Trail connecting Morrison with nearby parks in the works

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By Deborah Swearingen

The Colorado Mountain Bike Association is working with the town of Morrison, Jefferson County Open Space and Denver Mountain Parks to find a way to connect commercial downtown Morrison to existing trails in Red Rocks and Matthews/Winters Park.

The project is in the preliminary phase, and if approved, wouldn’t be complete for approximately two years. If approved, however, the multi-use trail would be built from the town of Morrison to Dinosaur Ridge and Red Rocks entrance two along Highway 93 with the potential to extend further to Matthews/Winters.

The idea, which has been presented to Jeffco Open Space through its recent proposal process, is representative of COMBA’s mission: to create and connect trails for mountain bikers.

“The larger vision is to connect all these great trails with other trails so we keep cyclists off the roads, reduce parking demands,” said Tom Furgason with COMBA.

Upon discussion with the Morrison Town Board and Planning Commission, the third alternative in the trail feasibility study is the preferred choice of most. This would entail securing 12-foot trail easements from Bear Creek Avenue through the improved Mill Street corridor to Highway 93. It would require new trail construction on land owned by Denver Mountain Parks and Jeffco Open Space.

Other alternatives include extending the Trade Post Trail in Red Rocks to connect with existing trail infrastructure on the west side of the town of Morrison and formalizing the trail access behind Red Rocks Elementary School through the school property to Highway 74. The town of Morrison decided the latter option shouldn’t be considered as it might pose safety problems at the school.

“We fully respect town of Morrison’s opinion on this,” Furgason said, noting that third option is COMBA’s preference, too, since it’s the one that would allow for mountain biking.

Ultimately, Morrison Mayor Sean Forey said that the town would support whatever trail is chosen by Jefferson County, calling it “good for the town,” because it completes a trail connection, which is a town goal.

Contact reporter Deborah Swearingen at dswearingen@evergreenco.com or 303-350-1042. Follow her on Twitter @djswearingen.