Bear Creek Trail Improvements

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Conceptual image of a crusher fines parallel trail adjacent to the existing concrete Bear Creek Trail in the Bear Creek Greenbelt.

Project Background

The Bear Creek Trail is located within the Bear Creek Greenbelt, a 350-acre open space park on the south side of the city. Bear Creek runs through the property and is a mature riparian ecosystem that attracts wildlife and provides an ideal outdoor recreation and open space area. The trail is approximately seven miles in length beginning near C-470 and Morrison Road and extending east to Wadsworth Boulevard and Denver.

An extremely popular regional trail connection and a green way across the city, the trail receives a lot of use. Trail use data shows over 450,000 people use this trail and open space area each year for walking, hiking, biking, fishing and other forms of non-motorized transportation and recreational uses. The attraction of a diverse range of user groups has led to increasing conflicts in recent years, which the city has been working to address.

Trail and Connectivity Assessment Report

In 2016, the city partnered with Norris Design, Bicycle Colorado and Colorado Parks and Wildlife to complete the City of Lakewood Trail and Connectivity Assessment Report. The project objective was to provide information and guidance for expansion and maintenance of important trail corridors and the potential for new trail connections within the city. The six month public engagement effort identified opportunities for improvements to the Bear Creek Trail to mitigate user conflicts including the addition of a crushed gravel, soft surface parallel trail, widening the concrete trail to 10 feet to better handle existing usage and meet current trail standards and realigning the concrete trail in certain sections. Lastly, adding striping and signage opportunities to enhance safety and wayfinding were also identified.

Project Details

Specifically, the project entails the installation of over 12,000 linear feet of 3-6 foot wide soft surface trail that would roughly parallel the existing concrete path through the Bear Creek Greenbelt. The purpose of this trail would be to help alleviate congestion along the existing trail by providing an alternative natural surface trail for walkers and runners. In addition to the soft surface trail construction, sections of the existing trail would be removed and replaced. Improvements would be made to the concrete trail by widening sections to 10 feet when feasible, by softening trail curves to extend sight lines and replacing damaged concrete to mitigate hazards. Engineering studies will also be conducted in 2020 to consider how to appropriately address high-conflict areas to devise alternative solutions. Learn more in the Bear Creek Trail section beginning on page 26 of the City of Lakewood Trail and Connectivity Assessment Report.

All proposed trail improvements have been included to create a welcoming trail experience for all visitors and user groups. Use the tools below to provide feedback on the project and share additional ideas for future amenities as funding allows. Subscribe to this page for project notifications when new information is available.


Project Background

The Bear Creek Trail is located within the Bear Creek Greenbelt, a 350-acre open space park on the south side of the city. Bear Creek runs through the property and is a mature riparian ecosystem that attracts wildlife and provides an ideal outdoor recreation and open space area. The trail is approximately seven miles in length beginning near C-470 and Morrison Road and extending east to Wadsworth Boulevard and Denver.

An extremely popular regional trail connection and a green way across the city, the trail receives a lot of use. Trail use data shows over 450,000 people use this trail and open space area each year for walking, hiking, biking, fishing and other forms of non-motorized transportation and recreational uses. The attraction of a diverse range of user groups has led to increasing conflicts in recent years, which the city has been working to address.

Trail and Connectivity Assessment Report

In 2016, the city partnered with Norris Design, Bicycle Colorado and Colorado Parks and Wildlife to complete the City of Lakewood Trail and Connectivity Assessment Report. The project objective was to provide information and guidance for expansion and maintenance of important trail corridors and the potential for new trail connections within the city. The six month public engagement effort identified opportunities for improvements to the Bear Creek Trail to mitigate user conflicts including the addition of a crushed gravel, soft surface parallel trail, widening the concrete trail to 10 feet to better handle existing usage and meet current trail standards and realigning the concrete trail in certain sections. Lastly, adding striping and signage opportunities to enhance safety and wayfinding were also identified.

Project Details

Specifically, the project entails the installation of over 12,000 linear feet of 3-6 foot wide soft surface trail that would roughly parallel the existing concrete path through the Bear Creek Greenbelt. The purpose of this trail would be to help alleviate congestion along the existing trail by providing an alternative natural surface trail for walkers and runners. In addition to the soft surface trail construction, sections of the existing trail would be removed and replaced. Improvements would be made to the concrete trail by widening sections to 10 feet when feasible, by softening trail curves to extend sight lines and replacing damaged concrete to mitigate hazards. Engineering studies will also be conducted in 2020 to consider how to appropriately address high-conflict areas to devise alternative solutions. Learn more in the Bear Creek Trail section beginning on page 26 of the City of Lakewood Trail and Connectivity Assessment Report.

All proposed trail improvements have been included to create a welcoming trail experience for all visitors and user groups. Use the tools below to provide feedback on the project and share additional ideas for future amenities as funding allows. Subscribe to this page for project notifications when new information is available.


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Bear Creek Trail Improvements/Parallel Trail

8 months

Click the map. Then drag and drop pins on the map to comment or identify areas of the Bear Creek Trail or Greenbelt that need improvement. Examples include signage needs, identification of trail improvement needs, bench locations and any other suggestions you would recommend to improve the user experience. Refer to the project conceptual site plans on the right side of the page for more information.

*Scroll or double-click to zoom in, and use the “i” symbol for additional information. 



Click the map. Then drag and drop pins on the map to comment or identify areas of the Bear Creek Trail or Greenbelt that need improvement. Examples include signage needs, identification of trail improvement needs, bench locations and any other suggestions you would recommend to improve the user experience. Refer to the project conceptual site plans on the right side of the page for more information.

*Scroll or double-click to zoom in, and use the “i” symbol for additional information.