ECO Trails

ECO Trails

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ECO Trails oversees a multi-use trail system through the Eagle River Valley. The ECO Trails partnership includes county government and the towns of Gypsum, Eagle, Avon, Vail, Red Cliff and Minturn. The regional trail system encompasses 63 miles from Vail Pass to Glenwood Canyon with a connection to Red Cliff.

Donate to help complete the Eagle Valley Trail

The ECO Trails program develops, promotes and cooperatively maintains a scenic and safe trail system of urban, paved, multi-use, non-motorized trails. The program is funded by a designated sales tax collected in the Eagle River watershed of Eagle County.

ECO Trails Program Functions

  • Paved Trail construction
  • Paved Trail planning
  • Paved Trail events and public relations
  • Paved Trail management and maintenance
  • Local, regional and national activism on bicycle and pedestrian issues
History and Program Goals

History of ECO Trails
ECO Trails was created in 1996 following the passage of a half-percent sales tax to finance mass transportation improvements in Eagle County. Ten percent of the revenues from that tax were designated for the development of a countywide trails system. The remaining 90 percent of the tax is dedicated to transit programs for buses and rail. The ECO Transit and Trails programs serve the Eagle Valley portion of Eagle County; the mass transportation sales taxes collected in the Roaring Fork Valley portion of Eagle County are managed by the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority.

Program Goals of ECO Trails:
  • Manage trail planning and trail construction of county sections of the regional system.
  • Be available to the ECO Trails Partnership with Gypsum, Eagle, Avon, Minturn, Red Cliff and Vail for planning, design, fundraising, development review and construction assistance.
  • Advise the multi-governmental ECO Board on trails issues, policy and budget, with participation from the citizen volunteer ECO Eagle Valley Trails Committee.
  • Advocate for trails and shared roadways locally, statewide and nationally through lobbying on agency and citizen grassroots efforts.
  • Promote trails construction and trail use through media and events for citizens and visitors.
  • Link the Eagle Valley trail to spur trails and backcountry trails, working through the town and county development review and in cooperation with federal land management agencies.
  • Coordinate the maintenance and management of the Eagle Valley Trail system as a cooperative effort of the county and towns through consistent maintenance, signage and design standards.
Facts about the ECO Trails and the Eagle Valley Trail:
  • ECO Trails receives approximately $750,000 annually from the tax, most of which goes towards operations and maintenance of the existing trail.
  • Of the 62.7 total trail miles, 50.7 are complete.
  • When complete, the trail will extend from the top of Vail Pass to the start of Glenwood Canyon and passes through many jurisdictions, including Colorado Department of Transportation, US Forest Service, towns of Vail, Minturn, Avon, Eagle and Gypsum, metro districts such as EagleVail, Arrowhead and Edwards, and unincorporated Eagle County.
It will take approximately $26.5 million to design and construct the remaining 12 miles:
  • Dotsero to/from Gypsum Duck Ponds: 1.7 miles, approximately $3.5 million
  • EagleVail to/from Dowd Junction: 1.5 miles, approximately $3.5 million
  • Down Junction to/from Minturn: 1.3 miles, approximately $4 million
  • Horn Ranch to/from Edwards: 7.5 miles approximately $15.5 million
The last section of trail completed was the Eagle to/from Horn Ranch section, which opened in 2019:
  • 6.7 miles
  • $7 million cost
  • $2 million grant from Great Outdoors Colorado
  • $200,000 from the Town of Eagle
  • Easements from private property owners, CDOT, UP, Eagle Valley Land Trust, Eagle County School District, and the Town of Eagle.
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