Loveland Parks & Recreation announced last week that the 21-mile Recreation Trail Loop is now complete with the addition of a multi-use path that runs North of 57th Ave between US Highway 287 to Taft Avenue (AKA College and Shields, for Fort Collins residents) in North Loveland. This path not only completes the Recreation Trail Loop but it also provides a safe alternative to riding on 57th street which includes a climb and no shoulder. The city of Loveland and Larimer County have plans to add bike lanes and widen 57th in the future although an exact time was not readily available. 

More information on Loveland's trail system can be found here: https://www.lovgov.org/services/parks-recreation/trail-info

 

Read the full press release below. 

Marilyn Hilgenberg, Open Lands and Trails Manager City of Loveland Parks & Recreation

970.962.2443

marilyn.hilgenberg@cityofloveland.org

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JUNE 23, 2021

 

Loveland, CO – The final .5-mile paved section of Loveland’s 21-mile Recreation Trail Loop has been completed and is available for public use. This section of trail has been particularly challenging to complete because it navigates through the new Copper Ridge Development, crosses the Louden Ditch,  Burlington Northern Santa Fe Rail Line and wetlands, and runs adjacent to 57th Street. The new trail segment now provides safer pedestrian travel from US Highway 287 to Taft Avenue along the north side of  57th Street. The trail was designed by AVI Engineering, Planning and Surveying and constructed by 53  Corporation at a cost of $687,269 paid for by Loveland’s share of Colorado Lottery Dollars.  

Trail users are warned that construction is still underway at the intersection of Taft Avenue and 57th Street for intersection improvements and bikers must merge with traffic through this section. Trail users are encouraged to go to COTREX (https://trails.colorado.gov/) to see all available trails in Colorado and information about local trail closures.  

Loveland’s Recreation Trail was started in 1988 with construction of trail sections along the Big Thompson  River and Greeley Loveland Irrigation Ditch in older areas of town. The Department Planners set forth a  plan to develop a trail loop that encircled Loveland and this final segment of trail completes that vision.  Segments of the trail have been added piece by piece with developments, acquisition of trail corridors, and inclusion in parks and open land properties.  

In addition to the paved recreation trail, a new .9 mile natural-surface “Nature Trail” constructed by volunteers (Colorado Addicted Trail Builder’s Society) provides access for nature exploration and wildlife watching. Wetlands run along the Nature Trail providing habitat for birds and mammals including songbirds, raptors, wild turkey, badgers, rabbits and fox. To protect habitat and offer passive recreation experiences, bikes are not allowed on the Nature Trail. Leashed dogs are welcome though owners must pick up and properly dispose of pet waste; bags are provided. Additionally, the City is developing a small picnic and historical interpretation area along the west side of the natural area for users to enjoy.

The 87-acre Sunset Vista Natural Area property was acquired by the Open Lands and Trails Division of the  Loveland Parks & Recreation Department in 2014 to protect open lands in the “Community Separator” between Loveland and Fort Collins. Sunset Vista Natural Area provides the trailhead and parking for the regional Long View Trail that runs 4 miles between Loveland and Fort Collins providing access to 5 open land areas along the way owned and operated by the City of Loveland, Larimer County and the City of Fort  Collins. Sunset Vista Natural Area contains a section of the Louden Ditch, several wetland drainages,  upland farmland, valuable wildlife habitat and trails for outdoor recreation. Views of the foothills and mountains are outstanding.  

A ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony is scheduled for July 14th at 5:30pm to celebrate.

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