Minturn rec-path link starts next week
Vail Valley, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado –The path to Minturn is going to start getting a lot easier with construction of a new trail connection near Dowd Junction next week.
The town of Minturn and ECO Trails are building a 1,300-foot section of a trail that will eventually help connect Red Cliff to both Gypsum and Vail. The town got a $375,000 Economic stimulus grant in March to pay for the trail, said Assistant Town Planner Chris Cerimele.
The construction will likely not cost that much, meaning the town will have to return any surplus to the federal government.
The section of trail, while fairly small, is a big step for the overall connectivity of trails in Eagle County, said Ellie Caryl, ECO Trails program manager.
“It’s the first step in connecting to Minturn – they’re not connected,” Caryl said. “Hopefully this will build momentum to get the rest of it done.”
Minturn is part of the Eagle Valley Regional Trails Plan that sets out to connect all communities through trails, from Vail Pass at the east to Glenwood Canyon at the west. The trail into Minturn is a major spur in the plan, according to the Regional Trails Plan Web site.
The 1,300-foot section has been in the planning stages for about two years, Cerimele said. There’s about 800 feet of retaining wall that will also be built as part of the project, he said.
The trail will start at the boat ramp, which is just across from the Holy Cross Forest Service station, and extend south to the north bridge in Minturn.
Once the trail reaches the bridge, pedestrians and cyclists can cross and head to downtown Minturn along the east side of the Eagle River.
The developers of the proposed private ski area at Battle Mountain would construct the portion of the trail that goes through that property in the earliest phases of that development, Cerimele said, but he’s still not sure when that project will get built.
The Colorado Department of Transportation has road work planned for the northern side of the new trail, the area from the Dowd Junction pedestrian bridge to the beginning of the Minturn portion, so it would finish that section, Caryl said.
There’s still plenty of trails to build, but Cerimele said he hopes this small portion will spur more trail development.
“It will get us one step closer to completing the system from Red Cliff to Gypsum,” Cerimele said.
Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or email@example.com