PALISADE, Colo. (KREX)- Building the Palisade Plunge is part of the Shoulder Improvement Project for North River Road. 32 miles of canyon desert and forested slope is expected to draw tourists and visitors both near and far.

Open and partial, the extensive trail is already making an impression on its first day.

“It really wasn’t too busy this morning, we didn’t see how our bikes coming down yet but we did see some going up,” Felipe Vigil describes, “It’s gonna be pretty excited to see phase II take off, see that longer section come in, and actually see some more traffic come up here with the bikes.”

This is only the start of something new.

“Although all 32 miles of the Palisade Plunge are not done on opening day, enough miles on the trail during Phase I are open for people to enjoy hiking, biking, and just being outside,” Cora Dickey reports.

Locals see this creating an opportunity for Palisade, bringing in nature lovers within and beyond the Grand Valley.

“I think I’ll be good for the community and everything,” Sherrie Nettleblad shares, “We did run into people who are here from Denver and they thought it was absolutely beautiful.”

The final product will connect the top of the Mesa to the bottom of Palisade’s Rim Trailhead. Phase two is scheduled to be completed at the end of July.