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Colorado Trail rerouted

COPPER MOUNTAIN – There’s a new stretch of trail in Summit County.

Volunteers recently completed a 5.3-mile, rerouted portion of the Colorado Trail which is now open to the public.

The Colorado Trail, which extends about 500 miles from Waterton Canyon (on the Front Range) to Durango, was created as an educational and recreational hiking trail traversing Colorado’s mountainous terrain.



Until now, hikers lost the trail when they came to Copper Mountain.

“You just kind of found your way through the village,” said Ernie Werren, a Colorado Trail Foundation (CTF) board member.



CTF officials have wanted to re-route that portion for many years, he said.

When the Ten Mile Planning Commission began discussing a new planned unit development for Copper several years ago, CTF officials took the opportunity to begin discussions of a trail reroute, Werren said.

It took the cooperative efforts of CTF, the U.S. Forest Service and Copper Mountain, and more than 14 weeks of volunteer work since 1999, but the new portion of trail is finally complete. It includes eight log and plank bridges, three boardwalks across wetlands, 3.5 miles of new trail, and one mile of improvements on an existing horse trail. About 0.8 miles of existing Copper Mountain Resort service roads completed the 5.3 mile bypass.

The bypass begins at the historic stock bridge at Tenmile Creek, on the east side of Highway 91. From there, it heads south along the creek before crossing the highway at the south end of the Copper Creek Golf Club. The trail then traverses the lower portion of the ski area, to the vicinity of the American Eagle chairlift, and then climbs across the western side of the ski area and joins the existing trail, near the intersection of Jacque and Guller creeks.

With the new bypass, the Colorado Trail will offer its users the high mountain experience for which it was created, said Marian Phillips, CTF volunteer coordinator.

The old portion of the trail, on the west side of Copper Mountain, has been closed. Hikers, bikers and other trail users should access the trail by the old stock bridge on the east side of Highway 91 or by the American Eagle lift, Werren said.

The trail will not be closed in the winter, though it crosses the ski area, said Beth Jahnigen, Copper Mountain communications coordinator. She advised snowshoers and other winter users to use extreme caution, however, when crossing ski runs.

“We’re happy we could work with the CTF and the USFS to complete the reroute and make it a better experience for everyone that uses the Colorado Trail,” Jahnigen said.

For more information on the Colorado Trail, visit the CTF Web site at

http://www.coloradotrail.org.


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