State distributes grants for trails

Two projects in Garfield County have received $200,000 apiece in state trails grants.
Colorado State Parks said Monday that Garfield County is receiving the money for its South Canyon trail project, and the city of Rifle for its Rifle Creek Trail.

The Rifle funding is for trail building between 16th and 13th streets. Aleks Briedis, the city’s recreation director, said the cost for the 0.3 mile of trail will be about $550,000, which includes the cost of building retaining walls along a creek.

The South Canyon project involves continuing construction of a trail that would allow bicyclists to ride through the canyon, which is west of Glenwood Springs, without having to travel along Interstate 70.

The $200,000 will go toward building a one-third-mile segment from the middle of South Canyon east toward Glenwood Springs. It also will help fund a parking lot for Colorado River boaters in South Canyon. The area attracts kayakers because of a seasonal big wave that forms in the river there.

The state on Monday announced nearly $1.8 million in 2009 trail grants. A $40,600 grant will go to the Bureau of Land Management Grand Junction Field Office for trail construction in the McInnis Canyons Natural Conservation Area.

Other area grants include funds for the Ouray Perimeter Trail, Ridgway trail system planning and for planning a route for a trail in the Davis Point area east of Silt. The nonprofit Lower Valley Trails Group is involved with the Silt and South Canyon trails,  which it envisions as part of a path eventually running the length of western Garfield County.

The grants are funded by Great Outdoors Colorado, the Federal Highway Administration Recreational Trails Program and the U.S. Interior Department Land and Water Conservation Fund.


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