- Associated Press - Sunday, October 26, 2014

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) - Supporters are still hoping the Poudre River Trail will eventually be finished, providing a 40-mile connector for bicyclists, hikers and runners to northern Front Range communities, but nearly a half-dozen miles remain to be completed.

Talk of the Poudre River Trail started in the 1970s, with plans to have a path along the river.

Decades later, the 21-mile trail runs through Weld and Larimer counties, running through towns like Timnath and Windsor. Several miles away, a separate 15-mile stretch of trail in Fort Collins runs west to an area near LaPorte, with unpurchased land in between.

That could change in coming years as Larimer County closes in on the final pieces necessary to complete the trail. That task involves bringing the sections together and adding anywhere from 4 miles to 6 miles of trail, with each mile costing up to $600,000 just to build, the Fort Collins Coloradoan reported Sunday (https://tinyurl.com/lmbw7vu).

Gary Buffington, director of Larimer County’s natural resources department, remembers a committee forming to build the trail, but it never got finished.

“It’s crazy how long this has been going on,” Buffington said.

Completion of the trail will require linking gaps that run from east Fort Collins, through unincorporated Larimer County and Timnath, to River Bluffs Open Space west of Windsor. The trail will also need to cross Interstate-25 at some point.

Earlier this year, Larimer County’s Open Lands Program closed on a quarter-mile trail easement southeast of the I-25 Harmony Road exit. Construction will begin this spring on the property, at a cost of about $200,000.

Another unknown is what to do with some people who own ranches and farms in the area, which could force the path to go around those properties and drive up the cost.

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Information from: Fort Collins Coloradoan, https://www.coloradoan.com


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