Category Archives: Hot Topics

UPRR- Rail Trail

Hey, trail advocates — this amazing interactive map shows some of the abandoned rail lines in the US, including the UPRR in Boulder County.  Anybody out there interested in helping us get this rail-trail conversion underway??

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BATCO “Harvest Party” and Meeting Monday, Nov. 13, 2017

Monday 7-9pm

Alfalfa’s Boulder, Community Room

Refreshments will be served 🙂

It’s been an exciting summer for trail fans!

Join us for an informal discussion of what we’ve accomplished and what we plan to do in 2018.

Topics include:

  • Magnolia Trails
  • Lagerman Trails
  • Rabbit Mtn Elk Management
  • Trailbuilding at Heil 2
  • New Trails at Heil 2
  • What would you like to talk about? Let us know ahead of time ( or just come to the meeting and join the conversation.
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Greetings, Trail Users!   

It’s National Public Lands Day!  

This is YOUR INVITATION to participate with BCHA, BATCO and Boulder County Parks & Open Space in a fun morning of building a NEW PEDESTRIAN/EQUESTRIAN TRAIL at Heil Valley Ranch.  This new trail will connect the new  parking / trailhead at Heil and two other new trails with the existing trail system. Show your appreciation for public lands by joining up with the project!

Saturday, September 30th from 9:00am-12:00pm.

We will be fine-tuning the new pedestrian/equestrian connector at Heil Valley Ranch. The work will be moderately strenuous and will include the use of hand tools such as McLeods, pick mattocks, and your brawn.

We will be about a 15 minute walk away from the parking lot and your vehicles, so it is a good idea to bring a backpack to carry water, snacks, clothes, etc.

Meeting time: 9:00am        Project End time: 12:00 pm

“The Corrals” at Heil Valley Ranch.
2-1952 Geer Canyon Dr, Boulder, CO 80302.
Click for Map

Directions to the “Corrals” at Heil Valley Ranch:

  • From Boulder:  Travel north on Foothills Highway 36.  Turn left on Lefthand Canyon Drive.  Turn right on Geer Canyon Drive, and drive 0.3 miles.  Meeting location and parking will be on the left just before the road turns from paved to dirt.
  • From Longmont:  Travel west on Nelson Road, then turn left on Foothills Highway 36.  Turn right on Lefthand Canyon Drive.   Turn right on Geer Canyon Drive and drive 0.3 miles.  Meeting location and parking will be on the left just before the road turns from paved to dirt.

Weather in Colorado is unpredictable no matter the time of year.  It is important that you bring warm and waterproof clothing that you can work in, as we will try to complete the work in slightly inclement weather (cold temps, light rain/snow).  I would suggest checking the forecast before the project at NOAA and search Longmont, CO.  I will let you know as soon as possible if we need to cancel/postpone due to more severe weather predictions.

What You Should Bring:
Water bottle and water
Sturdy shoes/boots – no sandals please (yes, people have shown up in sandals)
Pants – recommended
Work gloves (if you have a special pair) otherwise we will provide
Layers of clothes
Rain gear
Backpack – for carrying clothing, food, ect.
Binoculars or camera (optional)

We will provide:
Work gloves
Extra Water
First aid kit
All necessary tools
Corny jokes

Your contribution toward this project will be greatly appreciated.   We look forward to seeing you.  Please feel free to contact Ari if you have any additional questions.  Thanks again for volunteering with BATCO, BCHA and Boulder County Parks & Open Space!

Suzanne Webel, for BATCO / BCHA
Ari Addes, for BCPOS

Ari Addes
| Recreation & Facilities Volunteer Coordinator
Boulder County Parks and Open Space
5201 St. Vrain Rd. Longmont CO 80503
Office: 303-678-6344 | Cell: 720-597-0898
Twitter | Facebook | Wildwork

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The Open Sky Trail is Open (where?)

Come check out the wonderful new 5.5 mile trail north of Lagerman Reservoir, west of Longmont!  BATCO helped sponsor this trail with a $10,000 grant from the sales of our Trails and Recreation Map of Boulder County.

