Chapter Two:

Detailed
Planning Considerations

Study Area
The study corridor runs the length of the Colorado River through Garfield County from the confluence with the Roaring Fork River in Glenwood Springs to the Mesa County Line southwest of Parachute-approximately 50 miles in length. The corridor passes through, or close to, six local jurisdictions (Glenwood Springs, New Castle, Silt, Rifle, Parachute and Garfield County). It also runs close to, or abuts, a number of large public land parcels (Garfield Creek State Wildlife Area, Bureau of Land Management Lands, Naval Oil Shale Reserve, White River National Forest and CDOT right of way). In addition to the public lands, the corridor passes through numerous privately held parcels of varying sizes and uses.
 

Table 2.1 Summary of Property Owners, Jurisdictions and Stakeholders

Citizens, Land Owners and Businesses

          Private Land Owners

          Residents

          Businesses

          Farmers and Ranchers

          Industries

          Ditches & Utilities

          Mining Companies

          Energy Firms

          Railroads

Local Government Jurisdictions

          Glenwood Springs

          New Castle

          Silt

          Rifle

          Parachute

          Battlement Mesa

          Garfield County

          School Districts

          De Beque

State and Federal Land Owners

          White River Nat. Forest

          Bur of Land Mgt.

          Naval Oil Reserve

          State Parks

          Div of Wildlife

          CDOT

Agencies and Organizations

          Col. Water Conserv. Bd.

          Corps of Engrs.

          Outfitters/Guides

          Water Conserv. Dist.

          Trout Unlimited

          Rec. Groups

          Ducks Unlimited

          Environmental Groups

           

As of the publication date of this plan, LoVa has assembled and maintains a comprehensive database of jurisdictions, public agencies, property owners, businesses, recreational and environmental groups and other stakeholders in the process. The database contains location, contacts, and information about the interests, aspirations and concerns of those that participated in the planning process.

Planning Factors and Benefits

Planning factors are discussed below and documented and updated on a GIS (Geographic Information System) digital mapping system maintained by LOVA Trails and at the Garfield County Information Technology Department.

Benefit Objectives
The following plan benefit objectives were considered in evaluating planning factors (see also Guiding Principles and Definitions in the Introduction).


Trails and Recreation

  • Multi-Use Trail (walking, equestrian, bicycling, wheelchair, roller-skating, running

  • Loop Trails and Connections (multi-use and pedestrian)

  • On-Street Bicycling

  • Access Points and Way Stations

  • Watercraft Recreation

  • Fishing and Hunting

  • Interpretation/Education/Volunteerism

     


Interface with Developed Lands

  • Agriculture and Ranching

  • Industrial and Mineral Extraction

  • Buffer Areas

Resource Stewardship

  • Open Space, Views and Vistas

  • Wildlife Habitat and Movement, Plant Life

  • River, Streams and Wetlands

  • Agriculture and Ranching
     

Key Determining Factors

Along with the benefit objectives there are a number of geographical, cultural and jurisdictional considerations that shape the planning process. Taken together, these factors provide a "filter" for realistic planning. This process helps identify potential trail passageways and barriers as well as other conservation opportunities. While there are literally hundreds of potential planning factors, the following are key considerations:

  • Desired Routes, Access Points and Potential Non-Motorized Travel Patterns-Considers likely routes of travel, trip origin and destination points, potential way-stations (such as convenience stores), trail use conditions such as grades and climate factors and logical connections for trails and bike routes.
     

  • Geophysical Characteristics-Includes topography, landforms, waterways, lakes, ponds, aquifer recharge areas, soils and vegetation characteristics that determine opportunities and constraints for trail development and other benefit objectives.
     

  • Alignment Opportunity-Offers strong potential for trail routing or on-street bicycle route.
     

  • Land Ownership-Includes privately and publicly held parcels. Ownership is key in determining potential rights-of-way for trails and locations for trailheads and access points. Much of the corridor is in private ownership though the bulk of the land abutting the river is in large parcels or in highway or rail right of way. Potential conflicts such as trail use with livestock are considered.
     

