The development of the Big Easy Recreation Area will include a permanent restroom, among other new amenities like picnic areas, and a creek-side boardwalk. A permanent restroom has long been needed here and will be a great amenity when the area opens later this year.
You might have noticed the recent warm weather has brought about a flurry of construction activity along US Hwy 6 in Clear Creek Canyon. This is all part of another 3/4 mile stretch of the Peaks to Plains Trail and the development of the Big Easy Recreation Area which will include parking for over 50 cars, a permanent restroom, multiple river access points, picnic areas and a new bridge across the creek. To accommodate the new parking lot, and allow for safer creek-side access, US Hwy 6 needs to be moved to the north. With a planned opening date of early September, the crews are working diligently to physically move the highway to the north of its current location near mile marker 262.5.
Please be patient with on-going lane closures and delays as a result of this work (they will continue off an on for the next month or so). Rest assured the new amenities and recreation area will be worth the wait and loved by visitors for years to come.
Lots of action at the Big Easy helping us meet our goal of opening early fall…
Repairs to the segment of the Peaks to Plains Trail in Clear Creek County are complete. The entire 3-mile stretch of trail is now open through both Jefferson and Clear Creek Counties!
The Welch Ditch is located just west of downtown Golden in Clear Creek Canyon. An historic landmark in Jefferson County, the irrigation system was constructed in the 1870’s and primary access has been closed since 2013 due to structural damage and rock falls. Jeffco Open Space is currently undergoing the process to convert the Welch Ditch into a trail that will connect the Peaks to Plains Trail with the Chimney Gulch Trail. Planning and design will begin in 2017.
Jefferson County Open Space hosted a community meeting on January 18 at the Golden Community Center to discuss the Master Plan for the Mouth of Clear Creek Canyon Park. Included in the presentation was information about the overall vision of Clear Creek Canyon Park and the progress of the Peaks to Plains Trail. The conversation centered around the area just west of downtown Golden and planned improvements for Welch Ditch Trail, Chimney Gulch Trail, Grant Terry Park and additional access/trailhead connections.
Clear Creek Canyon Park Mouth of the Canyon Fact Sheet
Governor Hickenlooper, members of his cabinet and both County’s Commissioners toured the 3-mile Clear Creek Canyon segment of the Peaks to Plains Trail project in September, 2016. This trail has been designated as one of the Governor’s 16 Priority Trail Projects in 2016 as part of the Colorado the Beautiful Initiative and we were proud to show it off to such a prestigious group.
It was cold, snowy and icy in Clear Creek Canyon this morning, but that doesn’t mean construction stops.
Jeffco Open Space (JCOS) is the proud recipient of one of seven Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) Region 1 Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) 2016 grants. JCOS will use the $850,650 to complete approximately 0.5 miles of the Peaks to Plains Trail at the Mouth of Clear Creek Canyon starting at the parking lot just east of Tunnel 1 and heading west around the oxbow. This grant aligns with CDOT TAP priorities in providing safe, alternative transportation for pedestrians and cyclists while increasing motorist safety along US Highway 6.
The project and proposal “had the benefit of being on one of the Governor’s priority trails but the project’s safety improvements, tourism benefit and the amount of financial support and planning that has been done on the corridor helped elevate the project,” stated Region 1 Planning Program Manager, Danny Herrmann. “We’re excited to work with the County on implementing this segment of the trail.”
The Peaks to Plains Trail at the Mouth of Clear Creek Canyon is a 1.75-mile segment of multi-use trail (combining the GOCO Connect grant scope of 1.25-miles and the CDOT TAP grant scope of .5 miles) leading recreationalists away from US Highway 6 and into a scenic area separated from motorists. JCOS estimates completion of this section in 2020.
Jeffco Open Space: Click to enlarge map for scope of project
In addition, Clear Creek County Open Space was awarded their CDOT TAP application request of $480,000 for the continuation of the Peaks to Plains Trail further westward following the alignment of the abandoned Colorado and Southern narrow gauge railway corridor. The Peaks to Plains Trail: Clear Creek Greenway Canyon Segment, extends from the parking lot just west of Tunnel 5, where the GOCO River Corridor Initiative funded trail project ends, upstream around Tunnel 6 and beyond.
Clear Creek County: Click to enlarge map for scope of project