Move over hikers, JeffCo to designate two trails for bikes only

Section of Longhorn, Dakota Ridge trails
Posted at 8:12 AM, Jun 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-05 10:15:57-04

GOLDEN, Colo. -- We're pretty good at sharing our trails in Colorado. But now Jefferson County Open Space is testing a concept that many mountain bikers have long pushed for: bike-only trails.

According to a statement from the county, the one-year pilot program will evaluate the challenges and benefits associated with designated-use trails. 

Starting June 18, a .09-mile section of Longhorn trail at White Ranch Park will be designated bike-only. In August, a two-mile section of the Dakota Ridge trail at Matthews/Winters Park will be designated as bike-only.

Mountain bikers tell Denver7 they understand that hikers may be a little upset, especially about the Longhorn trail, which is popular with both hikers and bikers. But many also believe it could be safer to separate the groups.

"It's a great trail, it's fast, it's curvy, it's rocky and with the bike technology today you can take it at pretty high speeds. I think its great that we know there’s not going to be hikers on the way down," said Eric Johnson, a mountain biker.

However, one hiker who posted on the Jefferson County Open Space Facebook page wished the county would limit the bike-only trails to weekends.

The county says a 2011 citizen survey showed 58 percent of respondents were in favor of designating trails for a single type of use.

During the pilot program, Jefferson County Open Space will collect data, conduct visitor surveys, and solicit feedback on the visitor experience in these areas. The pilot program will help inform the approach to management of designated use and multi-use trails.