Open Space & Trails Department

The Summit County Open Space and Trails Department identifies, protects and manages open spaces, trails and trailheads to preserve and maintain Summit County's rural mountain character, unique natural areas and high quality of life for residents and visitors.

COVID-19 Operations

Summit County is currently restricting public access to the Open Space and Trails Department in order to reduce COVID-19 transmission.

The Open Space and Trails Department is available Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. with one staff member at the office. Occasionally it is necessary for staff to perform site visits or appointments to various locations throughout the County and staff may not be available on a given day or time. Therefore we strongly encourage the public to continue to make contact with the Department through phone calls and e-mails. If after conversing with staff by email or phone there is a need to physically come to our offices, appointments can be made quickly and easily.

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While there are currently no closures to County Open Space and trail property interests related to the ongoing COVID-19 emergency, Section III.F. of the Governor’s Public Health Order-20-24 Implementing Stay at Home Requirements contains specific Social Distancing requirements that should be applied on trails, at trailheads, and in the backcountry:

F. Social Distancing Requirements. To reduce the risk of disease transmission, individuals shall maintain at least a six-foot distance from other individuals, wash hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds as frequently as possible or using hand sanitizer, cover coughs or sneezes (into the sleeve or elbow, not hands), regularly clean high-touch surfaces, and not shake hands.


Recreation Opportunities


Open Space and Trails preserves the county's rich heritage of outdoor recreation and trail use. The county’s immense scenic beauty and mix of geography, public lands, and tourism combine to create world-class recreational amenities and opportunities. By and large, recreation remains the most important aspect to a vital Summit County economy.

Open Space and Trails works with multiple partners including the U.S. Forest Service and our local towns. Our properties are often gateways to the vast recreational resources that the U.S. Forest Service provides. We have numerous trail portals and parking areas throughout the county, providing a variety of recreational opportunities.
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E-bikes

E-bikes are a growing trend in cycling. For more information about e-bike regulations and their use on natural surface trails or the Recpath, visit our special projects page.

Mine Cleanup and Reclamation

Open Space and Trails preserves and enhances landscapes and recreational opportunities by reducing pollution at numerous abandoned mine sites

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Accomplishments


The State of the Open Space Report (pdf) summarizes the Summit County Open Space and Trail department’s accomplishments since its inception in 1995.

The report presents the current open space system and the many trails owned and managed by Open Space and Trails. It also provides clear metrics to measure the progress of the Open Space and Trails Department, including miles of trails, acreage of protected lands, and acquisition-related expenses.
  • The program has protected almost 17,500 acres of land as open space through over 347 acquisitions and dedications, working with over 200 landowners.
  • Each tax dollar spent to date to purchase open space has protected over $3 worth of property in Summit County, because our funds leverage contributions from property owners, Great Outdoors Colorado, and other organizations.
  • Together with its partners, Summit County manages more than 100 trailheads and local trail portals for convenient access to the county's bountiful, outdoor recreational opportunities. 
  • Summit County has constructed and maintains over 38 miles of Recpath, an off-street bicycle network. This is part of the 55 mile system throughout Summit County.
  • Summit County manages approximately 100 miles of singletrack, natural surface trails and 50 miles of dirt roads with partners at US Forest Service and towns of Breckenridge, Frisco, Dillon, and Silverthorne.
  • 1,315 volunteer hours were contributed to county open space and trail projects in 2019 with an estimated monetary value of $32,875. 

Trail Camera

Watch elk, mule deer, coyotes, foxes, and mountain lions on Summit County Open Space. 

Preventing Moose Attacks

More people are attacked by moose than by any other wildlife species, but attacks are preventable. See Colorado Parks and Wildlife's strategies for preventing moose attacks.