(Carbondale, CO) The first leg of a bike trail that may someday link the towns of Carbondale, Redstone and Crested Butte is nearing completion. The public is invited to celebrate the official opening of the 5.2 mile stretch of the Crystal Valley Trail at a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, July 23rd at 1:30 pm at the Roaring Fork High School parking lot.
The bike path up the Crystal River Valley is a dream-come-true for trail advocates. The Scenic Byway along Highway 133 is a popular bike ride that has become more and more dangerous as automobile traffic has increased over the years.
“We’re certain the new bike trail will be popular among locals and visitors alike,” said Open Space and Trails Recreation Planner, Lindsey Utter. “For many, the trail will make it possible for them to ride up the Crystal River Valley for the very first time.”
The asphalt trail is 8 feet wide with an additional 4 feet of soft surface for equestrians and other users along the majority of the trail where there is enough space.
Pitkin County Open Space and Trails funded the lion’s share, $1.75 million, of the $3 million project with help from a $1 million Great Outdoors Colorado Grant. Garfield County contributed $295,000, the Town of Carbondale $195,000, the State Trails Program/Colorado State Parks chipped in $190,000, the Colorado Department of Transportation $85,000, the Jelinek family contributed $50,000 in addition to a $5,000 grant from the Aspen Skiing Company’s Environment Foundation.
“This project is the first phase of a trail vision that will connect Carbondale to Redstone, and is the northernmost component of a 73 mile Crested Butte to Carbondale trail,” said Pitkin County Open Space and Trails Director, Dale Will. “The political groundwork for this ambitious vision now includes intergovernmental agreements uniting the Town of Carbondale, and Garfield, Pitkin, and Gunnison Counties,” Will said.
Gunnison County has already completed a section of the trail from the summit of Kebler Pass toward Crested Butte.