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​​We’re mapping Colorado’s Trails

The Colorado the Beautiful vision is to ensure that within a generation, every Coloradan will live within 10 minutes of a park, trail, or vibrant green space. The Colorado Trail System (CTS) promotes and enhances the Colorado the Beautiful mission by serving as the connection between people, trails, and technology by incorporating every mile of trail into a single map.

CTS In the News

​1/22/2017Interactive map of Colorado’s trail system in testing stages - The Durango Herald
​1/15/2016Gov. Hickenlooper Announces First Phase of Online Statewide Trail Map -


In January 2015, Governor John Hickenlooper announced the Colorado the Beautiful Initiative during his annual State of the State address. This initiative represents a statewide effort to grow, enhance, connect, and market statewide outdoor recreation resources as a means to support Colorado’s rapidly growing demand for outdoor recreation opportunities. As part of the initiative, the Governor envisions a comprehensive outdoor recreation map for the state of Colorado which includes trails, open spaces, parks, and protected lands. The Colorado Trail System (CTS) represents the first step in building such a tool, with a focus on one of the most important means of access to the outdoors: trails.


The Colorado Trail System promotes and enhances the Colorado the Beautiful mission of a world class system of recreational trails in Colorado by providing targeted, vetted content in a geographic context to a wide variety of outdoor enthusiasts. CTS is designed to enhance the outdoor recreationists’ experience by providing:

  • A comprehensive and up-to-date map of trails in Colorado;

  • Increased opportunities for discovering new trails;

  • Efficiencies for planning an outing & finding access to trailheads;

  • Better tools for exploring Colorado’s outstanding network of recreational trails.


To establish a flexible platform that will enable trail management stakeholders the ability to collaboratively build, maintain, and publish a geospatial repository of recreational trails across the state of Colorado.

What is a Trail?

A common route legally traversed by the general public which is primarily utilized for recreation. Additionally, non-recreational public roads may be considered a trail segments under two circumstances:

  • When a road provides important connectivity or access to an overall recreational route;
  • When a road also has dedicated bike facilities such as painted lanes or signed route.

Value Proposition for the Colorado Trails System

The overall mission of the CTS is to develop and promote the use and protection of one of Colorado’s most valuable resources – its open space and recreational opportunities that it presents - by expanding a connected and accessible statewide trail system. It will be built on a solid foundation supported by building and maintaining geospatial content and associated software applications that encourage the use of our trail system, thereby also supporting healthy lifestyles, for both adults and children.

The CTS platform is envisioned as a COTS implementation of core GIS enterprise technology combined with new tools that leverage current web and optional cloud patterns of deployment. It should be viewed as part of an enterprise approach to delivering geospatial trails content. The web/cloud deployment pattern will be the entry point and content management hub for CTS geospatial content and provide an ecosystem for sharing geographic information across the CTS participants and the general public. The goal for web/cloud pattern is to act as a toolkit that participants of the CTS can use to rapidly integrate geospatial capabilities and make them available to the public.

This contemporary approach has the effect of increasing adoption of a proactive approach to managing and planning trails as time to market for data content, targeted software applications, and system enhancements is significantly reduced. The ability for the CTS to configure and quickly leverage focused applications will result in increased public exposure to valuable geospatially referenced content.

Colorado Trail System Documents List