(scroll down for map)



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Rabbit Mountain Elk Management Plan Open House  

Thursday April 6, 2017
Boulder County Parks & Open Space Headquarters
5201 St Vrain Rd

Have you ever sighted an elk as you ride the trails at Rabbit Mountain?  Have you noticed an increase in the number of elk up there over the past decade?

BCPOS has done some elk telemetry studies that indicate the herd has not only increased dramatically but has ceased to migrate from Rabbit Mountain to the high country.  Instead, they stay at Rabbit Mountain year-round, causing damage to shrubs on the preserve and to crops on neighboring agricultural lands.  Staff says they have evaluated several management actions to mitigate the elk impacts, including encouraging adjacent property owners to “harvest” them, administering fertility control, trapping and transplanting them, professional culling, fencing, less palatable crop alternatives, and hazing by walking behind the animals.   Staff claims none of the listed techniques will be effective enough, so they now conclude that the only remaining alternative is hunting.  In the proposed scenario, the entire property would be closed to all other recreation during hunting season. However, trails were not even discussed as an elk management technique, nor was more aggressive hazing.

In 2013 BCPOS began a comprehensive “Rabbit Mountain Management Plan” which would have evaluated many different aspects of how to manage the property, including what’s working and what isn’t with regard to the wildlife, weeds, access, and trails.  However, The Flood of 2013 diverted staff’s ability to do planning in favor of flood mitigation, and the Rabbit Mountain Management Plan has never been revived.

BATCO submitted a detailed plan in 2013 for how the trail system at Rabbit Mountain could be significantly improved, and all of the points we made then are still valid today.

We believe the original comprehensive plan process should be reopened now, and that elk management should be part of the overall plan instead of merely a stand-alone topic.

Here is a link to the web page about this meeting and the plan.  Please try to attend the meeting and provide your input.  If you can’t make it to the meeting but would like to submit comments online, enter them on the web page above.

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Wow! Look what’s happening with Trails…. Everywhere Else

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September 2016 e-Newsletter
Advancing trails for those who build, maintain, use, and dream of trails…
  whatshotWHAT’S HOT


October 20 webinar covers economic benefits of trails
“Economic Impact of Livable Communities with Active Transportation Options” will be presented by Craig Della Penna, a Realtor who specializes in the sale of houses near rail trails and greenways. FREE FOR MEMBERS TO ATTEND! Learn more and REGISTER for this webinar…


November 17 webinar will discuss latest trends in trails and greenways 
“Trails and Greenways: What’s Next?” will be presented by Bob Searns with the Greenway Team, Chuck Flink with Greenways Incorporated, and Laura Belleville with Appalachian Trail Conservancy. New challenges and opportunities are emerging for trails and greenways, including: how to promote broader, routine engagement in walking and other trails activities to promote fitness; how to pursue greater resiliency in the face of the impacts of climate change; and how to preserve and protect precious landscapes in the face of growing urbanization. Given these considerations, this webinar will take a look at what’s next. This webinar is FREE TO THE PUBLIC thanks to a partnership with the National Park Service. Learn more and REGISTER for this webinar…


Try a webinar – for free!
You can access one of American Trails’ recent webinars absolutely free. “Understanding the National Recreation Trails Program and National Water Trails System” was presented September 8. This webinar is free to the public thanks to a partnership with the National Park Service.Watch the webinar recording now… 


Atlanta’s Beltline trail spurs housing boom
Housing costs along the popular Beltline corridor have dramatically increased over the last five years, Atlanta officials say. Developers, responding to surging interest in living along the greenspace, have built thousands of new apartments and condos to meet the demand. Affordable housing is emerging as a new goal. Read more and see photos…


A look at accessibility on Federal lands
Lilly Longshore, a wheelchair user and outdoor enthusiast, shares her thoughts on improving accessibility: “Our parks need engineers and planners that are dedicated to reviewing parks, assessing the potential for accessible trails and facilities, then designing and building them.”Read more and see photos…


