Possible bike trail to hit Palisade

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PALISADE, Colo. (KKCO) -- Imagine a bike trail that starts at nearly 11,000 feet with an enormous elevation change that ends at 4,7000 feet, a trail that could be considered a world-wide attraction: it might end up being just minutes away.

"A drop like this would be almost world class", said Richard Sales, Town Administrator of Palisade.

A trail that drops from the Grand Mesa to the valley floor in Palisade is what Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association (COPMOBA) is hoping for. It would be one of only a few rides to start in an alpine setting and finish in a desert.

COPMOBA representatives say it would connect trails together to create the tentatively named Palisade Plunge Trail.

"Our valley is an internationally known riding destination, and a ride like this is very uncommon around the world; a ride like this is really a very unique kind of ride", said Scott Winans, president of COPMOBA.

There is a chain of benefits from the trail, and local Palisade bike owners say the potential is infinite.

"All the towns struggle in the summertime tourism, and to have a bike ride that is a shuttle ride up to the Mesa and ends in the town of Palisade is huge”, said Rondo Buecheler, co-owner of Rapid Creek Cycles.

Palisade town officials say they support the idea, and if it includes helping the town’s economy, it’s in the ultimate plan

"We are going to support bicycle recreation, hiking, horse bike riding, shooting and numeral sporting activities as part of an economic development package for Ppalisade", said Sales.

COPMOBA representatives say the trail will be challenging for riders but will also have challenges to overcome before getting the OK.

"The challenges are it utilizes a wide variety that is under a variety of ownership or public land that is under a variety of ownership", said Winans.

BLM officials are waiting for a final proposed plan, but COPMOBA has no date set for a finished proposal.

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