Palisade, CO - The planned Palisade Plunge mountain biking trail took another step closer to reality, after the BLM on Tuesday signed off on the project.
The Palisade Plunge will be a 32-mile single-track trail that descends from the Grand Mesa down to Palisade. Several groups have been working on funding for the project, which is expected to be an economic boon to Palisade.
The attached story is a look at the project done by KREX 5 News reporter Colette Bordelon in March.
Below is the full news release from the Department of the Interior:
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – Today, the Bureau of Land Management Grand Junction Field Office approved the “Palisade Plunge,” a new 32-mile single-track trail descending nearly 6,000 feet from the Grand Mesa to Palisade, Colorado.
The Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association (COPMOBA), U.S. Forest Service, Town of Palisade, Mesa County, the City of Grand Junction, the Bureau of Reclamation, Colorado Parks and Wildlife and Orchard Mesa Irrigation District helped develop the trail as a part of Governor John Hickenlooper’s “Colorado’s 16” initiative to support trails and promote outdoor recreation in Colorado.
“This project hits on several priorities established for BLM by Secretary Zinke: being a good neighbor by listening to our communities, generating revenue and using our natural resources, and expanding outdoor recreation and access,” said Rick May, Senior National Advisor for Recreation at the Department of the Interior.
"I was in Lander, Wyoming, last week for the announcement of the 20-year withdrawal of public land from mining in the Johnny Behind the Rocks Recreation Zone. In April we announced the 20-year extension on a mineral withdrawal in the Whiskey Mountain area of Wyoming that will benefit big game,” May said. “These actions all support Secretarial Order 3366, which prioritizes Interior’s recreation mission and calls for increasing access to public lands.”
“We are pleased to have finished the planning process, and look forward to working closely with our partners to fund and start building the new trail,” said Katie Stevens, BLM Grand Junction Field Manager. “We appreciate the time and energy people put into attending meetings, reviewing documents and providing public comments. This project will be a unique addition to the recreation opportunities here in the Grand Valley. As a long distance downhill ride, it fits an unfilled niche in our mountain biking opportunities.”
Access to the new trail begins at the Mesa Top Trailhead along Highway 65 or from other approved access points along the trail such as Lands End Road or the Palisade Rim Trail. The trail ends in downtown Palisade.
Local communities have supported the project as an economic development opportunity. The project could infuse an estimated $2.5 million annually into the local economy.
To review the project documents and decision, go to https://go.usa.gov/xnttn.