An interlinking trail system has been a vision for Hayden for more than five years, but lately it seems the plans were all talk and no walk.
But the project is moving ahead quickly now; the soft surface trail will be put in this summer at Dry Creek Park. The location is a change from original plans to put the path alongside Dry Creek, Mayor Chuck Grobe said. Construction of sidewalks along much-traveled roadways will fill the void from not having the trail built along the creek, he said.
Dry Creek Park is a planned multi-use facility south of the Routt County Fairgrounds that will include soccer and baseball fields. Construction of the trail, along with the park's parking lot and grading for the soccer field, should be completed by the end of the fall, Grobe said.
The town received a $68,700 grant from Great Outdoors Colorado in April 2002 to construct a soft-surface walking and biking path along Dry Creek from the Hayden Town Park at Third Street to Jefferson Avenue near the Hayden Post Office. Conditions of the original grant required that the trail be completed by the end of 2002, but the town filed for an extension until the end of 2003 and another until the end of 2004.
Grobe said the town filed for the extensions because it had to change the location of the trail.
"We found out that we would have to buy wetlands, and the cost was too much," Grobe said. "The land cost like $24,000 and the Town Board did not feel comfortable spending that much for wetlands."
Plans for building the trail at Dry Creek Park have not been finalized by the Town Board but it is committed to keeping the project in its most recent timeframe.
"We want to make sure we don't lose that (grant) money," Grobe said. "The trail thing started a long time ago. It took on a life of its own, and now we're just trying to refocus."
Along with the GOCo grant for the trail, Hayden will receive funding from the Colorado Department of Transportation to build sidewalks.
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