Colorado launches online guide to 39,000 miles of every kind of trail

After two years of intensive planning, Gov. John Hickenlooper will unveil a comprehensive online map of more than 39,000 miles of trails across Colorado.

Spanning 226 jurisdictions, the interactive map — at cpw.state.co.us/cts — marks the first run at gathering every hiking, biking and multi-use trail in Colorado in a single location. For years that trail info has been stitched across a patchwork of websites, field offices and guidebooks.

The Colorado Trail Explorer, developed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, includes 17,099 trails and 1,431 trailheads. The mapped trails include 5,683 miles of hiking trails, 6,821 miles of mountain biking trails, 24,906 miles of motorized trails and unpaved roads, and 1,746 miles of paved bike trails.

And that’s just the start.

“We intend to have every single of mile of trail in Colorado, but we are not even close,” said Eric Drummond, a parks and wildlife GIS Analyst who served as project leader for the Colorado Trail Explorer website, which details about 85 percent of the state’s recreational trails. “We are taking a long-term approach to this. We focused on making this a sustainable and updatable tool.”

The trail map is part of Hickenlooper’s “Colorado the Beautiful” plan, which seeks to connect Colorado residents with open space, public lands and the outdoors. The audacious plan includes linking trail systems using Great Outdoors Colorado funds to get more Colorado kids outside.

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