Saturday, August 16, 2014

Biking Colorado's Blue River Bikeway (Breckenridge to Frisco Trail)

Nine miles of the Blue River Bikeway connect Breckenridge with Frisco with a (mostly) mild upward grade pitch as you head south toward" Breck" as the locals say.  Summit County has the trail signed as its Recreational Pathway, and as you hit the Breckenridge section, the signs change to Blue River RecPath. The trail is asphalt and in good condition.

The easiest way for me to find the trail was to start at the Summit Medical Center.  I saw on my iPad Maps app that the trail ran alongside the medical center, so we parked there (as did others) and used the paved connector path to get to the trail.  This first area we hit (heading south) was up above the road and lovely despite some clear cutting in progress.

Views of the mountains to the south were magnificent! The trail curved and did some roller-coaster hills and then a somewhat long and steep descent down to and around the high school.  Some northbound riders were walking their bikes up the hill and that's okay!  We call it cross-training! From there to Breckenridge was a gradual but constant uphill, barely noticeable but harkening that the trip back would be predominantly downhill (until the high school, of course.)

The Blue River Bikeway is a Colorado rail trail and part of the nationwide rail-trail system.  We noticed many families with children as we biked, proving the ease of the trail other than the steep section.  The section along Highway 9 is the least attractive segment, but most of the trail is lovely.

The final pedal into town was right alongside the river, and for the mountain bikers and hikers and fishermen, single track dirt paths were available alongside both sides of the Blue River.

The Breckenridge Visitor Center is the ending/starting point for the trail, and views like this await your arrival in picturesque Breckenridge. Washrooms, water, and food were available at both ends of the trail.

The Bikeway also leads to the Ten-Mile Canyon and Vail Pass National Recreation Trail, which parallels I-70. It is a fairly easy ride from Frisco to Copper Mountain, but then, from Copper Mountain up to the Vail Pass, the trail is quite a lot steeper, utilizing switchbacks and hairpin curves.

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