A $2 million grant from Great Outdoors Colorado will help the Town of Castle Rock build 5 miles of the Colorado Front Range Trail. The funding is part of GOCO's Connect Initiative, which aims to fill …
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A $2 million grant from Great Outdoors Colorado will help the Town of Castle Rock build 5 miles of the Colorado Front Range Trail. The funding is part of GOCO's Connect Initiative, which aims to fill trail gaps, build new trails and improve access to recreation across the state.
The Colorado Front Range Trail, proposed in 2003, is a vision to construct a continuous trail network along Front Range communities, ultimately running from the Wyoming to New Mexico borders. According to a news release, the project will construct 5 miles of trail across three separate missing segments in Castle Rock, providing connectivity from Denver to southern Douglas County.
The new, northernmost segment will be in northeast Castle Rock, where it will connect the existing McMurdo Gulch Trail to the Cherry Creek Regional Trail. This connection will provide access to the entire regional trail system for residents in the Cobblestone Ranch neighborhood and will pass through the McMurdo Gulch open space corridor as well as a future regional park, the release said.
The project's central segment will extend the McMurdo Gulch Trail 2.7 miles to close a trail gap between that trail and Hangman's Gulch Trail. Hangman's Gulch provides access to the existing East Plum Creek Trail. The new trail will also directly connect to downtown Castle Rock and several recreation amenities including Dog Bone Park, Ravenwood Pool and a historic Civilian Conservation Corps site.
To the south, a new segment will continue the East Plum Creek Trail for 1.7 miles, extending just past the Castle Rock town limits. This section will take users through parkland, open space and a protected private ranch with scenic views of Pikes Peak and rolling grasslands. The trail will also create several neighborhood and park connections, providing access for residents in the developing Montaine community, the release said. It will terminate at the I-25 frontage road south of Lowell Ranch, where users can access nearby Columbine Open Space.
This project will complete a major milestone of connecting Denver and Colorado Springs through Castle Rock. This project fills all of the remaining trail gaps in Castle Rock and provides connections to Cherry Creek State Park and Greenland Ranch, the release said.
According to the release, community support for this project is strong, as the East Plum Creek Trail serves as the main north-south trail in Castle Rock. This project adds 1.7 miles to the existing seven-mile trail, and also creates an east-west trail with the McMurdo Gulch extensions. These trails are already popular among cyclists, joggers, walkers, and other recreationists, and the town expects increased use with the new segments.
This project has several partners, including Douglas County Open Space and Natural Resources, Douglas Land Conservancy, Colorado Agricultural Leadership Foundation and two private residential developers (Terrain-Starwood Land Ventures, LLC and Toll Brothers Inc.), the release said. There is also community support from the Castle Rock Parks and Trails Foundation and several cycling and running organizations, among others.
Work on the trails will begin early next year and will continue for the next three years.
To date, GOCO has invested more than $44.8 million in projects in Douglas County and conserved more than 36,500 acres of land there. GOCO funding has supported the several phases of the East Plum Creek Trail, the conservation of Sandstone Ranch, and the conservation of Greenland Ranch, among other projects.
GOCO invests a portion of Colorado Lottery proceeds to help preserve and enhance the state's parks, trails, wildlife, rivers, and open spaces. GOCO's independent board awards competitive grants to local governments and land trusts, and makes investments through Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Visit GOCO.org for more information.
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