Whitewater park is a job well done | PostIndependent.com

Whitewater park is a job well done

Who would have thought that one little wave could generate this much excitement and fun?Obviously, a lot of people.The plan for a whitewater park in Glenwood Springs was first floated as far back as seven years ago. Then, slowly, the movement gained momentum, and soon it was a full-fledged project.Just a few months old, the whitewater park has caused a huge stir with whitewater enthusiasts and spectators alike. It’s also provided an economic jolt to area businesses by drawing people to the area from around the state and beyond.The project cost a little under $900,000, but it was money well spent.With support from the city of Glenwood Springs, the Garfield County commissioners and individual and business contributors, the park is truly a community success story.We say very well done.Kayakers have flocked to the park and have given it rave reviews, some calling it one of the best “waves” in the state.The parking issue still needs to be addressed, and there have already been some steps taken to handle this problem. With its enormous popularity, a parking solution to accommodate a large number of vehicles is needed. We have no doubt that a solution will be found.The whitewater park has been a fabulous addition to the Glenwood Springs area – another recreation draw, a feature to bring people to the area and to enjoy our beautiful surroundings and support our local economy.This project has been successful on so many levels. One little wave that creates so many benefits.Job well done.

Another special recreation feature that has been a great addition to the region is the recently completed Rio Grande Trail.The trail runs from Glenwood Springs to Aspen and allows cyclists to make the trip without having to ride on Highway 82. For cyclists, avoided the busy highway is a wonderful thing.The trail’s grand opening ribbon cutting was held this past weekend. Thousands of users have already enjoyed parts of the trail since it’s opening. It’s popularity has been tremendous.A number of agencies throughout the Roaring Fork Valley helped the project succeed, including the city of Glenwood Springs and the Garfield County Board of Commissioners, which both contributed funds for the project. The trail became a reality thanks to some vision back in 1997 when groups like Pitkin County Open Space and Trails, Great Outdoors Colorado and the Colorado Department of Transportation purchased the former Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad corridor in 1997, thinking that a bike/pedestrian trail to link the entire valley could be a possibility in the future.Now it’s a reality.The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority manages and maintains the corridor, in conjunction with Pitkin County Open Space and Trails and the city of Aspen in their respective jurisdictions.With the Rio Grande Trail joining the Glenwood Canyon path, it now gives locals and visitors the opportunity to enjoy two spectacular paved trails that depart right from Glenwood Springs. One thing to always remember, the Rio Grande and Glenwood Canyon paths are multi-use trails with walkers, skaters and all levels of cyclists enjoying it. Be courteous and keep your speed down.For cyclists, we encourage always wearing a helmet when you ride.Enjoy the Rio Grande Trail. What a great new attraction for our region.

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