An idea that first began in 2012 will now be able to connect Downtown Grand Junction to a beautiful trail highlighting our outdoor recreation. The last bit of money in this $2.5 million project has been provided in a recent grant, meaning dreams of the Lunch Loop Connector Trail are becoming a reality.
Construction on the one and a half mile trail is expected to start in the spring of 2019, and is projected to be complete by the fall. It will be a concrete path from the existing Riverfront Trail to the Lunch Loop area and Three Sisters Open Space property. "The great thing about this paved trail, is that it brings kids, families, people of all ages and abilities to this open space," said Libby Collins, the project coordinator with the Colorado West Land Trust.
Traci Wieland, the deputy director of the Grand Junction Parks and Recreation Department, said the Lunch Loops Trailhead is one of the most visited in Mesa County with around 120,000 visitors annually. "Having this connector from the downtown area, that just increases our reach to be able to draw tourists to this area, and we anticipate our 120,000 will jump at least by 50,000," said Wieland.
The $2.5 million will also be used for improvements to the trail, for things like safety, traffic flows, and amenities such as shade shelters. Most of the $2.5 million came from grants and $500,000 came from the city and county, according to Collins.
Partners on the project include the Colorado West Land Trust, Great Outdoors Colorado, Mesa County, City of Grand Junction, Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance program/NPS, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Bacon Family Foundation, El Pomar Foundation, Goodwin Foundation, Gates Family Foundation, One Riverfront, and the Bureau of Land Management.