(Updated 9/23 at 3:49 p.m. with additional information on E-bikes)
Durango, CO: The moment we’ve all been waiting for is finally here: On Sept. 28 at 4 p.m. six new trails totaling roughly seven miles on Durango Mesa Park will be opened to the public. These new trails include three directional downhill-only mountain bike trails for beginners, intermediates and up, as well as three multi-use, multi-directional trails to connect riders and hikers to the Horse Gulch trailhead and to the Telegraph Trail system.
The community is invited to share in the celebration of the trail openings by joining the ribbon cutting ceremony at the Horse Gulch Trailhead parking lot. After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, the community is invited to join guided rides and hikes to The Hub on Durango Mesa Park to cut the ribbons on the trails and ride back to the trailhead. Plan to join members of the Durango Mesa Park Foundation, the City of Durango and trail construction crews for an after-ride celebration at Anarchy Brewing with live music, food and drinks.
"It is exciting to be celebrating both the opening of the demonstration trails and the completion of a first big step towards this larger vision of Durango Mesa Park," said Interim Director of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department Scott McClain.
The trailhead parking lot is temporarily closed, so please park on nearby streets or walk or ride to the event. There will be no vehicular access from State Highway 3 to Durango Mesa Park for the event.
“We are thrilled to be able to open a portion of Durango Mesa Park to the public,” said Moira Compton, Executive Director of Durango Mesa Park Foundation. “We certainly couldn’t have gotten here without the vision of Marc Katz and his family for purchasing Durango Mesa Park and his vision for creating this incredible public park. These trails are unlike anything we’ve seen in Durango and are going to open up a new style of riding for trail users of all ages and abilities. They also set the stage for the vision of what will be Colorado’s largest municipal bike park, as well as the overall vision for Durango Mesa Park.”
Access to Durango Mesa Park after the grand opening will remain limited to hikers and riders via the Mesa Connector trail from the Horse Gulch trailhead. The rest of the Mesa remains private property so please respect all signs and stick to the trails and The Hub. Downhill-only trails are new in this area, so follow all posted rules and regulations. “This will help prevent people heading up a downhill-only trail,” said Gaige Sippy, venue manager for the foundation. Dogs must be on-leash on all multi-directional and multi-use trails. Dogs are not allowed on the downhill-only directional trails. Class 1 E-bikes (those that require pedal assistance with a maximum speed of 20 mph) are allowed on the new Durango Mesa Park trails, but not on City or BLM trails around the Mesa, such as the Telegraph and Horse Gulch trail networks. The only exception will be that Class 1 E-bikes will be allowed on the Telegraph connector temporarily to access the new trails at Durango Mesa Park. Signage will be in place to show where E-bikes are allowed, and event organizers will clarify the rules at the ribbon-cutting.
Durango resident Marc Katz purchased the property now known as Durango Mesa Park in 2015. The City of Durango and La Plata County conducted master and area planning for the park from 2017-2019. In 2019, the Katz Family transferred 1,900 acres to the Durango Mesa Park Foundation with the intent of developing a cultural and recreation hub for the community, as well as conserving hundreds of acres for expanded open space. Following the property transfer, the foundation led community engagement activities to develop the vision for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create an outdoor and recreational legacy for generations to come. As currently envisioned, approximately 800 acres of the property will be developed for active and passive recreation, arts and culture, education and events for City and County residents and visitors to the area.
Following a unanimous vote by City Council members on Sept. 19, Durango Mesa Park was officially annexed into the City of Durango.
“Durango Mesa Park would not be possible without the Katz family’s gift and the unique public-private partnership of the Durango Mesa Park Foundation, the City of Durango, and La Plata County,” said Jose Madrigal, city manager.
For more information: durangomesapark.org.
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