Virginia Canyon Mountain Park
Client: City of Idaho Springs
Virginia Canyon Mountain Park is a 472 acre open space located on the south slope of Clear Creek Canyon on the north side of Idaho Springs. Formerly owned by the BLM, the land was transferred to Clear Creek County and then to the City of Idaho Springs. Over the years, mountain bikers and hikers have used the open space and its limited system of un-programmed trails as a “hidden gem.”
In 2018, the City of Idaho Springs received a grant from Great Outdoors Colorado to complete a Master Plan for Virginia Canyon. The goal of the Master Plan was to create a sustainable trail system that could be used by hikers and mountain bikers. The project had many constraints though, as access to Virginia Canyon was prohibited by private properties that surrounded the open space boundaries, including the Argo Mill Site.
However, partnering with the Argo Mill Site partners, THK and the City were able to negotiate access easements that would allow public access to Virginia Canyon. With the agreements in place, THK and Tony Boone Trails were able to design over 12 miles of sustainable trails in Virginia Canyon that included hiking only, multi-use and downhill mountain biking trails.
A Phase 1 Trail project was also identified that included 3 miles of multiuse trail. The Phase 1 Project was flagged for construction and has an estimated cost of $288,000. THK is currently working with the City to complete a grant application to Colorado Parks and Wildlife to complete the construction of the Phase 1 Trails.