see the trail loop around east Boulder completed by tying the south end of the Teller Farms trails to the Baseline and South Boulder Creek trails. We would like connections in the north to the Heil Valley Ranch and to Boulder Reservoir. In the west we would like to see enough trails opened to bikes to create a South Foothills Trail that would run from Community Ditch to at least Shanahan Ridge (and maybe to Table Mesa Drive). We would also like to see a bike connection to Walker Ranch. The following lists summarize specific items we would like to discuss.
- Southeast (Boulder to Superior) Underpass (or bridge) at Community Ditch and Highway 93 Marshal to Superior (Cowdrey Draw Trail from Community Ditch Trail to S. 66th Ave. completed 2005)
- West Coalton Trail to Greenbelt Plateau Trailhead (High Plains Trail north of Highway 128 completed 2006)
- East Boulder Trail (Baseline Reservoir to Teller Farms) Lefthand Trail to Boulder Reservoir & Feeder Canal Trail (Axelson Trail)
- North Foothills Trail to Buckingham Park/Heil Valley Ranch (West Beech Trail)
Additional Designated Bike Trails:
- South Foothills Bicycle Trail Mesa Trailhead to South Boulder Creek West Trailhead (via southern Mesa Trail and lower Big Bluestem Trails)
- Lower Big Bluestem to Shanahan Ridge Shanahan Ridge to NCAR (via North Fork Shanahan & Mesa Trail to Bear Canyon Trail & NCAR east frontage road)
- NCAR east frontage road (Table Mesa Drive to Ithaca Drive)
- Walker Ranch Connection (via Eldorado Canyon Trail)
- North Boulder bicycle loop trail using some of the Hidden Valley/Mesa Reservoir trails system components
New Regional Trails:
- Boulder Feeder Canal (Boulder to Lyons) UP Rail Line (Boulder to Erie)
In working with the Forest Service, we'd like to see enhancements to existing recreational trails, development of trail systems in the Gold Hill, Caribou, West Magnolia, and Winiger Ridge areas, and improved connections from Forest Service trails to Boulder County Parks and Open Space trail systems. We'd like to see enhancements to the Sourdough trail at both the north and south ends. On the north Sourdough we'd like to improve the loop formed by the Sourdough and Baptiste-Wapiti trails by doing minor reroutes to a number of short sections on the Baptiste-Wapiti trail. These sections presently drop down narrow chutes filled with loose rock and are unsustainable. At the south end of the Sourdough we'd like to extend the trail south along the old Switzerland Railroad grade to the boundary of the Caribou Ranch. At the north end of the Ceran St.Vrain trail we'd like to do a minor reroute where the trail leaves the valley and climbs to Miller Rock. The present route includes another narrow chute down the fall line that is unsustainable. We'd like to work with the Forest Service to officially define and improve several of the existing semi-official trail networks. These include trails in the Caribou, West Magnolia, and Winiger Ridge areas. The Forest Service has been working on travel management plans in these areas and we should be part of the process. The Forest Service should be almost finished with the Caribou and West Magnolia Travel Management Plans. East of the Peak-to-Peak Highway along western Magnolia Road we should be working with the Forest Service to formalize the Boy Scout/Dot Matrix Trail System. Here again the Forest Service has been working on a Travel Management Plan. This effort would also involve cooperation with Boulder County Parks and Open Space. The County has already made provisions for parts of the trail system in the Reynolds Ranch Management Plan (including an alignment north of Magnolia and south of the existing Blue Dot trail that would significantly improve the east-west connection). Finally, we'd like to work with the Forest Service, Boulder County, and some municipal water utilities to create new connections between Forest Service trails and the Boulder County Parks and Open Space trail systems. In particular, we'd like to see bike access from Hall Ranch via the Buttonrock Reservoir to the Forest Service trails to the west (in cooperation with Longmont City Utilities Department) and a Winiger Ridge Trail from West Magnolia Road to Walker Ranch. We'd also like to see a Meyers Gulch/East Aqueduct Loop Trail created at the north end of the existing Myers Gulch trail. This would use Forest Service property to create a loop from north end of Myers Gulch trail via the Aqueduct alignment and would include a connection to Magnolia Road.
Existing Trail Enhancements:
- North Sourdough and Baptiste-Wapiti loop trails - minor reroutes
- Ceran St.Vrain (Miller Rock connection) trail - minor reroute
- South Sourdough/Switzerland Railroad - trail extension
Trail System Developments:
- Caribou (north of the town of Eldora, west of Caribou Ranch)
- West Magnolia trails (west of Peak-to-Peak Highway and Magnolia Road)
- Boy Scout/Dot Matrix Trail System (east of Peak-to-Peak Highway, north of Magnolia Road)
Boulder County Parks and Open Space Trail System Connections:
- West from Hall Ranch via Buttonrock Reservoir to Forest Service trails
- Meyers Gulch/East Aqueduct Loop Trail (north end of Myers Gulch via the Aqueduct with a connection to Magnolia Road)
- Winiger Ridge Trail from West Magnolia Road to Walker Ranch