After two years of planning, Governor John Hickenlooper recently unveiled a comprehensive online map of more than 39,000 miles of trails highlighting hiking, cycling, and off-road routes across Colorado.
The Colorado Trail Explorer is part of Hickenlooper’s Colorado the Beautiful program, which markets the state’s outdoor recreation. Designed to work on both desktop and smartphone, the new map features more than 39,000 miles of trails and over 1,400 trailheads. There are 6,821 miles of mountain bike trails and 5,683 miles of hiking trails.
Already pretty incredible, CTE is just in its infancy. Eric Drummond, who works for the state’s parks division as a GIS analyst, told the Denver Post, “We intend to have every single of mile of trail in Colorado, but we are not even close. We are taking a long-term approach to this. We focused on making this a sustainable and updatable tool.”
The map is impressive. Trails are categorized by non-motorized (hiking and equestrian), mountain bike, off-road vehicles, and paved cycling routes. Layers allow you to choose satellite view, topo, or street map. Clicking on a trail displays a popup with the distance and what’s allowed on the trail.
There are features still missing from the system. There’s no way to save or bookmark trails and you can’t export trails to GPX or KML for viewing in other GPS applications. With a little more development Colorado Trail Explorer will become an indispensable tool for planning excursions in Colorado.