After 25 Years, Riverfront Trail is Taking Shape
KREX News Room
MESA COUNTY, Colo.- The Colorado Riverfront Trail is beginning to materialize. It's a 26-mile trail going from Palisade to Grand Junction, and was first envisioned nearly 25 years ago.
Diane Schwenke, president and CEO of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce, said, “It really shows the vision of those folks back in the early 80s and having amenities like this, making us more attractive overall.”
Mesa County Commissioners and others involved with the project officially opened up the newest piece of trail to the public Thursday.
Greg Linza, a parks manager for Mesa County, said, “It’s very exciting. It’s our first step in connecting the city of Fruita to Grand Junction. It’s a 3-mile trail."
Mesa County Commissioner Steve Acquafresca said, “For foot traffic, for bicyclists, for users of all kinds, people that appreciate the great outdoors, people that appreciate this Colorado River that runs right through the heart of our valley.”
The name of the new trail has not yet been decided.
“I’d like to see it 'Monument View' ... because it starts at the beginning and ends at the end. Monument View it should be,” Linza said.
Planners are excited to see how the trail will positively impact the city.
“It’s great for recreational opportunities for our residents, but it even has a broader impact in terms of the overall economy,” said Schwenke.
In addition to the economic benefits planned for the city, there are also some environmental benefits anticipated, too.
Linza said, “These riverfront trails, they help clean the Colorado River. It stops the illegal dumping that happens along the river. It opens up all the wildlife for wildlife viewers.”
There’s still a lot of work to be done on the Riverfront Trail, but this latest trail is a positive indicator of what Mesa County residents can expect in the future.