  • Development Patterns and Planning-Addresses current, anticipated and planned patterns of land development such as new subdivisions, industrial and commercial uses with an emphasis on areas subject to development pressure.
     

  • Floodplains-Includes the 100-year floodplain and floodway channel of the river.
     

  • Habitat-Includes lands that have been identified as having value for plants and animals.
     

  • Hunting and Fishing Areas-Existing and potential areas of interest to anglers and hunters that may conflict with trail use.
     

  • Highways, Roads and Streets-Offers opportunities both for trail and on-street bike routes as well as potential barriers to trail traffic.
     

  • Railroads, Utilities and Ditches-Includes active, abandoned and potential future routes that may offer either opportunities or constraints to trail and recreational uses.
     

  • Mineral Deposits, Gas and Oil Fields-Includes existing, planned and potential mineral extraction areas for gravel, coal, oil and gas or other resources.
     

  • Scenic Resources-Views and vistas important to the character of the planning corridor
     

  • Historic, Archaeological & Cultural Resources-Includes points of special interest, interpretive/educational opportunities, and local cultural value. Also includes schools and outdoor school facilities such as playfields and nature study areas.
     

  • Existing Recreational Amenities-Includes existing and currently planned parks, open spaces, trails, recreation centers and golf courses.
     

  • Climate-Considers both regional and microclimate factors such as temperature, snowfall, rainfall, sun and shade.
     

  • Sensitive Environments-Includes wildfire zones, watersheds, slope hazards, flashflood hazards, rapids, unsuitable soils, contaminated areas, high security areas, noisy areas, potential crime areas, and other site sensitive considerations for trail and recreational planning.
     

  • Other Factors-Includes other site-specific identified opportunities and constraints.

Overall Corridor Considerations
Elevation and Grades
Grades along the river corridor tend to be gentle with elevation dropping steadily from a high of 5700' in Glenwood Springs to 5100' in Parachute with an average grade of less than percent that is barely perceptible in most places. Conversely, terrain ascends relatively steeply to the north and south except for the tributary creek corridors.

River Character
The study corridor has significant acreage in the 100-year floodplain. Between Glenwood Springs and New Castle, the floodplain is largely channelized and contained by I-70 and the Union Pacific Railroad corridor. West of New Castle the floodplain is wide (up to a mile in places) and the channel retains much of its natural meandering character. Floodplain land is significant because of its values for wildlife, its lush riparian vegetation, fishing and waterfowl hunting opportunities, water table recharge, wetland values, gravel extraction and a limited potential for urban development. It is considered valuable for agricultural uses, parks and trails use, hunting, and conservation purposes. Trails planning, however, should avoid hydrologically sensitive areas where the river channel is likely to move and wash out the trail or related improvements.

Water quality and watershed health along the entire length of the river is rated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Index of Watershed Indicators" as "better quality" with "low vulnerability" except for risks from population growth and agricultural activities. The river is rated by the Colorado Department of Heath and Environment as a Recreational Class IA Stream, meaning suitable for boating and full body contact. There is, however, some concern about build-ups of selenium and iron in the river. Maintaining the Class IA standard for the tributary streams has also been a topic of review and discussion.

From Glenwood Springs to just above New Castle, the river is largely contained by steep canyon walls, I-70 and the Union Pacific mainline. Annual mean stream flow runs between 1600 and 6400 cubic feet per second. The river gradient drops approximately 19 feet per mile in this reach and is considered intermediate-advanced level for boating due to several short rapids-the most difficult of which is at South Canyon Creek. Boating may be less difficult during lower water levels. A number of commercial rafting companies operate along this stretch of the river. This portion of the river supports a trout fishery (Glenwood Springs To Rifle).