Minneapolis greenway proposal stirs debate
The Northside Greenway would create a new green corridor and bikeway by removing traffic and street parking on some or all of 37 residential blocks. But, reports Next City, opponents have accused the project of “racism, sexism, classism, and ableism.” The city has funded 30 different organizations with $115,000 in grants to knock on doors, host events, and gather feedback. Read more and see graphics…


Michigan DNR maps paddling trails and water access
After years spent focusing on other types of outdoor sports, the Michigan Department of Public Resources is now preparing to map out the state’s water trails, their amenities, and access points. Read more and see photos…


The worst hike in New Hampshire
Generally, in hiking blogs you see beautiful pictures of majestic scenery, smiling faces, while hikers recount the glorious time they had reaching the summit of their favorite mountain. Instead, one hiking enthusiast writes about the worst trail hike out of 48 4,000-foot mountains in New Hampshire. Read more and see photos…


A bolder vision for Florida’s trails
Florida’s State Legislature authorized $125 million in funding for the SUN Trails program which provides the first assured state funding for Florida trails. Author Herb Hiller delves into the details of cooperation and complexity of communities and transportation planners working together for hundreds of miles of new trails. Read more and see photos…


Featured National Recreation Trail: Bird to Gird Pathway, Alaska
Mountains, glaciers, beluga whales, and ocean views are a few of  the spectacular sights you can take in on the Girdwood to Indian Pathway. The 13-mile paved trail follows the Turnagain Arm near Anchorage. Read more and see photos…


Featured Recreational Trails Program-funded project: Ouachita Trail, Arkansas
This project enabled volunteers and AmeriCorps crews to add four shelters to the Ouachita National Recreation Trail. Backpackers and mountain bikers use the trail through the Ouachita National Forest.Read more and see photos…


Featured Online Business Directory advertiser: Pannier Graphics
Pannier leads the way in the production of trail signs and markers because they understand this signage is about more than marking the paths – it’s also about sharing and preserving the world’s most beautiful and irreplaceable areas. They manufacture a full range of fiberglass signage, panels, bases, and frames ideal for: trail maps, interpretative panels, wayfinding signage, trail markers, and more. Learn more about Pannier Graphics in the American Trails Online Business Directory…

May 7-10, 2017 ~ Dayton, Ohio


Call for Presentations just released
To help us develop an exciting and motivating program for the Symposium, we invite you to submit ideas for presentations in support of the Symposium’s theme, “Trails Take Flight: Connecting People, Places, and Possibilities.” Read more and download the form for submitting a proposal…


Details of Symposium host hotels now available
Enjoy fine and affordable accommodations while attending the Symposium. The Crowne Plaza hotel is in downtown Dayton and connected via skywalk to the Dayton Convention Center. The Marriott University of Dayton is located in a park-like setting at the University of Dayton campus. Read more about accommodations at the Symposium…


American Trails hosts the nextInternational Trails Symposium in Dayton, Ohio May 7-10, 2017!
For the second Symposium, we will feature the Professional TrailBuilders Association (PTBA) who will offer Sustainable Trails Workshops (including work on the Legacy Trail), provide a technical track, as well as showcase trail equipment that attendees can test out at the Outdoor Trade Show.
The Symposium addresses most aspects of trails, greenways, and blueways. Learn from dozens of educational sessions and mobile workshops, visit a state-of-the-art exhibit hall, and network with experts and enthusiasts from across the globe. The theme for the 2017 Symposium is “Trails Take Flight: Connecting People, Places, and Possibilities.”
Thank you to our Honorary Partners to date:


Exhibit and sponsorship opportunities 
20% exhibitor discount deadline October 15, 2016
The Sponsorship and Exhibit Opportunities Packet is available! Exhibitors can receive a 20% discount until October 15, 2016. ADDITIONAL BENEFITS include choosing their booth location in the order their contract and payment is received (some exceptions apply) and adding your logo or name link on our Meet Our Sponsors page online once we receive your contract and payment! Learn more…
Thank you to the additional sponsors and exhibitors to date (including the list of our honorary partners above):


