Prince Creek project could be ready by next summer
A new trail and parking lot that will improve access to a popular mountain-biking area near Carbondale could be ready to use by next summer, a Pitkin County official said Wednesday.
Pitkin County commissioners last month approved spending nearly $1.2 million for a 4.6 acre parking area along Prince Creek Road and a nearly 1-mile-long trail that will be built to alleviate parking problems and allow safer access to the Crown Trails located on Bureau of Land Management land.
Residents of the Prince Creek Subdivision have complained about the parking and hard-to-see bikers on the road.
At the time of the purchase, Commissioner George Newman asked Pitkin County Open Space and Trails officials to move the Prince Creek project to the top of the priority project list to alleviate the safety concerns as quickly as possible.
On Wednesday, Open Space Director Dale Will said the project has now been moved up on the priority list and that the master planning process for the project will begin in the fall. Though it depends on how the master plan turns out, construction on the trail could begin in the spring, Will said.
“We’re hopeful it will be in use by (next) summer,” he said.
The $1.175 million to purchase the property will come from the Parks Dedication Fund and the Open Space and Trails Fund. The property already is in escrow and the deal is scheduled to close by the end of the week, Will said.
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The Roaring Fork Valley has, by-and-large, avoided the mountain pine beetle and spruce beetle infestations that have decimated parts of the state. However, a 2019 aerial survey showed the Roaring Fork watershed has an outbreak of Douglas-fir and western balsam beetles.