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.

Follow this project on Twitter @TrailsLakewood for construction updates.

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 Bear Creek Trail 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 were 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.

Follow this project on Twitter @TrailsLakewood for construction updates.

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 Bear Creek Trail 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 were 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.

  • Bear Creek Trail Improvements phase 5 begins

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    Phase 5 of the Bear Creek Trail improvements project begins Monday, Oct. 17 through Thursday, Dec. 15. This phase is a trail closure from Fox Hollow Golf Course to S. Kipling Pkwy. The Stonehouse Trail will be closed to through traffic. Paved detours are provided. For your safety, follow posted signage and stay out of closure areas.

    Phase 5 closure map (.pdf)



  • Bear Creek Trail improvements progress video

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    Check out the progress of the Bear Creek Trail improvements project including widening the concrete trail and adding a soft-surface parallel trail to better serve over 450,000 users annually! Work will continue through 2023, with bridge replacements, new restrooms and improved signage. Subscribe to this page to receive updates.


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  • Tree mitigation begins August 22

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    Following an extensive tree, environmental, and wildlife assessment including bird nesting observations, large trees will be removed as a part of the Bear Creek Trail project at the S. Estes Street underpass in the Bear Creek Greenbelt. The tree removal allows for mitigation of existing hazardous conditions through the underpass for trail users. Removal will require a crane to come in on the east side of S. Estes Street on Monday, August 22. Over 80 new diverse species of trees will be planted as a part of the Bear Creek Trail project.

  • Bear Creek Trail Improvements phase 4 begins July 25

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    Phase 4 construction of the Bear Creek Trail Improvement project is scheduled to begin July 25 and continue through approximately December 23.

    This phase will require continued closure of the Bear Creek Trail from S. Estes St. to S. Kipling Street. Please use trail detours north of the creek.

    The Bear Creek Trail will reopen from Wadsworth Blvd. to the Stone House Bridge, including the Sister City Trail connection.

    Heavy construction traffic will occur; it is important to avoid this area. For your safety, please respect the trail closures.

    View the Bear Creek Trail Site Plan.

    View the Bear Creek Trail Phase 4 Plan.


  • Bear Creek Trail Improvements phase 3 begins June 8

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    Phase 3 construction of the Bear Creek Trail Improvement project will begin on Wednesday, June 8 and continue through approximately August 5. This phase will require closure of the Bear Creek Trail from the Stone House bridge east of S. Estes St. to the Wadsworth Blvd. creek crossing. The Sister City Trail connection south of the trail will remain closed until the Bear Creek Trail is reopened. Heavy construction traffic will occur, it is important to avoid this area, including the soft surface trails south of the creek. For your safety, please respect the trail closures.

    Subscribe to the project page and check back regularly for updates.

    View the Bear Creek Trail Site Plan.

    View the Bear Creek Trail Phase 3 Plan.


  • Sister City Trail Detour begins May 23

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    Phase two of the Bear Creek Trail improvements project will begin May 23. The Sister City Trail will be closed. The detour will be via W. Eastman Place and W. Cornell Avenue. There will be no access to Bear Creek Trail via Sister City Trail. Use Estes Street to access Bear Creek Trail. Download Phase Two Sister City Trail Detour.


  • Bear Creek Trail construction set to begin

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    Construction of the Bear Creek Trail improvements will begin the week of April 18, starting with mobilization and staging for Phase 1, which includes concrete work and parallel trail development, between the Sister's City Trail (east of S. Estes St.) and S. Wadsworth Blvd.

    Trail closures within the work area include the Bear Creek Trail, the Stone House Trail and the dirt two-track trail that begins at the Wadsworth Blvd. Trailhead. Trail closures will begin May 9. For your safety, please respect the trail closures.

    The concrete path from the Wadsworth Blvd. Trailhead to the bridge over Bear Creek will remain open for access to the Bear Creek Greenbelt north of the creek.

    Subscribe to the project page and check back regularly for updates.

    View the Bear Creek Trail Site Plan.

    View the Bear Creek Trail Phase 1 Plan.


  • Bear Creek Trail Improvements Site Plan

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    The Bear Creek Trail improvements site plan (large file) is now available! Review, zoom in for details and leave your comments below.

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Page last updated: 14 Oct 2022, 09:34 AM