SM County: Down Valley Connector Trail Feasibility Study!

SM County: Down Valley Connector Trail Feasibility Study!

San Miguel County puts out the word: Otak Inc. hired to conduct study surrounding viability of a pedestrian and cyclist commuter trail linking Down Valley to Telluride.

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The following is a note from San Miguel County Director of Park & Open Space Janet Kask.

San Miguel County has been focused on reducing vehicle trips and carbon emissions, which have been created within the Telluride region for several years. We’ve been exploring options to increase recreational and wellness opportunities. To that end, the County has been applying for grants to determine what some of those missing multimodal connections might be.

The County received a CDOT Multimodal Options Fund grant to see if it’s possible to connect the outlying Down Valley satellite communities with the Town of Telluride via a 3.4-mile trail from the County’s Down Valley Park in Placerville to the County’s M59 River Trail just beyond the Sawpit community.

The goal for this Down Valley Connector Trail is to accommodate pedestrian and cyclist user groups and provide a commuter link to Telluride. With so many logistical hurdles to address, we are starting with a feasibility study to determine if and how a trail like this may be possible.

The County has hired Otak, Inc. to conduct this feasibility study, which is just getting underway, to potentially construct this trail. The project team is currently studying the Hwy 145 corridor to identify opportunities and constraints. Our goal is to locate the trail within CDOT ROW and other publicly owned lands. Easements on private properties may be sought in a few locations. If so, the project team will initiate individual discussions with these property owners.

A public meeting will be held in late September to provide more details about this project, alternative ways that the trail could be implemented and gather public input. Our goal is to complete the feasibility study in early 2023 to determine if the County will seek funding sources to eventually build portions or all of this trail project in the coming years. At this point, we are still gathering data and considering options to present to the public.

As we move forward with this evaluation process, we want to hear your thoughts and ideas. Likewise, if you have any questions, please contact me directly at


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