Gov. Hickenlooper hopes the interactive map will boost Colorado's $34 billion outdoor recreation industry
Coloradans and out-of-state tourists alike can look forward to using a new interactive map of Colorado’s 20,000 miles of hiking and biking trails as part of Gov. John Hickenlooper’s Colorado the Beautiful initiative.
The mapping system is designed to include trails from over 100 state and federal agencies from across the state, including those that fall in Wilderness Areas, National Forests, State Parks and more, said Chris Kehmeier, project manager for the initiative. The trail mapping system was originally intended to go online during the summer of 2016, but is now scheduled to debut on National Trails Day, June 3, 2017 corresponding with the day the nation celebrates access to muscle powered activity and connecting people to trails.
The goal of the system is to help the state ensure that every Coloradan lives within 10 minutes of a trail or open public space and to dramatically increase the number of children who experience these spaces within the next ~20 years.
State Sen. Mike Merrifield – a Democrat from Colorado Springs and an avid mountain biker was very keen to the potential outcomes of the online mapping system.
“That’s a big passion of mine,” he said. “The governor is shining a huge spotlight on this great advantage Colorado has. This new system of trail-mapping, for attracting mountain bikers, it’s a huge advantage for Colorado.”
The Governor expects the mapping system to have positive impacts on the state’s outdoor recreation and tourist economy. The importance of this industry is well-known to Gov. Hickenlooper who addressed its’ economic gravity during his annual State of the State speech.
“Outdoor recreation generates 313,000 jobs in our state and more than $34 billion in economic output, much of it in rural Colorado,” Hickenlooper said. “It is also one of the top reasons businesses and talented workers choose to come here.”
Click here to learn more about the Governor’s “Colorado the Beautiful” plan’s four major initiatives.
- Identification of 16 critical trail segments in 2016
- Colorado Trails System (CTS) mapping project
- Colorado’s Outdoor Recreation Industry Office
- Colorado Trails Strategic Plan