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March 7, 2019

Eldorado Canyon to Walker Ranch Trail Feasibility Study: Staff Update to County Commissioners

Public Meeting to be held Thursday, March 21 at 3:30 p.m.

(Boulder County, Colo.) -- Boulder County Parks & Open Space staff will present an update to the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) on the status of the proposed interagency multi-use trail connection between Eldorado Canyon and Walker Ranch on Thursday, March 21, at 3:30 p.m.

The staff update meeting is open to the public, but because this is an information-only session for the BOCC -- with no decisions or actions requested -- public testimony will not be taken.

  • What: Eldorado to Walker Ranch proposed multi-use trail connection staff update to the Board of County Commissioners
  • When: Thursday, March 21 at 3:30 p.m.
  • Where: Boulder County Courthouse, 1325 Pearl St., Boulder, third-floor hearing room (map and directions)
  • Documents: The staff report will be posted on March 14 on the project webpage


In 2018, the Eldorado Canyon to Walker Ranch Trail Feasibility Study was completed to investigate and analyze trail options for a multi-use connection. The study is a partnership of Boulder County Parks & Open Space (BCPOS), the City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP), and Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW).

Two public hearings were held after the findings of the study were released to consider a partner agency recommendation, one in January by the Boulder County Parks & Open Space Advisory Committee (POSAC), and one in February by the City of Boulder Open Space Board of Trustees (OSBT).

Recent Conclusions

The feasibility study findings, partner agency recommendation, and direction provided by both POSAC and OSBT all support continued collaboration on additional planning and community engagement to address capacity related impacts on Eldorado Canyon State Park (ECSP) and the Eldorado Springs community.

Guidance by the city and county open space boards also suggests considering a north route for the preferred alignment, although no final determination on the construction of a trail or a specific alignment has been made. A north alignment would primarily traverse OSMP- and ECSP-owned and managed lands, with only several hundred feet of proposed trail on BCPOS land.

Planning Update

On March 1, CPW recommended putting any decisions about a multi-use trail on hold until an overall Visitor Use Management Plan could be developed. CPW intends to further analyze the potential multi-use connection that would allow mountain biking along with other potential future uses of the park as part of this planning process and statement of work.

While a public hearing before the Boulder County Commissioners was initially anticipated for March, in response to public comments and recommendations from the advisory boards, the county commissioners will postpone scheduling a public hearing until after the planned visitor management plan for Eldorado Canyon State Park (ECSP) is developed by CPW.

The three partner agencies continue to be aligned with gathering additional information that responds to the interests of all three land managers as well as the visiting public and adjacent communities.

Visit the Eldorado Canyon to Walker Ranch Connection Feasibility Study webpage for more information, or contact Marni Ratzel, Resource Planner II, by email or by phone at 303-678-6271.