High Plains Trail
The High Plains Trail is a regional trail along E-470 that will eventually stretch from the High Line Canal in northern Aurora to the Cherry Creek Trail in Parker. The High Plains Trail is the first part of a multi-year phased approach to build an east metro regional trail network.
The middle section of the High Plains Trail is now open from Quebec to south of Ireland Way in Arapahoe County. The E-470 Public Highway Authority funded the 5.5 mile section as part of the widening project of the highway. This trail is planned to ultimately continue to the north adjacent to E-470 as their widening projects continue in the future.
The trail is also planned to continue due west, separating from the E-470 corridor and crossing through the future Kings Point development in Aurora, including a grade separated overcrossing of Parker Road. Once the trail crosses over Parker Road, it will connect with the existing Cherry Creek Trail, where trail users can head north on the Cherry Creek Trail or head south and connect with the existing Centennial Trail (aka E-470 Trail) within Parker to continue west. This alignment will ultimately provide a much safer crossing of Parker Road than an at-grade crossing near Cottonwood Drive to the south.
The High Plains Trail has five neighborhood trail connections. The five connector trails include the Copperleaf, Saddle Rock, Ponderosa, Piney Creek, and Liberty Middle School connector trails. Arapahoe County Open Spaces Acquisition and Development funding paid for the five trail connections and signage/wayfinding for the new connector trails for a total of $830,000.
All of the connection are open except for the Piney Creek connection which is planned to open at the end of June.
Funding for the design and construction of the remaining phase of this new regional trail, including the overpass of Parker Road, is a joint effort between Arapahoe County, Parker, Aurora and Douglas County (The Partner Group). The E-470 Authority has already contributed $438,000 towards this project, and the group is planning to seek additional funding through a trails grant with Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO).
The overpass is currently in the conceptual design phase of the trail over-crossing of Parker Road and determining the most appropriate route through the future Kings Point Development. Pending funding and permitting, construction is not expected to begin until 2020 at the earliest. While that may seem like a long time, all partners in this project are committed to completing this important trail connection as soon as possible.