County gets $200K to study Palisade Plunge route

Mesa County has $200,000 in new funding to move forward in planning the Palisade Plunge, a proposed mountain bike trail that would take riders down 6,000 feet on a 33-mile trail from Powderhorn Mountain Resort to Palisade.

The award from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs will be used for an environmental study and planning on lands along the lower section of the possible route, which would lead into Palisade.

The funding comes from state severance taxes.

The county’s interest in seeking the grant demonstrates that it is “very supportive toward outdoor recreation and partners like Palisade and growing the outdoor economy of the east end of Mesa County,” said Commissioner Rose Pugliese, whose district includes Palisade and the lands through which the Palisade Plunge would pass.

The grant will be used with others by different agencies to study and plan the route.

Palisade, for instance, is using a similar amount for a study of a proposed route through U.S. Forest Service land on a route blazed by John Otto, whose trail-building work extended beyond what is now Colorado National Monument.

The timing for the county’s grant is propitious, Palisade Town Administrator Rich Sales said.

“We are furiously writing” requests for proposals to get consultants on the routes before spring so the project won’t be delayed a year, Sales said.


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