Road biking and mountain biking are extremely popular across Colorado and Summit County is no exception. With professional bikers coming to train at altitude and races like the Trans American Road Race and the USAA Pro Cycle Challenge coming through on a yearly basis, the trail systems in Summit County have become a destination for more than its locals.
Luckily, local organizations and government entities have committed to bike path expansion and upkeep, consistently planning for new path segments and organizing weekly volunteer-driven clean-ups that keep trails rideable with intact “features.”
On April 7, 2016 the Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), an organization that receives funding from the Colorado state lottery, announced that it will spend $125,000 on two bike path projects this year.
One project will be to build a 3-mile path connecting Copper Mountain with Graveline Gulch. This $75,000 project will be the first step in a massive bike path buildout that will link Summit and Lake Counties upon completion.
The second project allocates $50,000 to determine which areas of Frisco’s bike path are used most. The data will then be used to create a bike path expansion plan, extending some trails and linking other trails with each other. This project aims to alleviate heavy path traffic and make longer bike rides easily accessible from downtown Frisco.
On occasion, these bike path expansion projects will require GOCO to collaborate with the Board of County Commissioners to purchase privately owned land, in the name of preserving the environment and expanding the region’s recreational areas. In those cases, tax incentives are provided to homeowners in exchange for agreeing to permanently protect the designated land or for selling it at a discounted rate.
These bike path expansion projects are among several that GOCO has completed to improve the open spaces of Summit County, affording locals and visitors with enhanced outdoor experiences for recreation. Established in 1992, GOCO has invested $4.5 million in Summit County projects, including the Dillon Valley Elementary School playground, Iron Springs Open Space, and the Lake Dillon Blue River Trail. We are very lucky to have these entities supporting our communities and helping retain the character of our county so that it continues to be an enjoyable place to live and to visit.