One thing Loveland residents love is being outdoors. Whether it’s walking, running or cycling, Centerra is a key part of keeping Northern Colorado active with a wealth of trails. With a new grant that will fund a trail expansion project to connect Boyd Lake and Denver Avenues. Centerra will soon have even more ways to safely enjoy the great outdoors by foot or two wheels.
The City of Loveland Parks & Recreation Department announced the $1,225,000 grant award from the Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) Transportation Alternatives Program and the North Front Range Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Multi-Modal Options Fund.
Funding Fun Trails
The state and regional transportation grants will fund the design and construction of a new hard-surface trail dubbed the Centerra Trail. The new trail will bridge the gap between Denver Avenue and Boyd Lake Avenue on the south shore of Boyd Lake, just west of Centerra.
Kelly Zuniga, Loveland Parks & Recreation planner, said there are multiple benefits to this project, and that it ties into more than 25 years of trail work in Loveland. Currently, the City is looking to connect its trails in different directions. The Centerra Trail takes current trail users to east Loveland.
“This is a great project, I’m really looking forward to it,” Zuniga said. “There are some natural areas in the region with beautiful views. We love seeing people out on our trails and it gives us that much more motivation to build as many as we can.”
Ensuring that cyclists and runners will be able to extend their rides or jogs, the Centerra Trail will follow a 1.34-mile route from Denver Avenue to a pedestrian underpass that is currently under construction at North Boyd Lake Avenue. The underpass at Boyd Lake is being funded by the Centerra Metro District and will cost just under $8 million once the road, pedestrian underpass and landscaping is complete. The new trail will run parallel to an existing unpaved trail that follows the Greeley-Loveland Irrigation Co. canal maintenance road on the south side of Boyd Lake.
In addition to the new grant-funded Centerra Trail, there is a proposal to add an additional near half-mile spur trail that would link the Centerra Trail to Boyd Lake Trail where it crosses over the Hoffman Reservoir Outlet. Perhaps one of the main highlights of the project is the fact that it will not require any expenditures from the City of Loveland General Fund. This ensures the community will be able to enjoy the new trail while saving local funds for other needs.
More Trails = Healthier Community
By connecting these trails, residents and visitors to Loveland will be able to extend their recreation and live healthier lives. This is especially important during current times when social distancing and spending more time outside is becoming the new normal. Enjoying a long walk can benefit someone both emotionally and mentally, while also being a safe activity.
Zuniga said that since the pandemic hit, the city has seen a four-fold increase in people using the community open spaces. With increased use, health and safety precautions are especially important. Make sure to recreate safely by wearing a mask and maintain a healthy six-foot distance from other people. Also, ride bicycles, scooters and skateboards at a safe speed to remain under control and audibly alert people when you approach to the left to pass. All dogs must be on a leash at all times. Even if your dog is voice trained and under control off the leash, it may disrupt nesting birds and other wildlife in the area while exploring. And a reminder that the lakes are not meant for dogs or swimming.
According to the city, Loveland’s Quality of Life citizen survey results and the Parks & Recreation Department Master Plan highlight the city’s Recreation Trail as one of Loveland’s most favored community amenities. Connecting the City of Loveland’s 26-mile Recreation Trail system to outlying parts of the Loveland community is another feather in the community’s cap.
Design on the new trail is slated for this summer and construction should start as soon as summer 2021 according to plans. CDOT will oversee the City of Loveland’s design and construction of the trail project. An important feature of the design is its adherence to provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), ensuring that everyone will have an equal opportunity to use this great new trail.
The trail will also provide a safe and practical way to get around this part of Loveland for people who live in the area. Currently, Eisenhower Blvd. experiences a very high volume of vehicles each day. Providing adjacent bike-friendly trail options will serve as a better way for citizens to connect with other parts of the city. Thanks to Centerra and the City’s trail systems, there will be plenty of safe alternative routes to serve and connect all walks of life.
Loveland is already home to a robust trail system that rivals most communities. Open seven days a week to all from 6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Loveland’s Recreation Trail System is comprised of 23 miles of paved trail which almost circles the entire city and connects to other communities via regional trails.
The importance of the City of Loveland’s trails and desire to make recreation and nature a priority for the community goes hand-in-hand with Centerra’s philosophy that nature should be preserved.
Centerra is home to a variety of trails, paved and unpaved, and is built on the intelligent stewardship of the environment. In Centerra, nature is just as much a part of life as any of the structures. High plains, wildlife, wetlands, Houts Reservoir and Equalizer Lake make up 275 acres of untouched nature within Centerra’s boundaries. And High Plains Environmental Center is there protecting the habitat and teaching people about the plants and animals that live in this part of the state.
This community is full of opportunities to grow closer to nature and learn about our natural environment. Thanks to these robust trails and vibrant community, Northern Colorado is an area that, over and over again, has been named one of the best places in the country for everyone from young families to retirees as well as for its vibrant economy that sustains businesses and job growth.
For more information on the new trail and recreation opportunities visit www.cityofloveland.org/trails.