Renown of Aspen-Glenwood bike trail growing |

Renown of Aspen-Glenwood bike trail growing

Dale Shrull
Aspen, CO Colorado
Janet Urquhart/Aspen Times fileThe popular Rio Grande Trail between Aspen and Glenwood Springs, Colorado is featured in Adventure Cyclist magazine. Here, bicyclists ride a section in the midvalley, between Carbondale and Basalt.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Word about the Rio Grande Trail, hugely popular with bicyclists from Aspen to Glenwood Springs and beyond, is spreading.

Adventure Cyclist, a Missoula, Mont. magazine, has featured the Rio Grande Trail through a first-person account and photographs by freelance writer Irene Middleman Thomas.

The article details her ride on the Rio Grande Trail from Aspen to Glenwood Springs after taking a RFTA bus ride to Aspen. The article highlights the scenery and attractions of the 44-mile trail, along with other attractions and things to do in Glenwood for both the cyclist and non-cyclist.

The magazine has a circulation of more than 44,000.

According to an e-mail from Vicky Nash, of local marketing company Resort Trends Inc., the four-page magazine spread equates to more than $14,000 in advertising for Glenwood Springs.

Adventure Cyclist magazine is published nine times a year and is dedicated to bicycle travel and adventure. The magazine is mailed to subscribers.

The Rio Grande Trail has become a hugely popular amenity since the final segment of it ” between Carbondale and Glenwood ” opened last spring.

The trail allows cyclists to bike between Glenwood Springs and Aspen without ever having to pedal on busy Highway 82, though a stretch of it below Aspen remains unpaved and a segment in the valley is closed in the winter and spring to protect wildlife.

The trail became a reality after various entities, including the Pitkin County Open Space and Trails Program, Great Outdoors Colorado and the Colorado Department of Transportation purchased the former Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad corridor in 1997, envisioning a bike/pedestrian path that could link the entire Roaring Fork Valley.

Last October, the trail project earned an Outstanding Community Tourism Initiative Award the Colorado Tourism Conference.

Glenwood Springs recently made headlines as the starting point for the two major Colorado summer bicycle tours, both of which will likely use portions of the Rio Grande Trail and both of which will pass through Aspen.

The 24th annual Ride the Rockies tour will depart from Glenwood on June 13 and return June 19. It be followed by the 15th annual Bicycle Tour of Colorado, which will leave Glenwood on June 21 with cyclists returning on June 27.

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