Germany gives green light to bicycle highways

As a glimpse of a greener urban transport future, Germany has just opened the first stretch of a bicycle highway that is set to connect 10 western cities. The new type of bike routes are 13-feet-wide, have overtaking lanes, and usually cross roads via overpasses and underpasses. Read more and see photos…


UK rail trails are boosting local tourism and recreation
In Devon, increasing use of new cycling and walking trails has saved struggling pubs along the routes and inspired new businesses. Early successes have convinced council chiefs to back more projects and won over many landowners and local residents. Read more and see photos…


Best Practices: Trail speed limit signs
A recent “Cool Trail Solutions” photo gallery focuses on ways to remind trail users to watch their speed on shared-use trails. Many trail managers find it prudent to provide reminders to bicyclists to be aware of their speed. A wide variety of signs are in use, from standard highway speed limits to signs that are part of the wayfinding design for a trail system. Read more and see photos in the American Trails Cool Trail Solutions Photo Gallery…


New book leads the way to “Great Trails”
“Great Trails: Providing Quality OHV Trails and Experiences” is a new resource for planning, designing, constructing, maintaining, and managing Off-Highway Vehicle trail systems. The National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council produced the book and website with help from many partners. Read more and access the “Great Trails” resources…


Summary of accessibility standards for Federal lands

The best place to start when planning new trails or improving access is “A Summary of Accessibility Standards for Federal Outdoor Developed Areas.” The online resources cover all aspects of current rules on accessible trails, camping and picnic facilities, and beach access routes.Read more…


Marketing the Ice Age Trail
The Joint Effort Marketing report for the Ice Age Trail Alliance measures the economic impact of trail users and volunteers to the Wisconsin economy. It also reviews the Ice Age Trail brand identity based on market research to better understand the users — in short, the customers. Surveys indicate that over 1.2 million people visit the trail each year. Download the 144-page marketing report (pdf 5.9 mb)…

Fall trail training opportunities

Current training opportunities for trail skills across the country. See theOnline Trails Training Calendar for details…

October 3-7 – Hong Kong
* Walk 21
October 5-8 – St. Louis, MO
* National Recreation and Park Association Annual Conference
October 6-10 – Gilbert, WV
* Hatfield-McCoy National TrailFest
October 12-13 – Greenfield, NH
* Sustainable Trails for All Workshop with Trail Accessibility Guidelines
October 13-15 – Tri-Cities, WA
* Washington State Trails Coalition Conference
October 14-17 – Tottori, Japan
* World Trails Conference
October 15 – Flagstaff, AZ
* Arizona Trail Association Trail Training
October 20 – Online webinar hosted by American Trails
* Webinar: “Economic Impact of Livable Communities with Active Transportation Options” REGISTER TODAY
November 4 – Cranberry Township, PA
* Industrial Heartland Trails Coalition 2016 Fall Summit
Contact us with your scheduled training opportunities
Working together – works! There is strength in numbers!


For over 28 years, American Trails has been a collective voice for a diverse coalition of enthusiasts, professionals, advocates, builders, land managers, conservationists, and friends of the outdoors and livable cities.


American Trails will continue to keep you informed on both trail know-how and issues critical to the future of trails. With your help, we can increase funding for trails, keep more trails open, and improve the health and well-being of Americans of all ages and abilities, including our children.


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Header photo: Lower Columbia River Trail in Astoria, Oregon; photo by Stuart Macdonald


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Share feedback on OSMP agricultural management


Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) is seeking public feedback on draft outlines for a chapter of the department’s Agricultural Resources Management Plan. The outlines for the Agricultural Management chapter contain draft findings, including proposed management strategies, that will help OSMP and its lessees manage agricultural operations on open space.


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US 36 Bikeway to Boulder Open Tomorrow


18 miles of bikeway along US 36 offers commuters an alternative mode of transportation between Denver and Boulder

DENVER/BOULDER ? The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), the High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE) and Plenary Roads Denver (PRD), the concessionaire for the US 36 Express LanesProject, today announced that the second phase of the US 36 Express Lanes commuter bikeway between 88th Street in Louisville/Superior and Table Mesa in Boulder will open tomorrow, March 1, completing the connection between Denver and Boulder. The US 36 corridor isa model for multi-modal options, and the bikeway is one of those components.

