Legal issue with Denver Parks delays loop trail project at Evergreen Lake

-A A +A
By Sandy Barnes

The loop trail project at Evergreen Lake is facing a delay created by a legal issue with Denver Mountain Parks. City of Denver attorneys are asking for a new agreement with the Evergreen Park and Recreation District before giving the go-ahead to build the trail connecting the downtown area to the upper portion of the lake.

Because the path of the planned trail is on Denver Parks property, it is necessary to gain approval from the city before moving forward with project, said EPRD Executive Director Scott Robson.

Robson has been negotiating with Denver officials and attorneys in the hope of maintaining the existing agreement with the city, which he says is valid.

“It’s been my opinion we are in good standing with the trail agreement. It’s broad in nature,” Robson said while discussing the delay at a recent meeting of the EPRD board.

This most recent snag in the much-delayed project is pushing the October deadline for completion, which is required to receive funding from Great Outdoors Colorado.

The project, which has been in the works for the past several years, is being funded by a $250,000 GOCO grant and through in-kind donations of services and materials. 

“It’s a few hundred feet of trail with some complexities to it,” Robson said.

During the past year, Robson also has been working with the Colorado Department of Transportation to resolve right-of-way issues concerning the trail.

The original design has been modified to minimize environmental impact on the area. When completed, the trail will touch the ground in only two places, Robson said. Elevating the trail also reduced the cost of construction by minimizing the amount of excavation that would need to be done.

When the loop trail is completed, the metal stairs from the base of the dam to the lake will remain in place. However, a gently sloped path along Highway 74 will provide an attractive alternative for people walking around the lake.

Contact Sandy Barnes at sandy@evergreenco.com.