Just above New Castle, the river becomes gentle and meanders through a wide valley before entering DeBeque Canyon downstream of the Garfield County line. The river morphology has created a number of islands with stands of cottonwood, willow and box elder. Paddling conditions are considered mild and suitable for open canoes with the challenges of some ledges and riffle areas, possible deadfalls and other human-made and natural obstructions. The reach below Rifle is a "warm water fishery".

Habitat
By and large, the important habitat lands along the corridor are one and the same as the floodplain. While no federally listed threatened or endangered species have been identified, the corridor itself is significant because of its habitat richness. There is concern about the potential adverse impacts of the growing encroachment of human activities.

Planning Segments

For planning purposes the study corridor is divided into three segments. These segments represent changes in the physical character of the corridor as well as logical reaches for trail planning and development.

Segment 1: The "Canyon" (Glenwood Springs to New Castle, Length--13 Miles)
The "Canyon" segment of the corridor extends from the confluence with the Roaring Fork River in Glenwood Springs to the opening in the Grand Hogback just west of New Castle. A relatively narrow canyon with steep walls characterizes most of this area. With the exception of the urban areas of Glenwood Springs (pop. 7,700) and New Castle (pop. 1,984), the rights-of-way of the Union Pacific Railroad, I-70 and Highway 6 occupy most of the usable land in the eastern portion of the corridor. The western end of this segment has meadowlands along the river much of which is in agricultural use but slated for residential development on current planning maps. Major tributary creeks include: Elk, Oasis, Mitchell, South Canyon and Canyon Creeks. A major network of national forest trails intersects the river corridor via the Canyon Creek corridor. The grade of the potential trail corridor is gentle. The paddling level of this reach is rated as intermediate (advanced during high flows). The table below summarizes key planning factors.
 

Planning Factor

Commentary

Desired Route/Access Points

Potential to continue existing Glenwood Canyon and Roaring Fork trails. Potential commuter use between Glenwood and New Castle.  Access to South Canyon and other destinations. Need to provide access points at Glenwood Springs, South Canyon, Canyon Creek and New Castle. Potential link to Riverside School via Elk Creek.

Geophysical

Gentle grade, stable river channel.

Alignment Opportunity

Space on CDOT ROW along north bank of River from West Glenwood to Canyon Creek. Railroad occupies south bank from Glenwood to Canyon Creek. On-street potential along Route 6 from New Castle to Canyon Creek. Potential to run trail along south bank of river from Canyon Creek to Riverbend Subdivision then use CR 335.

Land Ownership

CDOT ROW dominates much of north bank with UPRR and private ownerships along much of south.

Development Patterns

Riverbend area is slated for more residential growth.

Floodplains

Mostly confined to river channel except at several small areas along south bank south of New Castle.

Habitat

No highly significant areas along river in this reach though there may be some bald & golden eagle wintering and blue heron nesting.

Hunting/Fishing

Fishing potential, including trout, in this reach of river, no hunting along river.

Highways and Roads

Potential on-street routes using Hwy 6 and CR 335. I-70 barrier to river access.

Railroads, Utilities

UPRR line along riverbank including passenger service. Gas pipeline along part of corridor.

Minerals, Oil, Gas

Potential coal mining south bank of river south of New Castle.

Scenic Resources

Canyon views, river views, forest fire restoration, ag. lands to west.

Historic/Cultural

Storm King firefighters memorial, wildfire interpretive potential.

Recreational Amenities

White water boating potential and hot springs at South Canyon. Planned parks and trails in New Castle including trail along south bank of river and active use Riverside Park along with other existing and proposed park and access points accessible from  Exit 105.

Climate

Canyon walls may provide shade in summer and icy spots in winter.

Sensitive Environments

Avoid potential privacy conflicts with Riverbend Subdivision residences. Wildfire hazards on adjacent uplands. Some areas of moderate soil hazard along corridor.

