Connecting “the last mile” to the great outdoors

In most of the communities of San Luis Valley, we have a “last mile” challenge. Public lands and public places are often not walkable from homes. Whether that is going to school, biking to open space, or hiking to a trail, people must drive to reach their destination. With the addition of relatively short trail segments in key places, residents, visitors, students, and seniors, can enjoy the benefits of outdoor access and the health, safety, economic, and recreational benefits that the outdoors provides. Trails Connect is a campaign to complete those “last mile” trail segments to benefit Valley residents both now and into the future. 

How these trails will improve our communities

Trails Connect to outdoor recreation

Trail systems provide the heart of many outdoor recreation activities. We value our trails in Colorado. Whether mountain biking or hiking, getting on a trail is an important benefit of living in our state. Trails Connect will provide more direct access to public open space and trails with new trail segments from the town to these recreational opportunities. This is especially urgent in many of the low-income communities where this trail access is needed most.

Trails Connect to healthy lifestyles

Health professionals advise getting outdoors for exercise and recreation as part of maintaining optimum health. Making outdoor access easier is a core benefit of Trails Connect. Today, in many of our Valley communities, residents must drive to trails and open space. New trail segments will make getting out for exercise easier. 

Trails Connect to economic development

San Luis Valley is a beautiful place and one that can attract visitors from major urban areas. Those visitors provide an economic boost for many of our communities. We can encourage more visitors by making trail access easier and trail opportunities more visible. Trails Connect will provide an economic boost for many of our communities. 

Seven key trail segments provide important access for Valley communities

San Luis Valley, headwaters of the Rio Grande, is the largest alpine desert valley in the world. The Valley includes six counties and parts of three others. It is principally an agricultural region and one of the most economically depressed areas of Colorado. The Valley is home to the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.

We invite you to invest in the San Luis Valley for the health and economic vitality of our residents. Easy access to open space and public lands will make a valuable contribution to the quality of life for those who live in and visit our beautiful Valley. Thank you for your consideration of Trails Connect.