The Clear Creek Greenway
"Imagine a major recreational trail corridor linking the Platte River Greenway in Denver to the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. Along this trail exist unlimited opportunities for recreational fishing, kayaking, rock climbing, hiking and bicycling – to name a few. Traversing through Idaho Springs, the trail showcases the lore of Colorado’s storied mining history. In Georgetown, trail users can hitch a ride on the Georgetown Loop Historic Mining Railroad. Before reaching the Continental Divide, this trail links hikers to hundreds of miles of backcountry Forest Service trails and to four Clear Creek County fourteeners (Mount Evans, Grays Peak, Torreys Peak and Mount Bierstadt). It links over 80 miles of greenway trail in Summit and Grand Counties to hundreds of miles of paved trails in the Denver Metro Area and the Front Range area. The Clear Creek Greenway is uniquely Colorado, reflecting the lifestyles of past, present and future residents."
– Tim Mauck, Clear Creek County Commissioner
The development of a greenway for Clear Creek County’s residents and visitors has become a priority of the Clear Creek County Open Space Program, and a focal point of its 2003 Open Space Plan. Running alongside Clear Creek between Jefferson County and the Continental Divide, a greenway is envisioned to serve as the backbone of the County. It will tie together communities with a string of parks, recreational facilities, open space and commercial recreational opportunities. It will embrace the County’s unique cultural heritage and natural environment and provide an outstanding resource for families, visitors and outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy.
The Greenway Master Plan represents the Trail Plan and River Access Opportunities recently adopted by the Clear Creek County Open Space Commission that support the development of the Clear Creek Greenway. The concept consists of developing a main arterial trail that runs approximately 36 miles as well as key open space areas to create an interconnecting corridor of parks, trail connections, recreational activities and related amenities. The Greenway will incorporate, enhance and create many types of active and passive recreational opportunities along Clear Creek. Those opportunities include kayaking, rafting, hiking, walking, biking, picnicking, camping and fishing. It will also link existing attractions along Clear Creek, including commercial rafting, historic sites, big horn sheep viewing and the Georgetown Loop railroad. Other possible attractions include a sculpture park, a demonstration garden, accessible fishing areas and interpretive displays highlighting the County’s mining heritage and natural environment.
Developing the Greenway as a major recreational corridor will not only provide recreation opportunities and open space, but also enhance economic development opportunities within the County and its municipalities. Joint ventures with commercial recreation providers will be possible. Related commercial uses would be encouraged to locate near the creek. The Greenway will link to commercial tourist attractions in the towns and encourage visitors to shop, rent bikes, purchase fishing equipment and dine. Finally, the Greenway will be a draw for businesses looking to locate in an area that provides such a quality of life resource to their employees.