County Commissioner Melanie Worley and other community leaders cut the ribbon officially opening the new trail extension. (photo by Jeremy Gamble)
by Terri Wiebold
The possibility that Douglas County residents might someday be able to travel from Parker to Durango via a trail system is one step closer to reality, according to Douglas County Parks and Trail Director, Ron Benson.
On Saturday, June 23, bikers, hikers, County employees, and even a few Alpacas (cousins to the Lama) gathered to celebrate the grand opening of the “Monarch Section” of the East West Regional Trail, which extends from Coyote Ridge Park in Castle Pines North to Rocky Heights Middle School in Highlands Ranch.
County Commissioner Melanie Worley, along with Castle Pines North (CPN) community leaders (including CPN Master Association President Maureen Shul and CPN Metro District Vice President Bruce Thompson), cut the ribbon to officially open the East-West Regional Trail extension.
“In Douglas County, we believe strongly in partnerships,” said Commissioner Worley. Benson echoed Worley’s sentiments by adding that, without intergovernmental cooperation, completion of this project would not have been accomplished.
“It was an interesting three miles, legally,” said Benson, “but with the help of [CPN resident] Ron Clark, we got it done.” Benson also acknowledged Shea Homes for initially donating the land, and the Highlands Ranch Community Association for granting an additional portion of land that allowed access to Coyote Ridge Park.
The new trail bypasses the controversial private trail that is gated and allows access to Highlands Ranch residents only. The Highland’s Ranch trail is still off limits to CPN residents.
CPN residents Dave and Susan Joseph trekked the almost three mile soft-surface trail on opening day. “It was a really nice trail and it was not as difficult as we thought it would be,” said the couple.
To learn more about the new trail, contact Douglas County Parks and Trails at 303-660-7495 or e-mail Parks&Trails@douglas.co.us. To view a map of the new trail extension, visit www.cpnhoa.org.