Northern Colo. – A $2,000,000 Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Connect Initiative grant will fill three trail gaps of the Poudre River Regional Trail from Fort Collins to Windsor.
The Poudre River Regional Trail is a segment of the Colorado Front Range Trail which has been identified as one of the state’s highest priority trails and a focus for Northern Colorado communities for over 40 years. Thanks to Larimer County Department of Natural Resources, the City of Fort Collins Park Planning and Development Department, the Town of Timnath, the Town of Windsor and Great Outdoors Colorado, longstanding community partnerships, and the backing by the citizens of Larimer County, the full vision for the 45-mile trail spanning from Bellvue to Greeley is now a reality and will connect over 400,000 users annually. The project will begin this fall and be completed by 2023.
The new trail connections will include 4.7 miles of new paved surface trail, filling three trail gaps, and including an offshoot to a new trail and trailhead that will provide new public access in Windsor. As part of CDOT’s North I-25 Expansion Project, a new bridge and trail underpass will be constructed across the Poudre River to accommodate the trail.
The new, northernmost segment will tie into the city’s existing 43-mile city-wide trail system at CSU’s Environmental Learning Center and connect into the existing trail in Timnath, east of I-25. This segment will include railroad improvements south of the ELC and also connect to the future Fort Collins Community Park, and Running Deer and Arapaho Bend natural areas along the Poudre River.
In Timnath, the new trail will be constructed through a trail corridor within the Trailside development and it will connect with the existing portions of the Poudre River Regional Trail. Once completed, this segment, along with the existing trail segments, will connect future residents to community amenities such as Timnath Community Park, Bethke Elementary School, Timnath Town Center, and surrounding neighborhoods.
To the south, a trail segment will continue through unincorporated Larimer County to County Road 32E in Windsor and include a bridge crossing and a pedestrian crossing with a traffic signal. The trail will connect into the existing trailhead and River Bluffs Open Space where users will be able to continue on to Greeley. An offshoot of the trail will also connect users to the Kyger Reservoir and a new trailhead parking area providing an additional access point for users.
Regionally, the trail will offer a safe 45-mile contiguous trail amenity for hundreds of thousands of bicycle commuters and recreational users from the unincorporated town of Bellevue, located west of Fort Collins near the mouth of the Poudre Canyon, all the way to Greeley near the confluence of the South Platte River; and access to over 50 miles of local trail networks, open spaces and natural areas, future and existing community parks, community recreation centers, mass transit networks, and a plethora of neighborhoods.
"We are grateful that Great Outdoors Colorado has recognized this extraordinary project. It is a rarity to have multiple partners collaborate on one project for so long, literally decades in this case. The Larimer County Board of Commissioners is proud to be able to participate in the completion of this important work which will add to the quality of life here in northern Colorado for decades to come." – Tom Donnelly, Chairman of the Larimer County Board of Commissioners
“The first mile of the Poudre Trail was constructed over 40 years ago and has since grown to become a treasured asset, connecting our City from the foothills to the eastern boundary. The continued growth of this trail took not only vision, but dedication and patience. We are honored to be an active partner in this collaborative effort, making the completion of the Poudre Trail a reality for the benefit of our residents and Northern Colorado neighbors.” – Wade Troxell, City of Fort Collins Mayor