Summit County, Breckenridge purchase 18-acre French Gulch parcel for $450,000
The Summit County and town of Breckenridge Open Space and Trails departments have split the purchase of a $450,000, 18-acre parcel of land in French Gulch.
The land, previously privately owned, will allow for the extension of Turk’s Trail farther to the east, connecting it to Sallie Barber Road.
Katherine King, Summit County Open Space and Trails resource specialist, said because the land is located in the middle of existing open-space property, it was a priority to acquire it.
“French Gulch has always been on our radar screen,” she said. “It’s an important area for the public. It’s the backyard of Breckenridge, and really popular for trails and recreation as well as historic resources.”
The new open space will also help protect the backcountry character of the area, including spruce and fir trees. The county and town split the purchase evenly and are joint partners in the acquisition.
King said there is also a provision guaranteeing public access to French Creek to the south.
“In general, a private land inholding surrounded by existing open space is high on our list,” she said. “It makes management of that area easier.”
The extension of Turk’s Trail, if approved, would most likely be built next summer by volunteers. A “social” path from Turk’s to the road had already been formed across the private property, said Scott Ried, Breckenridge Open Space and Trails manager.
“This way people won’t be trespassing, and the trail will be sustainable,” he said. “We’re lucky to have the ability to build new trails, and this is a very important piece of property.”
The new property completes a 750-acre corridor along the south side of French Gulch Road.
“We are thrilled that our continued partnership with the town of Breckenridge will help to protect the natural and historic resources of French Creek, as well as provide a new trail for the public to enjoy,” said County Commissioner Dan Gibbs in a prepared statement.
View Summit County Open Space and Trails acquisitions online at http://www.co.summit.co.us.
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