A year in the making, the Ten Mile Canyon recpath extension, near Copper Mountain Resort, will officially open for business Thursday, July 3.
“This certainly improves the safety for cyclists and other users of the path,” Summit County Public Affairs coordinator Julie Sutor said.
Jointly funded by Summit County, the Colorado Department of Transportation, Copper Mountain Resort and Climax Mine, the $1.4 million project includes a reroute of a part of the path to better connect with the Vail Pass recpath at Copper Mountain.
The reroute will now go behind the gas station at the Interstate-70 Copper Mountain exit to better avoid traffic conflicts between recpath users and motorists. In addition to the reroute, the paved recpath was extended 1.4 miles up Ten Mile Canyon, parallel to Highway 91 and Ten Mile Creek.
Summit County Open Space and Trails director Brian Lorch described the project as part of a long-term plan for the continued expansion of the recpath system, both near Copper Mountain and south of Breckenridge. County officials hope to extend the path beyond Copper Mountain up Fremont Pass to Climax Mine and potentially all the way to Leadville. In addition to that proposed extension, county officials also hope to extend the path from Breckenridge over Hoosier Pass to Alma.
Lorch described the plan as still in its initial stages with a need for U.S. Forest Service review and further approval from interested parties, including Climax. If approved, the Fremont Pass portion of the trail may pass through the mine’s property. Mine officials were described as onboard with the project.
“We’re definitely in the planning” stages, Lorch said.
When reached for comment, Copper Mountain president and general manager Gary Rodgers described Summit recpaths as “some of the best-developed paths in the country.”
“With the Ten Mile recpath extension, we are steps closer to connecting the dots south of Copper Mountain and providing a gateway into Lake County for both locals and guests alike,” he said.
Community officials will hold a grand-opening ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly completed extension Thursday, July 3, at 10 a.m. on the new recpath bridge over Ten Mile Creek — near the Copper Mountain Resort entrance.