Palisade, Mesa County celebrate grand opening of new trail

The Palisade Plunge Trail is not fully open to the public
Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 9:30 AM MDT
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PALISADE, Colo. (KKCO) -The Town of Palisade is celebrating the grand opening of the Palisade Plunge Trail, a biking trail that will take riders from the Grand Mesa to Palisade.

The trail project is a collaboration of Palisade, the Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association and other partnering organizations. COPMOBA has spearheaded the Palisade Plunge trail project for nearly the past 12 years.

Matthew Coghill came all the way from the Front Range to be at the opening of the Plunge. Not only is he a friend of one of the project’s contractors, but an avid mountain biker himself. According to Coghill, “The mountains up here, this is really where we all wanna be when it comes time to get out for the weekend and spend a little bit of time... You start in one part of the ecosystem and you end up in another, and it creates a whole day experience, and that’s just, that’s the good stuff. That’s part of what makes riding bikes to great.”

It’s not just for cyclists either. Hikers and horseback riders are welcome on the trail as well. Multiple municipalities and government agencies had to work together to make it work as well. Now that the trail is done, it puts Mesa County on the map as a mountain biking destination.

Laura Page, Mesa County Construction Group Manager, explained that, “Most mountain bike trails are built piecemeal, little small sections, that you might jump onto a two-track trail, and then catch another trail, but to have 34 miles of brand-new mountain bike trail built in one effort, over two and a half construction seasons, is just a once-in-a-lifetime project.”

You can find the start of the plunge at the Mesa Top trail head on the Grand Mesa. According to organizers, the Plunge offers incredible views alongside challenging terrain. “The Palisade Plunge Trail is a unique and unforgettable trail experience, providing access to remote public lands while traversing stunning alpine to high desert terrain as it connects the top elevations of the Grand Mesa to the Town of Palisade, 6,000 feet below,” said Scott Winans, President of COPMOBA and member of the ORC Leadership Council.

Now that the trail is ready for public use, the town is celebrating. Palisade is hosting a party tonight, July 23, 5-9 p.m. on 3rd and Main Street downtown.

“Please join the town to celebrate this amazing trail accomplishment that took over 12 years and many people to make happen,” said Greg Mikolai, Town of Palisade Mayor. “Come enjoy music and food.”

Organizers say the Palisade Plunge Trail is one of only a few trails like it in the country and is expected to bring a minimum of $5 million dollars annually to the local economy.

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