A Fee to Ride a Bicycle on the Riverfront Trail?
When there is snow in the mountains and in the front range, I love to head west to Mesa County to ride bikes, visit friends, and hang out. It goes without saying that Mesa County is a beautiful place with scenic views that can be seen from spectacular roads and trails.
My favorite places to ride road bikes in Mesa County are the Colorado National Monument, the Blue Route, and the Riverfront trail. There are a lot of good roads and light traffic in most of Mesa County so riding the roads is a great option when I am not on the mountain bike trails, like the Lunch Loops, 18 Road, or Kokopelli Trails.
The big news for cyclist right now in Mesa County is the new charge for riding your bikes through the State Parks on the Riverfront Trail. The Riverfront trail is a paved bike path and a great resource for all of Mesa County as it currently extends from Palisades to Loma. In November of 2018, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) started charging cyclists over age 16 when they use certain parts of the Riverfront trail by requiring a $4 fee. So unless you have an annual Colorado State Parks pass or proof of that you bought a pass, which is a sticker that goes in your car with you, you will be charged that $4 fee if you ride through a State Park that is part of the Riverfront Trail.
John Hodge told me about this new change and we talked about it a lot when I went to the April Mesa County Bicycling Alliance Meeting. A picture of John in his ubiquitous Hawaiian Shirt with me is attached. To help folks understand where the Fee Area on the Riverfront Trails is, John made a great map which is attached. John said that these fees are not applied across the State of Colorado, but the ‘new’ fees apply mostly to northwest Colorado regional parks. I asked if you just ride your bike through and do not stop are you still required to pay the $4 fee, and John said “yes.” While $4 ids not much to pay one time, it will add up if you ride the Riverfront Trail several times a week as part of your training. In closing, John and the Mesa County Bicycling Alliance are on top of this issue and is discussing the matter with CPW to see if there can be a fee waiver for cyclists as there was before November of 2018.