Denver’s newest bike trail is on its way. Powered by Downtown Denver Partnership, The 5280 trail is a 5.280-mile loop designed to connect neighborhoods and create more options for city travel.
First announced in 2017, designers and architects spent the better part of four years visualizing a strategic bike loop that would feel intuitive to riders. On March 23, The 5280 trail entered Phase 3: Implementation. Now workers are building the trail itself including signs, trail markers and road stencils. Confluence Park marks the official trailhead, which is also the beginning of Cherry Creek Trail and South Platte River Trail. But the trail’s fluid loop design creates any number of entry points, creating a different experience. The 5.280-mile loop weaves through high traffic areas of downtown. It connects LoDo, Auraria Campus, Art District on Santa Fe, Speer, Capitol Hill, and Uptown. The areas inside the trail loop are 16th Street Mall, Union Station, Colorado Convention Center, and Civic Center Park.
By design, the trail links each neighborhood for easy bike and walking access. It creates a more seamless transition between distinct neighborhoods such as Art District on Santa Fe to LoDo. Trail users can expect easier commutes within downtown Denver. A convenient work commute from an apartment in Capitol Hill to an office in LoDo might motivate more people to travel 20 minutes by bike for free instead of risking car traffic and incurring steep parking fees. Another core design feature weaves the trail along key city landmarks like the State Capitol and Union Station. Additionally, the trail provides unique opportunities for recreation and tourism. People visiting downtown on occasion or for the first time can rent a JUMP Bike and explore downtown Denver.
Riders aren’t the only ones projected to gain from the trail’s use. Trail architects built an inclusive route. It’s centered on linking neighborhoods for people and expanding opportunities for local businesses. Strung together by the loop, local business owners in every downtown neighborhood stand to gain visibility and foot traffic from trail use.
So far, Downtown Denver Partnership has not released a projected completion date. Regardless, trail implementation comes at a time where people are craving this exact type of mobility and connection. After staying inside and apart for so long, the desire to find a more natural way of living in and exploring Denver won’t go away any time soon. Denver residents and visitors alike have an exciting new trail to look forward to.
You can keep up with trail progress and project updates online.