 

Conclusions:
There are several strong reasons for pursuing trail construction expeditiously in this segment. These include: significant population; the opportunity to link to and continue the existing Glenwood Canyon and Roaring Forks Trails; recreational destinations such as Two Rivers Park, South Canyon and Canyon Creek and parks in New Castle; potential use of CDOT right-of-way and potential CDOT funding. The canyon is scenic but there are adverse visual and noise impacts from the railroad and highway. There are opportunities to work with the Riverbend Subdivision and other landowners at the west end to accommodate trail and riverbank conservation. The plan should identify and enhance public access points/trailheads at New Castle (I-70 Exit 105), Canyon Creek (I-70 Exit 109), South Canyon (I-70 Exit 111) and in Glenwood Springs. The plan should consider trail/greenway links to New Castle and other destinations to the north via Elk and Canyon Creeks. At the eastern end, Two Rivers Park is a logical trailhead. The existing trail/sidewalk segment from the Park to West Glenwood along Devereaux Road needs upgrading to meet multi-use trail standards.
 

Segment 2: The "Valley" (New Castle to Rifle, Length-15 Miles)
The "Valley" segment of the corridor extends from the opening in the Grand Hogback (at Elk Creek in New Castle) to the confluence of Rifle Creek in Rifle. Along this stretch, the valley opens up and the river creates a broad flood plain up to a mile wide in places. The "Valley" offers broad views with snowcapped peaks in the distance, verdant farm and ranchlands. Silt (pop. 1750) and Rifle (pop. 5000) are the two major urban settlements. There are significant gravel resources in this segment and gravel mining and concrete production occur along the river. There are also numerous oil and gas wells within sight of the river. With its close access to Glenwood Springs and likely growth of energy and mineral extraction, this area will likely continue to grow and develop with increasing pressure on the river valley. Major tributary creeks and waterways include: Alkali, Garfield, Divide, Dry Hollow, Mamm, Dry, and Rifle Creeks. A number of irrigation ditches also run through the lands north of Rifle and Silt. The grade of the potential trail corridor is gentle. The paddling level of this reach is rated as "Class I and Class II"-the easiest levels. Fishing gradually changes from trout stream to warm water fishing. The accompanying tables below summarize key planning factors.

 

Planning Factor

Commentary

Desired Route/Access Points

New Castle, Silt and Rifle offer way stations. Can provide major access points via the tributary creeks into New Castle and Rifle and  can use existing tunnel at Silt.

Geophysical

Gentle grade, meandering river, unstable and blighted riverbanks and inundation in places.

Alignment Opportunity

Possible use of I-70 service road from Rifle (McLearn Orchard) to just west of Silt then use either right of way of CR 335 or service road on south side of I-70 from Silt to Garfield Creek (Rapid Subdivision), then I-70 right-of-way to New Castle where CR 335 can be accessed. Possible greenway and scenic on-street loop for bicyclists and motorists along CR’s  226, 237, and State Road 325, following Elk Creek, Rifle Creek and passing through Harvey Gap. Proposed developer-provided (Stillwater) trail along CR’s 331 and 346 and links to Silt via CR 311.

 Land Ownership

Colorado Division of Wildlife and U.S. BLM own parcels on south bank in Sections 7, 8 and 9 along CR 335. The remainder of corridor is almost entirely in private ownership except for road and highway rights-of -way. Much of the river corridor is in large parcels except for several subdivisions that front the river on the south side including  HB Manor, Rapids, Appletree, Riverbend and Stillwater.  Avoid conflicts with cattle hearding on roads.

Development Patterns

Urban expansion of both Silt and Rifle including large subdivision areas to the south of each community. Riverfront residential development appearing along riverbanks as well as potential for additional mining activities along river. “Stillwater” is a residential area developing to the south of the river with planned build out of 1000-1200 units over that next decade.

Floodplains

Floodplain widens out. CDOW recommends preserving the 100-year floodplain and allowing natural river meanders.

