By Randy Hampton
Special to The SUN
Whether you hike, bike or ride, Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s newly completed trails maps will help you make the most of your visit to state parks. For the first time, the maps integrate all types of trail uses and indicate up to ten different trail features or activities all in one place.
Each trail on the map is coded by color and number so trail users can easily find all allowable uses on specific trail segments with mile markers and indications for: hiking, biking, off-highway vehicles, equestrian, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, groomed trails, snowmobiling, pets permitted and accessibility, such as wheelchair-friendly trails and trails that allow Other Power Driven Mobility Devices. A total of 60 new trail maps listed by park can be found on the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website.
The three-year effort was funded by Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) through a portion of Colorado Lottery funds and Federal Highway Administration Recreational Trails Program. Inventory, assessment and verification of all 466 trails include information such as trail length, width, surface type, slope and degree of difficulty.
“We know that 90 percent of Coloradans enjoy trail use on a frequent basis,” said Thomas Morrissey, Colorado Parks and Wildlife State Trails Program Manager. “This is a convenient way for our visitors, regardless of their recreational interests, to easily find standardized, comprehensive trail maps for all of Colorado’s state parks.”
Morrissey adds that the new maps are designed to be a one-stop solution for all state park trail opportunities. The new maps come in several formats.
Trail users can access the maps online and download a PDF of the map they want and either print it or download it to their mobile phone. Additionally, each map features a QR code where mobile phone users can use the code to view the map as a PDF or download additional software that allows the user to track his exact location on a trail. All maps have GPS grids, similar to the USGS 24k topographic maps, so printed maps are also compatible with handheld GPS devices.
CPW reminds visitors that cell phone coverage varies by park and trail location, so it’s always a good idea to research and download data ahead of time.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife manages 42 state parks, more than 300 state wildlife areas, all of Colorado’s wildlife, and a variety of outdoor recreation. For more information, go to cpw.state.co.us.