Fall River Trail Extension

Update 01.27.2020

The Town is currently advertising for construction bids for approximately a mile of the 2.5 mile Fall River Trail Extension project. Bids will be opened on February 13, 2020 and anticipates construction starting in the Spring with completion in the Fall of 2020.

The stretch of Fall River Trail that is out for bid will utilize grant funding from the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and CPW Recreational Trails Program (RTP). The Estes Valley Recreation and Parks District (EVRPD) has been a key partner and has contributed $700,000 toward construction of Fall River Trail. This project will also construct a trail segment into Rocky Mountain National Park at Aspenglen Campground, which is funded through the Rocky Mountain Conservancy. Town funds for trail construction come from the 1A Trails Expansion Fund and Larimer County Open Space Fund.

For this project, the selected contractor will construct a colored concrete trail, as well as 2 pedestrian bridges and 3 retaining walls, along Fish Hatchery Road past the Historic Stanley Hydroplant and into Aspenglen campground. The Town continues to seek funding to construct the remainder of trail along Fall River Road, from the current endpoint near Sleepy Hollow Court.

Update 05.30.19

On March 28 the Town hosted an open house for the Fall River Trail project. Thirty-five people attended this event. The meeting started with a brief presentation by Project Manager Ryan Barr who provided a project overview and status. It then opened to questions, followed by individual discussions on trail sections with enlarged maps displayed. The participants were interested in the anticipated timing for construction and trail completion. Some questions were specific to property impact. The Town and Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) staff were available to answer questions from residents.

In attendance were four representatives from RMNP including Cheri Yost, Planner; Marina Connors, Engineer; Ian Brighton, Facility Manager; and Doug Parker, Trails Crew Leader. The grant writer for the Town, Sarah Pita, was also present and the Town was represented by Public Works Director Greg Muhonen and Engineering Manager David Hook.

Update 03.11.19

The Town of Estes Park will host an open house on the Fall River Trail Extension project Thursday, March 28 from 4 to 6p.m. at the United Methodist Church, 1509 Fish Hatchery Rd. The meeting will include an overview presentation at 4:15 p.m. followed by breakout sessions for the various segments of the trail, which are in various stages of planning and pre-construction. Residents, property owners and businesses along Fall River and Fish Hatchery Road, and anyone interested in receiving information on the status of this project is encouraged to attend. The 4:15 p.m. presentation will cover construction grant awards, schedule of upcoming construction for at least one segment of the trail, design updates, and proposed long-range schedule to complete the project.

Trail design is complete with the exception of a few specific alternative alignment areas, and the Town has made significant efforts to identify funding sources for construction. Partners helping to complete this project include the Estes Valley Recreation and Park District, Rocky Mountain National Park, Rocky Mountain Conservancy, the business community, outdoor recreation groups, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and many others.

The Town of Estes Park intends to construct a ten-foot wide 2.5-mile concrete extension that will connect the existing trail that ends west of Sleepy Hollow Court along Fall River and Fish Hatchery Roads to Rocky Mountain National Park at the Aspenglen Campground. This would be the first multimodal trail that connects downtown Estes Park with Rocky Mountain National Park.

Please continue to check this webpage for updates, or for more information contact the Town of Estes Park Public Works Department at 970-577-3587 or publicworks@estes.org.

In 2018, the Town of Estes Park received a grant from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) in the amount of $400,000 for the 2019 construction of the Fall River Trail extension. In addition to funds from the Estes Valley Recreation and Park District, the Town's Ballot Issue 1A sales tax and Larimer County Open Space fund, this grant funding will fund a portion of Fall River Trail from David Drive down Fish Hatchery Road to the Rocky Mountain National Park boundary. Construction of this portion of the trail is expected to occur in summer/fall 2019. The trail will be built within the public right of way. 

The trail design is shown below. Trail alignments and design for the Fall River Trail have been completed with funds awarded through the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks Program of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The Fall River Trail has been built in phases (2002 through 2010) and currently connects downtown Estes Park to the Fall River corridor near the Black Hawk Lodge. As funding is secured, the Town of Estes Park will construct the remainder of the multiuse trail, which will ultimately travel about 4.5 miles from downtown to Rocky Mountain National Park. For more information on the project, call the Public Works Department at 970-577-3587.


Click on graphic for full-size PDF of this drawing.