The Colorado Trail Explorer - a comprehensive online statewide trail map and a key component of Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper's Colorado the Beautiful initiative - is now live and available to the public in celebration of National Trails Day on June 3.
The Colorado Trail Explorer includes more than 39,000 miles of trails managed by more than 225 jurisdictions across the state. It ranges from paths managed by towns and counties to hiking, bicycling or motorized trails running through state parks and federal lands. It represents the first-ever effort to provide routes for every trail in Colorado through a single mapping tool.
"The Colorado Trail Explorer builds on our Colorado the Beautiful initiative by giving people quick and easy access to recreational opportunities and more readily connects people with the outdoors," said Governor John Hickenlooper. "Consolidating trail information that traditionally exists in dozens or hundreds of places into a single application makes it easier for Coloradans to find the trail options that might be just beyond their back door or near a favorite destination."
Trail managers across Colorado have collaborated with Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) and mapping leader Esri to provide data for the project since it was announced in June of 2015. To date, the Colorado Trail Explorer includes more than 17,000 trails and maps more than 1,400 trailheads. While the online map is now fully public, work continues to add additional data, particularly related to non-motorized trails on federal lands. CPW will continue working on a mobile app for the Colorado Trail Explorer. Currently, the desktop version is mobile friendly.
The online tool allows users to search for trails by name or to simply pan and zoom to explore trails across the state. Trails and roads in the map are color-coded to indicate their primary use, such as trails that allow only horses and hikers, those that allow mountain bikes and other bicycles, those that allow motorized access, and those designated as urban bicycle routes.
The project marks a major step forward for outdoor recreation in Colorado as even navigating various trails in the Denver metro area often requires a piecemeal approach with maps from different jurisdictions.
The Colorado Trail Explorer project is a key component of Colorado the Beautiful's broader goal to ensure, within a generation, every Coloradan will live within 10 minutes of a park, trail or vibrant green space to develop deeper connections with the natural environment that sets Colorado apart as a special place. Wide access to trails also translates to physical and mental health, as well as economic benefits for the state.