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County pledges $22M in funding toward completion of Eagle Valley Trail by 2025
Contact: Kevin Sharkey, Trails Program Manager, 970-328-3523, kevin.sharkey@eaglecounty.us

Eagle County’s Board of County Commissioners has made completing the Eagle Valley Trail a top priority, and is putting significant funding behind the effort. In August 2021, Eagle County sold Certificates of Participation (COP) with a low interest rate of 1.98% to secure an additional $22 million toward the completion of the Eagle Valley Trail. This investment is intended to jump start and energize fundraising efforts to raise the additional estimated $2 million needed to complete the remaining trail segments.

The Eagle Valley Trail is the paved trail that extends from the top of Vail Pass to Glenwood Canyon, with a spur trail planned from Dowd Junction to Minturn. The $22 million funding allocation will allow the county’s ECO Trails Department, which oversees design, construction and maintenance of the Eagle Valley Trail, to design and construct the trail sections between EagleVail and Dowd Junction, Dowd Junction and Minturn, and Duck Pond Open Space and Dotsero over the next three years. The Trails Committee intends to raise the additional funds needed to complete the remaining Horn Ranch to Edwards section. Overall, the county is striving to have the entire trail completed by 2025.

“We will need the entire community’s support to finish the Eagle Valley Trail,” said Dick Cleveland, chair of the ECO Trails Committee. “The last section between Horn Ranch and Edwards is among the most complicated, with easements needed, constraints such as Highway 6, the Eagle River and the railroad, and many other considerations. We’ll be seeking funding for that portion from local fundraising to grants, any opportunities we can find.”

Economic vitality, improved recreation, connectivity

County officials believe the Eagle Valley Trail project will promote sustainability, economic vitality and an improved recreational experience for both residents and visitors. Here’s what the Board of County Commissioners has to say about prioritizing completion of the Eagle Valley Trail:

Commissioner Jeanne McQueeney: “The Eagle Valley Trail is an incredible community asset, used by both local residents and visitors. We are committed to finishing the remaining sections of the trail by 2025, to give trail users an uninterrupted trail experience from the top of Vail Pass to the start of Glenwood Canyon. While many people use all or portions of the trail for recreation, it’s also a valuable route for commuters and people choosing alternative transportation throughout the valley.”
Commissioner Kathy Chandler Henry: “This project will not only help to complete the Eagle Valley Trail within Eagle County by 2025, it will ultimately connect our section of the paved trail system that runs from Breckenridge to Aspen. This paved trail spans four counties and connects some of Colorado’s most popular resort communities, providing incredible high country cycling, all without having to ride on roads.”

Commissioner Matt Scherr: “We felt it was time to complete the trail as more residents and visitors utilize the trail for personal commuting and recreation. The outdoor recreation industry is an important part of our economy in the region and in Eagle County, and this will promote not only personal health and well-being, but also zero-emission traveling and the recreation economic sector.”

The latest section of trail to be completed was the 6.7-mile section connecting the Town of Eagle with Horn Ranch Open Space, which was opened in 2019. That section of trail, which required a bridge over the Eagle River, cost roughly $7 million and was aided by a grant from Great Outdoors Colorado.

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