Colorado introduces online guide that profiles 39,000 miles of trails in state

Colorado has long been known as a paradise for outdoor adventurers, and now the Centennial State has solidified that reputation by introducing a groundbreaking online database that state officials hope will — upon completion — profile all 39,000 miles of hiking, biking and multi-use trails across the state in one place.

As reported by the Denver Post, the website — currently titled the Colorado Trail Explorer (COTREX) — was unveiled by Colorado Governor John D. Hickenlooper on Friday, and is the first attempt at creating a comprehensive trail guide to each and every trail in Colorado.

Currently, the Denver Post reports that the COTREX map spans 226 jurisdictions across the state and includes 17,099 trails as well as 1,431 trailheads. It profiles 5,683 miles of hiking trails, 6,821 miles of mountain biking trails, 24,906 miles of motorized trails and unpaved roads and 1,746 miles of paved bike trails.

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No more scouring the internet for trail info, COTREX provides everything you need to know in one spot. Photo: Pexels

And while the initial numbers are impressive, those involved in the development of the website told the Denver Post that COTREX still has a while to go until it successfully has 100 percent of the state’s trails profiled.

“We intend to have every single mile of trail in Colorado, but we are not even close,” Eric Drummond, an analyst who served as project leader for COTREX, told the Post. “We are taking a long-term approach to this. We focused on making this a sustainable and updatable tool.”

The project is part of Hickenlooper’s “Colorado the Beautiful” initiative, which the Governor hopes will get more people outside and enjoying the state’s natural beauty.

“The Colorado Trail Explorer builds on our Colorado the Beautiful initiative by giving people quick and easy access to recreational opportunities and more readily connects people with the outdoors,” Hickenlooper told the Post about the project.

“Consolidating trail information that traditionally exists in dozens or hundreds of places into a single application makes it easier for Coloradans to find the trail options that might be just beyond their backdoor or near a favorite destination.”

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The beautiful expanses of Colorado’s national parks , like Rocky Mountain National Park (above), contain some of the best hiking in the United States. Scott McLeod/Flickr

According to KDVR, COTREX was developed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials and the mapping company Esri over the course of two years. Developers of the website contacted hundreds of local train managers across the state and asked for the coordinates of the trails they administered.

KDVR reports that, going forward, the officials in charge of COTREX are focusing on adding information about non-motorized trails on federal lands.

H/T The Denver Post

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