Agencies to host meeting on second phase of Jensen-Ute Park Trail

The Bureau of Land Management and Eastern Rio Blanco Metropolitan Recreation and Park District are hosting a public meeting March 12 to discuss the second phase of the Jenson-Ute Park Connector Trail. The meetings starts at 6:30 p.m. at the ERBM District office, 101 Ute Road in Meeker.

The first phase of the trail was completed last summer by the BLM and ERBM. The non-motorized trail spurs off the existing trail at Phillip and Dorcas Jensen Memorial Park, ending at a high point above China Wall.

The proposed Jensen-Ute Park Trail will connect two Meeker parks across almost two miles of BLM lands. The second phase is to continue on BLM land along the ridgeline above the cliff walls down to Ute Park, according to a news release.

Construction is set to begin in mid-May, and a map of the proposed trail is available online at www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/wrfo.html. BLM will fund the planning and design of the trail, and ERBM will fund the construction.

“This partnership between the district and BLM is great news for Meeker residents and visitors,” ERBM Executive Director Michael Weinbrecht said in the release. “When phase two of this project is completed, the majority of Meeker residents will be within walking distance of this trail system.”

Trail users will be able to complete portions of the trail as “out-and-back” experiences or travel the entire trail as a loop. The 5-mile loop option includes traveling 3.8 miles on BLM trails, about 0.5 miles through Jenson Park and nine blocks through Meeker. The system will include three trailheads with options to vary the length, difficulty and experience desired, according to the release.

Written comments on the proposed second phase can be mailed to Aaron Grimes, BLM WRFO, 220 E. Market St., Meeker, CO 81641, or sent by email to agrimes@blm.gov. The email subject line should read “Jensen-Ute Park Trail.” Comments should be received by March 26.

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