Habitat

Segments of the river and associated floodplains between Silt and Rifle shown as of “very high significance” in Colorado Natural Heritage Program’s Survey of Critical Biological Resources and as  “Potential Conservation Areas”.  Over-grazing has had an adverse impact on the habitat values including compromising wetland values. Significant wildlife values including active bald eagle roost sites, heron nesting near Silt and Rifle, mule deer, elk, fox, coyote and other small and large animals present, waterfowl and songbird activity. Open water and sloughs important for water birds. Globally rare species including razorback sucker,  roundtail chub, flannelmouth sucker and mountion whitefish which is rare in Colorado, have been identified below Parachute.

 

 

Hunting/Fishing

Trout fishery above Rifle, warm water fishery below. Duck hunting is popular in this reach—especially between Silt and Rifle where there are hunting leases and blinds.  Season is from mid-September to mid-January. Blinds are mostly along riverbank with some hunters floating in boats. Allow at least 150 yards of buffer to avoid flushing ducks and shotgun pellets. Also deer hunting areas.

Highways and Roads

Potential on-street routes using existing county roads, I-70 service roads, and I-70 right of way. (see “Alignment Opportunity” above.) Could also possibly use 6/24 corridor between Silt and Rifle.

Railroads, Utilities

Union Pacific Railroad runs adjacent to Hwy 6 from New Castle to Rifle north of the edge of the 100-year floodplain. North/South overhead high voltage line traverses valley and river west of Silt. East/west line runs length of valley 1 to 2 miles south of river.

Minerals, Oil, Gas

Coal resources on south bank of river just east of New Castle. Aggregate deposits almost the entire 100-year floodplain between New Castle and Rifle. Numerous existing and historic mining sites. Gas well sites in uplands south of river along entire length of the corridor.

Scenic Resources

Excellent views along the river corridor from the riverbanks. Good views of open valley agricultural lands and the White River and GMUG National Forests. Utility lines and continuing development may degrade views as area develops.

Recreational Amenities

Flat-water boating potential and fishing opportunities along river. Potential for connecting trails and recreation along tributaries that also link to parks and recreation facilities in Silt and Rifle.

Climate

Generally mild with less shading by canyon walls.

Sensitive Environments

Avoid adverse impacts and privacy concerns with riverside residents, ranchers and mineral companies on mostly on the south side of river. County identifies floodplain lands between Silt and Rifle as potential conservation lands facing a threat within 5 years. Moderate slope hazard along south bank west of New Castle. High water table constrains development in flood plain between New Castle and Rifle. Two areas identified as “Major Soil Hazard” zones along north bank in Rifle.

Other Factors

Silt plan recommends conservation\open space park and open space along river and on islands in river. Rifle plan recommends riverfront park and open conservation along river frontage. There are plans to build a new High School (Coal Ridge H.S.) between Silt and New Castle. Trail access to the High School is an important transportation consideration.

 

Conclusions:
This segment of the river offers important conservation values and opportunities to preserve both wildlife values and agriculture. The natural-appearing and wooded segments of the river are also an important part of the valley's visual heritage. The major tributary creeks-especially Elk and Rifle Creeks-are also important recreational and scenic resources worthy of preservation and enhancement. The potential to create a scenic loop linking New Castle, Harvey Gap, and Rifle Gap and Rifle should be considered.

Alignment of the trail system through this segment poses some challenges. Portions of the riverbank are inaccessible due to development and privacy concerns on the part of some residents. The more natural state of the river channel and flood plain also suggests the likelihood of bank erosion in places so it may be necessary and appropriate to set the trail back and away from the bank. Comments at public meetings indicate an interest in local river access and loop trails providing recreation opportunities for people in the immediate area. An interest in having a "braided" system of different types of trails such as mountain bike and equestrian routes has been suggested. Additionally segments of trail and riverfront public open spaces could be incorporated into future mixed-use development along the river corridor.

The system of service roads and local county roads in the area may present the opportunity in the interim for on-street bicycling although these corridors may have heavier traffic as the area develops. The on-street segments may be situated to link together local loop trails providing a modicum of through trail movement.