The first phase of the bikeway opened to commuters in June 2015, and cyclists have been enjoying 11 miles of bikeway between 80th Avenue in Westminster and 88th Street in Louisville/Superior. The entire length of the finished bikeway is 18 miles and features 12-foot-wide lanes with 2-foot wide shoulders and 6-inch thick concrete to ensure a comfortable ride. The bikeway features a connection to the existing trail system, offering commuters and recreational users all the benefits of the bikeway.

"?We are excited to have the bikeway open and ready to use. Coloradans have another opportunity to get outdoors, exercise, and ride with family and friends or commute between Denver and Boulder,"? said Executive Chairman of PRD Dale Bonner.

While the bikeway will open to cyclists tomorrow, in order to ensure a final quality product, travelers may notice some minor construction, landscaping and cleanup activities going on this spring.

?We are encouraging cyclists to let us know if they notice that any particular part of the bikeway needs attention,? said CDOT Project Director Scott Rees. ?Since last July, we?ve seen an average of almost 100 people per day on some areas of the US ​36 Bikeway. ​With warmer weather, longer days and the completion of the second phase of the bikeway, we expect the numbers of riders to increase as riders realize this bikeway is a great commute option."

The US 36 Express Lanes Project is a multi-modal project that is building an express lane in each direction on US 36, in addition tothe two free general-purpose lanes. The Express Lanes accommodate High Occupancy Vehicles (HOV), Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), which started running in January 2016, and tolled vehicles. In addition to the bikeway, the project is replacing several bridges, adding BRT improvements, and installing Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) for tolling, transit and traveler information, and incident management. Phase 1, from Federal Boulevard to 88th Street in Louisville/Superior, opened in July 2015. Phase 2, from 88th Street to Table Mesa Drive in Boulder, is substantially complete with toll commencement set to begin at the end of March.

For more information about the project call 303-404-7042<tel:303-404-7042> or go to<>.


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Check out the Boulder Creek Path Plan on January 21

County seeking feedback on concept plans

Boulder County, Colo. – Boulder County Transportation will host an open house to present concepts for extending the Boulder Canyon Trail further west along State Highway 119/Boulder Canyon Drive from its current terminus near Fourmile Canyon Drive west to Chapman Drive.

     What: Public Open House
     When: Thursday, Jan. 21, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
     Where: Alfalfa’s Market Community Room – 1651 Broadway, Boulder

The meeting is an opportunity for the public to review the concept plans and options and provide feedback that will help inform the design process.

The goal of the project is to extend the off-street path for bicyclists and pedestrians in Boulder Canyon. The path will connect to the Chapman Drive trailhead and Flagstaff Mountain Trails and includes a potential new route to Betasso Preserve. Boulder County Transportation is working on this project with help from the Colorado Department of Transportation and the City of Boulder, and project funding is coming from all three entities.

A feasibility report was completed in 2011. This report is available on the project website –

For more information, contact Matt Wempe at 303-441-4554 or

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North Trail Study Area Plan to kick off First Expert Panel this Wednesday

Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) and the Open Space Board of Trustees (OSBT) will hold two public meetings to help inform the interested community in and around Boulder and OSMP staff/OSBT about ways that other land managers or areas have addressed challenges related to:
1) natural resource management and protection
2) trail sustainability and visitor experience.

Their hope is that the panelists will bring their knowledge, experience, creative solutions, and approaches that have been tried in other areas into the Boulder community conversation related to the North Trail Study Area.

Wednesday, August 26
Expert Panel on Visitor Experience
6 – 8:30 pm
Council Chambers
1777 Broadway
Featuring speakers who will discuss recreational management strategies that have been applied in other areas of Colorado and outside the state. 

Wednesday, September 2
Expert Panel on Natural Resources
6 – 8:30 pm
Main Library Canyon Theater
1001 Arapahoe Avenue
Focusing on natural resource strategies that have been implemented elsewhere. 

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