Mount Carbon Trail Project at Bear Creek Lake Park

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Consultation has concluded.

Lakewood Parks Division is rerouting a segment of Mount Carbon Trail this summer to improve sustainability and the user experience. The section of trail planned for reroute is located on the north side of Bear Creek Lake Park on the west side of the Bear Creek Reservoir Dam. The current trail follows the Bear Creek Lake Park Dam Road from the Mountain View picnic area to the top of the dam. The existing trail surface follows a steep grade that is outside of best practice standards, resulting in multiple significant issues that will be addressed by the reroute including minimizing erosion, restoration of vegetation, limiting existing overuse of maintenance resources and mitigation of user conflicts.

What to Expect

City staff are rerouting the trail several hundred feet to the west to move it onto a hillside that allows the trail route to follow standard best practice designs to reduce erosion and improve trail surface sustainability. These best practices include being able to “out slope” the trail, that is designing the trail tread at less of a slope. Incorporating multiple “rolling dips” into the trail to provide permanent drainage. A technique called “lift and tilt” will be used on the flatter area of terrain near the top of the dam to create ripples in the trail surface that help improve drainage and drying. Several turns will also be designed into the trail surface to reduce grades, prevent erosion and reduce user speeds. These turns will be “in-sloped” turns that are designed to shed water just before and after the turn. All new trail design features have been included to create a welcoming trail experience for all visitors.

Consultation has concluded.

Lakewood Parks Division is rerouting a segment of Mount Carbon Trail this summer to improve sustainability and the user experience. The section of trail planned for reroute is located on the north side of Bear Creek Lake Park on the west side of the Bear Creek Reservoir Dam. The current trail follows the Bear Creek Lake Park Dam Road from the Mountain View picnic area to the top of the dam. The existing trail surface follows a steep grade that is outside of best practice standards, resulting in multiple significant issues that will be addressed by the reroute including minimizing erosion, restoration of vegetation, limiting existing overuse of maintenance resources and mitigation of user conflicts.

What to Expect

City staff are rerouting the trail several hundred feet to the west to move it onto a hillside that allows the trail route to follow standard best practice designs to reduce erosion and improve trail surface sustainability. These best practices include being able to “out slope” the trail, that is designing the trail tread at less of a slope. Incorporating multiple “rolling dips” into the trail to provide permanent drainage. A technique called “lift and tilt” will be used on the flatter area of terrain near the top of the dam to create ripples in the trail surface that help improve drainage and drying. Several turns will also be designed into the trail surface to reduce grades, prevent erosion and reduce user speeds. These turns will be “in-sloped” turns that are designed to shed water just before and after the turn. All new trail design features have been included to create a welcoming trail experience for all visitors.

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  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    I very much so support more sustainable trails and really enjoy the new Rooney Valley Trail. Green Mountain is one of the most underrated mountain biking areas in the region. Thank you for continuing this trail work. I do wish the new Rooney Valley Trail was directional and bikes only, at least on certain days. The way it is designed, it is meant for going down fast and this isn't generally isn't possible to do in a safe manner with the amount of trail users on it now.

    wsbsyr asked over 1 year ago

    We are glad you enjoy Lakewood trails! Thank you for your feedback regarding trail usage, we are embarking on these types of conversations and will soon launch a survey of trail users in the field to gain additional feedback on trail conflict and potential solutions.

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    I strongly support this reroute and the way it is proposed and hope the city will do more like this. Establishing trails that has smart and enjoyable design features that makes them more sustainable is a no-brainer. Regarding Rooney, as a rider that likes it steep and rocky, I will miss the old trail BUT I know that that trail was not sustainable and with the increase in users we are seeing in our urban parks, it had to be changed. I like what was done. It slows the bikers down but still offers an enjoyable and challenging experience. I can't speak for equestrians, runners or hikers but I'd think the Rooney reroute makes sense for them too. I can't imagine the old trail with all of the baby heads and ruts was a great experience. In any event, the old trail was blown out and something had to be done. This reroute, though maybe not perfect, was the best solution in my opinion.

    Mike asked over 1 year ago

    Thanks you for taking the time to provide feedback on this project!

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    The Rooney rerout is a great piece of work in terms of taking a rutted plunge of a trail, which I personally never rode downhill, and injecting some serious fun. It appears to be designed as a flow trail with dips and berms which give a great rollercoaster effect on the down. On the up, they serve to ratchet you up the hill, almost like long smooth steps. I have read some hiker complaints, but TBH, there are still a multitude of other trail options on GM if you want to stumble over baby heads and ruts. Plus, I think a chunk of the funding for this - and effort? Came from Coomba, so it would seem logical that it has more Mtb focus. Couple things: 1. These types of trails require a bit more maintenance- is there any additional funding for maintenance- or organizational effort to get volunteer trail crew? 2. The lower section approaching the junction gets going fast on the DH -and has a blind corner- With the big rollers , you may lose braking/tire contact - use caution. 3. There are a couple berms which have rocks on the inside - unless these serve some erosion control purposes, they seem a bit hazardous. 3. On some of the berms, they are so tight that you lose momentum-but not ya any plans to build them bigger so they can be carved? Overall great addition- and much needed

    Gh asked over 1 year ago

    Thank you for taking the time to comment! Our staff has responded to your questions below:

    1) This trail is actually designed to require less maintenance than older styles of trail as it is designed to shed water much better. This should help resolve rutting issues we see on other trails. We do not have any additional funding, but do have an ongoing trail volunteer program. We are always looking for more volunteers!

    2) The lower section maintained the old trail grade and layout and we added drainage features. We had not noticed the blind spot, but will take a look at it and see if minor adjustments can be made.

