Big Dry Creek Trail, Westminster, Colorado

This National Recreation Trail is a major link in the Denver Metro system of trails and greenways.

Featured
National Recreation Trail

Designated in 2003


• View more details for this trail
in the NRT Database

• Learn about the NRT Program.

The 10-mile trail is managed by the City of Westminster. The trail is used by walkers, joggers, bicyclists, equestrians, rollerskaters, bird watchers, wildlife enthusiasts, and commuters.

Westminster began the preservation of the Big Dry Creek Open Space and Trail Corridor in 1989 with the acquisition of four acres. Since then, almost 700 acres have been acquired along this 9.5-mile corridor, which travels through the middle of the City.

Acquisition of this corridor is for open space, trail, natural area, and view preservation. Abundant wildlife and native vegetation thrive along the trail corridor, bringing tranquility to this otherwise urban center. The Big Dry Creek Trail is a regional trail and ultimately this corridor will allow connections to be made to the South Platte River Corridor and to the communities of Broomfield, Thornton, and Northglenn to the east.

The Big Dry Creek Trail connects significant points of interest across Westminster. On the west, the trail begins at Standley Lake Regional Park in Jefferson County. In addition to the lake and educational visitor center, this site is home to a pair of nesting bald eagles, unique in such an urban setting. The trail continues to the Butterfly Pavilion and Insect Center, then connects to the Promenade Terrace entertainment Amphitheater.

The trail spans the western boundary of the City Park sports complex and the recreation/fitness centers located there. Crossing into Adams County, the trail connects to Front Range Community College and the extensive Big Dry Creek open space. This land was once an archaeological research site, yielding Native American artifacts. Interpretive signs explain the history of the area as discovered through the archeological dig. Big Dry Creek Trail continues to the eastern border of the City.

Three Seasons - Summer, Fall and Winter battle for control along the Front Range of the Rockies. Photo by Hans T. Reichgelt.

Three Seasons - Summer, Fall and Winter battle for control along the Front Range of the Rockies. Photo by Hans T. Reichgelt.

The construction of trail underpasses at several major thoroughfares was funded in part by Transportation Enhancements (TEA-21) funds. An old water culvert was converted to a popular pedestrian underpass to make use of existing features. The addition of the underpasses allow trail users to avoid busy intersections and traffic, making the Big Dry Creek Trail safe, easy to navigate, and appropriate for many recreational activities, diverse age groups, and users of varying physical abilities.

Westminster utilizes several resources to ensure proper maintenance and enhancements to the trail. Grants have been used to enlist the services of the Mile High Youth Corps. Also, Westminster has an enthusiastic and hard-working volunteer base to help stretch budget dollars for tail enhancements and revitalization.

Open space volunteers have contributed hundreds of hours in projects along the trail, including trail enhancements, bank stabilization, re-vegetation, wetland mitigation, fence removal, fish habitat development, trash cleanup, and noxious weed management. In addition, trail hosts help monitor the trail to report any concerns or suggestions. The City received grant awards from Adams County Open Space Program and Great Outdoors Colorado Trust Fund for land acquisitions. The City has also received significant support from Jefferson County's Open Space Program for both acquisition and development of this Trails 2000 corridor.

The City received an award of honorable mention from the Denver Regional Council of Governments for the completion of the Big Dry Creek Open Space and Trail Corridor under the objectives of the Metro Vision Plan for the five county region.

More articles in this category

Bayou Teche Paddle Trail, Louisiana

posted May 3, 2024

Bayou Teche Paddle Trail is a 135-mile-long paddle trail through four parishes and 13 towns along this historically and culturally significant bayou in Louisiana.

Blackstone River Bikeway, Rhode Island

posted Apr 14, 2024

The Blackstone River Bikeway takes you through the heart of the Blackstone Valley. Peddle past historic mills, workers housing, the Blackstone Canal, the Providence and Worcester Railroad, and the Blackstone River itself.

Twenty Mule Team Trail, California

posted Mar 17, 2024

For many people, nothing symbolizes Death Valley more than the famous Twenty Mule Teams.

Hillman Heritage Trail, Kentucky

posted Mar 17, 2024

Located in Hillman Ferry Campground, portions of the trail follow a long-abandoned road that once carried old cars, wagons, and horses to the Tennessee River at Hillman Ferry.

2,831 views • posted 03/26/2018