In 2003, with the support of many communities and stakeholders, Colorado State Parks initiated the Colorado Front Range Trail project. This statewide-envisioned trail network would connect communities along the Front Range from Wyoming to New Mexico. To date, approximately 300 miles have been completed, with 19 of those miles in the Town of Castle Rock. Ultimately, the trail will span over 800 miles through 15 cities, 14 counties and many smaller towns.
Identified as a project priority in the 2015 Castle Rock Parks and Recreation Master Plan (PDF) because of Castle Rock's position as a major crossroads in the Colorado Front Range Trail system, the completion of Castle Rock’s contribution helps connect Denver to the north and Colorado Springs to the south. The last three segments of this multi-use trail network in Town intersect with the Cherry Creek Regional Trail to the north, providing recreational users, hikers, cyclists and commuters with a complete connection to Denver and beyond.
Construction began in November 2022 to add three trail segments, in the Cobblestone Ranch, Terrain and Montaine neighborhoods. McMurdo Gulch Trail was extended .6 miles northeast to complete the connection to the Cherry Creek Regional Trail. That trail was also extended 2.7 miles south to tie into the Woodlands Trail, which connects to the Hangman’s Gulch Trail and ultimately to the East Plum Creek Trail. In Montaine, work extended East Plum Creek Trail 1.7 miles south to Lowell Ranch.
The project was funded primarily using Town sales tax revenue, along with a $2 million grant awarded by the Great Outdoors Colorado - GOCO Connect Initiative.
Several partnerships, including with Douglas County, the Douglas Land Conservancy, the Colorado Agricultural Leadership Foundation and developers in Castle Rock’s Terrain and Montaine communities were also essential to the completion.
Colorado Front Range Trail ribbon-cutting and 5K
Thanks to everyone who attended the ribbon-cutting and 5K for the grand opening celebration of the Colorado Front Range Trail — 15 continuous miles through Castle Rock! Many attendees asked to see the photos of themselves crossing the finish line, so please see the link below. Also, don't forget that there are now new geocaches hidden between the intersection of Cherry Creek and McMurdo Gulch trails and Castle Oaks Drive that were placed as part of the trail opening celebration. Find out more at Geocaching.com.
The Castle Rock Parks and Trails Foundation is also sponsoring an Agents of Discovery mission along the trail, starting from the north end by Cobblestone Ranch Park. So download the app and look for the Colorado Front Range Trail mission.
In September 2019, the Town was awarded a $2,008,000 grant from GOCO through its Connect Initiative. The program aims to increase access to the outdoors in Colorado communities by filling critical trail gaps, building new trails and providing better walkable and bikeable access for youth and families.
GOCO grants have helped fund other projects in Castle Rock. Those projects include the acquisitions of the Gateway Mesa, Quarry Mesa and East Plum Creek open space areas; the construction of the East Plum Creek Trail between Meadows Parkway and Wolfensberger Road; the construction of the Adventure Playground at Philip S. Miller Park; and most recently, the construction of the East Plum Creek Trail Southern Extension.