    3) The rocks on the inside of turns were placed to help armor those sections in areas where the trail crosses a natural drain.

    4) The turns are intentionally tighter as part of the design of this trail is actually to slow mountain bikes down a bit to help minimize trail conflicts. On two-way multiple use trails we do not plan to construct full berm turns for this reason. 

    Hope this helps!


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    Please do not do to this trail what was done on Green Mountain. As an avid MTB rider, it is now a joke. I will not ride it again. Very sad to turn a fun ride into an amusement park ride.

    Kevin Kilgore asked over 1 year ago

    Thank you for your feedback, please know the intention is not to create a fun ride, rather address erosion and create a more sustainable trail!


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    Thank for improving the trails! I am always in favor of more safety, more sustainability, more fun and just more trails! Thanks for the hard work and effort to improving the overall experience for all visitors to our parks. The Green Mountain improvements are wonderful. Keep it up the great work and inviting the community to get involved.

    Gil McCormick asked over 1 year ago

    Glad you love the trails as much as we do!

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    Thanks for proposing to re-route the Mt Carbon trail, it is needed in this area to reduce erosion and maintenance efforts. The City needs to continue to maintain the other Bear Creek Lake Park trails similarly in the future. Also, thank you for the Rooney Valley Trail re-route on Green Mountain..it is much more sustainable and interesting for hiking and biking. I was fortunate to help work on the Rooney Valley Trail and it was a terrific collaborative effort with City staff and the public volunteers to improve this section of trail. I encourage the City to continue it's efforts in improving and adding to the Green Mountain and Bear Creek trail systems. These parks and trails are incredible assets for the City and it's residents.

    BK asked over 1 year ago

    We agree! Thank you for taking the time to comment.

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    I am a regular user of Green Mountain and BCLP, and I am so grateful for the work that Lakewood and volunteers do to help maintain and improve these trails. The Rooney Valley Trail reroute is now pretty fun, I enjoy it whether hiking or biking. I actually like climbing up Rooney trail more now than before. As for the dips, if they help sustainability/erosion then keep doing it. I know they potentially make the trail more fun for some mountain bikers, which the hikers could care less about, but I'd imagine they also limit the speed of the mountain bikers, so they should be better prepared to slow down for hikers, so I think they are a good thing for everyone. Anything that can be done to improve trails, make trails more sustainable, and add more miles of trail is fully supported by me. As we see these close to city front range trails constantly getting more trail users it is necessary to always be thinking about improvements and additions. Thank you so much for all your work, Lakewood and Volunteers.

    getsome asked over 1 year ago

    Thank you for your comments!

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    I've been on the Rooney Trail. You noted that Mt. Carbon Trail will be out sloped. The Rooney Trail has a lot of new in sloping, which is not ideal during heavy rain or snow melt. The dips seem to be made for biking, and not for sustainability (drainage). Dips are also not conducive to equestrian use, which seems to be lost in the conversation. Multi use should be made for multi use. Sorry to see the bike dips proposed on the Mt. Carbon Trail.

    Hiker Dude asked over 1 year ago

    Thank you for your feedback! All new trail design features have been included to create a welcoming trail experience for all user groups with the intent to minimize erosion and create a more sustainable trail system. The Rooney Valley Trail was unique due to the grades, soils and vegetation on Green Mountain. While staff is utilizing similar techniques used at Rooney Valley, the rolling grade dips at Bear Creek Lake Park will be spaced further apart and will be lower in height as the overall grade of the cross slope is much less. It is our practice to provide a “natural” feel where possible while also preventing water erosion and minimizing on-going maintenance.

    With that being said, we appreciate your feedback and are currently reviewing our trail standards and best practices to determine next steps including future master planning efforts.

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    I am a frequent user of the Green Mountain and BCLP trail systems. I have lived just off of GM next to the High School for the last 15 years and hope to for the next 15. I am an active bike rider and runner as is my wife and both of my children. We love the trail improvements that have been made to GM lately. The lower Box of Rock's improvements made the trail much more desirable. The improvements to the Rooney Valley trail are a huge improvement to where the trail was. Yes, you have to ride a little slower in places but that has made the up hill riding and running experience better for all trail users with very little negative offset. I was on this trail twice in the last week as both a runner and a rider and each time thought about how much better the trail flows. it is a lot of fun to ride at night... I look forward to the future MT Carbon trail re route. Anything that will prevent erosion, create a more interesting user experience and reduce biker, hiker, horse negative interactions with reduced speeds is a positive in my book. I helped to build the Rooney Valley trail improvements. I felt that working on the park was a simple way to give back to something I love and use often. Fortunately, my work offers me some volunteer hours to dedicate towards good causes. I choose in 2018 to build trails and I will again in 2019 use my hours to continue to help to improve the trails I love around Lakewood and Jefferson county. -Charles Wright

    Charles W. asked over 1 year ago

    Thank you for your feedback, Charles! We appreciate your volunteer support of our trails. Every volunteer has an immense impact. Thank you!

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    I have been mountain biking green mountain since the early 90’s. At that time it was nothing more than on single track on the east side and a some faint 4x4 trails that where mostly unrideable. Since then volunteer groups like COMBA have taking the trail system to a entire new level. I have ridden trails all over the US and Canada and the recent improvements, including the Rooney Valley trail, has Green Mountain at the top of my list for places to ride. Of course some may not like certain types of trails however the flow of the COMBA trails in Green Mountain and neighboring parks has something for everyone. Let’s keep up the improvements. Thanks!

    TM asked over 1 year ago

    Thank you for sharing your good experiences on these trails! The City is committed to ensuring the trails are enjoyed by all.