This reach of the river could be enhanced for novice paddling and water recreation, provided suitable access points can be established and security and privacy concerns on the part of landowners can be addressed. Conflicts with hunters during season should be addressed as well.

An important challenge will be to work with river valley property owners to conserve floodplain and riparian values in the face of increasing development, mineral extraction, energy resources development and other activities that will impact the river and adjacent lands.

Plans for New Castle, Silt and Rifle indicate riverfront parks, open spaces, and trail links along their respective reaches of riverfront. Additionally the proposed Stillwater development includes trails and trail access to the central part of Silt.


Segment 3: The Mesas (Rifle to Garfield County Line, Length-24 Miles )
The "Mesas" segment of the corridor extends from the confluence with Rifle Creek in Rifle to Parachute and then onto the Mesa County line near DeBeque. The river corridor remains wide with a number of islands. The terrain to the north is arid and steep with the striking Roan Cliffs creating a dramatic visual rampart. Parachute (pop. 700) and adjacent Battlement Mesa (pop. 1600) are the major population centers in this otherwise rural reach. The mountains and mesas (including Battlement Mesa) of the national forest define the southern edge of the corridor.

Like the reach upstream, there are also numerous oil and gas wells within sight of the river. Along the south bank of the river the terrain rises steeply and the land is in private ownership. County Roads 320 and 309 provide the primary public access on the south. These roads are scenic but there are steep hills and much of the road surface is rough suggesting use by all-terrain bikes only. The Union Pacific Railroad mainline runs between the river and I-70 most of the length of this reach. Major tributary creeks and waterways include: Rifle, Battlement, Beaver, Porcupine, Spruce, Cache, Cottonwood, Parachute, Dry, Pete, Bill, Spring, and Wallace Creeks, Monument and Kelly Gulches, as well as a number of dry washes draining into the Colorado River. Most of the Roan Cliff area to the north is part of the Naval Oil Shale Reserve. The paddling level of this reach is rated as "Class I and Class II"-the easiest levels. It is a warm water fishery. The following table summarizes key planning factors.
 

Planning Factor

Commentary

Desired Route/Access Points

Rifle and Parachute offer  way stations. There are major access points at Rifle, Parachute, where County Road 300 crosses the river and at DeBeque. Potential to link to old Parachute via Parachute Creek and I-70 Ped. Bridge.

Geophysical

Gentle grade, meandering river, unstable riverbanks and inundation in places. Steep terrain limits access on the south side.

Alignment Opportunity

Possible interim use of Hwy 6 where shoulders are wider west of Rifle as well as various gravel access roads (now in private hands along the river bank east of Rulison). Possible use of gravel service road between I-70 and the railroad west of Rulison and  Hwy 6 which has lower traffic volumes west of Parachute.

Land Ownership

With the exception of publicly owned riverfront land in Parachute most of the corridor is in large parcel private ownership used for ranching, oil and gas wells and gravel mining. River bottomland is leased for duck hunting.

Development Patterns

Most development is focused in the Parachute/Battlement Mesa area.

Floodplains

Floodplain remains wide along entire segment with high water/septic system constraints. CDOW recommends preserving the 100-year floodplain and allowing natural river meanders.

Habitat

High wildlife values along entire length. Bald eagle roosts here.

Hunting/Fishing

Warm water fishery, duck and deer hunting areas along river bottom.

Highways and Roads

I-70 and Hwy 6 run parallel to river on north side. No other major local or county roads on the north side.  Possible scenic bike route (all-terrain bikes only, due to gravel) on south side via CR’s 320/300.

Railroads, Utilities

Union Pacific Railroad runs adjacent to the north bank of river along the entire length of the corridor except for a short segment west of Rifle. There are a number of gas pipelines running along the north bank of the river between Parachute and Rifle. East/west line runs length of valley 1 to 2 miles south of river.

Minerals, Oil, Gas

Aggregate deposits (considered lower quality west of Rulison) in almost entire 100-year floodplain from Rifle to the County line. Numerous gas well sites along the entire length of the river corridor.

