The Bear Creek Trail is located within the Bear Creek Greenbelt, a 350-acre open space park on the south side of the city. Bear Creek runs through the property and is a mature riparian ecosystem that attracts wildlife and provides an ideal outdoor recreation and open space area. The trail is approximately seven miles in length beginning near C-470 and Morrison Road and extending east to Wadsworth Boulevard and Denver.
An extremely popular regional trail connection and a greenway across the city, the trail receives a lot of use. Trail use data shows over 450,000 people use this trail and open space area each year for walking, hiking, biking, fishing, and other forms of non-motorized transportation and recreational uses. The attraction of a diverse range of user groups has led to increasing conflicts in recent years, which the city has been working to address.
In 2016, the city partnered with Norris Design, Bicycle Colorado, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife to complete the City of Lakewood Trail and Connectivity Assessment Report. The project objective was to provide information and guidance for the expansion and maintenance of important trail corridors and the potential for new trail connections within the city. The six-month public engagement effort identified opportunities for improvements to the Bear Creek Trail to mitigate user conflicts including the addition of crushed gravel, soft surface parallel trail, widening the concrete trail to 10 feet to better handle existing usage and meet current trail standards, and realigning the concrete trail in certain sections. Lastly, adding striping and signage opportunities to enhance safety and wayfinding were also identified.
Specifically, the Bear Creek Trail project entails the installation of over 12,000 linear feet of 3-6 foot wide soft-surface trail that would roughly parallel the existing concrete path through the Bear Creek Greenbelt. The purpose of this trail would be to help alleviate congestion along the existing trail by providing an alternative natural surface trail for walkers and runners. In addition to the soft surface trail construction, sections of the existing trail would be removed and replaced. Improvements would be made to the concrete trail by widening sections to 10 feet when feasible, softening trail curves to extend sightlines, and replacing damaged concrete to mitigate hazards. Engineering studies were conducted in 2020 to consider how to appropriately address high-conflict areas to devise alternative solutions.
Construction of the Bear Creek Trail improvements in Lakewood will begin the week of April 18, starting with mobilization and staging for Phase 1, which includes concrete work and parallel trail development, between the Sister’s City Trail east of S. Estes St. and S. Wadsworth Blvd. Trail closures within the work area include the Bear Creek Trail, the Stone House Trail, and the dirt two-track trail that begins at Wadsworth Blvd. Trailhead. and will begin May 9. For your safety, please respect the trail closures. While the concrete path from the Wadsworth Blvd. The trailhead to the bridge over Bear Creek will remain open for access to the Bear Creek Greenbelt north of the creek. All proposed trail improvements have been included to create a welcoming trail experience for all visitors and user groups.
Next – Gold Crown Foundation