by Terri Wiebold
The vast open spaces around Douglas County are one of its biggest assets, and the ability to walk along trails throughout the landscape is something Castle Pines North (CPN) residents particularly enjoy. The completion of the section of the East-West regional trail connecting Coyote Ridge Park to Rocky Heights Middle School this past summer was just one of many sections Douglas County Parks and Trails plans to build for the trail.
“Next year will be an awesome year for trails,” said Douglas County Parks and Trail Director, Ron Benson. “We are going to get a lot of people connected with this continuous trail.”
According to Benson, the next phase of the project is scheduled to be three separate sections, totaling approximately 12 to 14 miles of four- to six-foot wide soft-surface trail. Benson anticipates construction of all three sections simultaneously in early summer 2008, with a goal of completion by fall 2008.
Two sections of the proposed trail extend off the existing trail from Coyote Ridge Park to Rocky Heights Middle school that was completed in July. One extends north from the northern underpass at Monarch Boulevard of the existing trail and heads east to Bluffs Regional Park. Another extends west from the southern underpass at Monarch Boulevard, connecting with the pocket park at Daniels Gate, and continues to Griggs Road. The third section picks up the existing East-West Regional trail between Griggs Road and Mountain Ridge High School and extends west and then north, parallelling Sante Fe Drive and connecting to an existing local trail that leads to Redstone Park.
Douglas County is currently in the process of applying for a $1 million grant through Great Outdoors Colorado to help fund the project. Partners in the project include the Highlands Ranch Metro District (who will contribute $100,000 to the project), Shea Homes, and the CPN Metro District.
“The new sections to the trail will provide many different access points for residents in the surrounding communities to utilize the regional trail, ” said Benson.