Scenic Resources

Excellent views along the river corridor from the riverbanks and from parallel roadways. Outstanding views of the Roan Cliffs. Continuing development and energy development may degrade views as area develops.

Historic/Cultural

Existing historic/interpretive displays/info centers Rifle & Parachute.

Recreational Amenities

Flatwater boating potential and fishing opportunities along river. Major park and open space areas along river in Rifle and Parachute.

Climate

Generally mild but may be hot in summer with less shading from tree cover and canyon walls.

Sensitive Environments

Avoid adverse impacts and privacy concerns with riverside residents, ranchers and mineral companies along river. Mudflow areas along south bank of the river west of Rifle.

Other Factors

Grand Valley High near river in Parachute. Interest on part of teachers to engage students in river stewardship. Attractive lake, pathway and riverfront park in Parachute. Parachute Town Hall and Library located close to river corridor.

Conclusions:
This segment of the river also offers important conservation values and opportunities to preserve wildlife values, agriculture and scenery. The dramatic Roan Cliffs to the north are a distinct visual feature. There may be opportunities to create significant trail corridors, loops and links to neighborhoods in both the Parachute and Rifle areas. There appears to be strong community support in those communities to complete riverfront park, open space and trail improvements.

Portions of Hwy 6, especially west of Parachute, may be suitable for interim bicycle use as well as segments of service roads parallel to I-70 between Parachute and Rifle. Unfortunately, the shoulder widths of Hwy 6 and the surfaces of the other service road segments are not consistently suitable.

Due to traffic volumes on Hwy 6 west of Rifle, it would be more desirable to build an off-street trail along the river corridor running west from Rifle. There is also serviceable gravel road running along the north bank of the river near the large bend in the river west of Rifle that could be an ideal trail corridor in the future if conflicts with gas well service vehicles can be addressed.


General Conclusions
The Colorado River corridor is a unique natural, scenic and cultural asset important in shaping the character of the valley. There are immediate opportunities to conserve open space and create riverfront parks and trail facilities in each of the cities along the corridor; as reflected in each community's comprehensive plans. There are also opportunities to conserve river habitat and rural open space along the river corridor between the communities. Preserving the character of these areas appears to be important to many landowners, farmers and ranchers as well as hunters and conservationists.

In the shorter term, there are opportunities to link communities with on-street bicycle and scenic routes, connecting trail segments in and near the cities. Longer term it may be possible to create a continuous non-motorized trail along the entire length of the river through Garfield County, but this must be done in such a way that does not adversely impact adjacent property owners, hunters and other existing riverfront interests. There are also a number of existing and potential access points conveniently located along the river for recreational access including fishing, boating and other uses. Fiscal impacts and potential financial benefits should be carefully considered in any trail corridor planning and development.

Finally, in the face of growing development pressures in the valley, there are opportunities to work with landowners, mining companies, hunters and public agencies to protect, restore and enhance the character of the river, its banks and associated riparian areas
 

 
 

 

 

KEY POINTS


50-Mile river corridor with varied land uses

Excellent climate and grades for recreational uses

A number of factors and local conditions filter the planning process

Garfield County population is 45,000 and growing at 4% per year

Floodplain lands are an
important resource along
the river

In the short term, there are opportunities to link
communities together with
on-street bicycle and scenic
routes connecting trail
segments in and near the cities

Opportunities to work with landowners, mining companies, hunters and public agencies to protect, restore and enhance the character of the corridor through cooperative effort
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LoVa

Lower Valley Trails Group

144 E. 3rd St.

Rifle, CO 81650

970-625-5658

Master Plan     About Us     Newsletter     Past & Future     Contact Us     Volunteer     Vision Statement     Home

Lower Valley Trails Group
144 E. 3rd St., Rifle, CO 81650  -  Phone: 970-625-5658
E-mail to:
LoVainfo@LoVaTrails.org   www.LoVaTrails.org