Open Space and Trails is leading efforts, along with numerous project partners, to naturalize more than two miles of the Swan River Valley decimated by historic dredge mining during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Approximately half of this distance is on land jointly owned by Summit County and the Town of Breckenridge. After more than a decade of planning, in 2016 and 2017 over, a half mile of valley floor was restored with a mile-long stream channel and 25 acres of floodplain. Gravel removal on the remaining areas is ongoing, with restoration work expected to occur following these removal activities.
A naturalized valley condition provides greatly enhanced fish and wildlife habitat, as well as educational and recreational opportunities. As the project is ongoing, and many locations are fragile or potentially dangerous, we ask the public to respect posted closures. Additional information about the Swan River Restoration Project is available at Restore the Swan River, the Swan River Restoration Project Blog, and in the documents below:
"I visited the Swan River Restoration site this weekend for the first time since before the project was started. My initial perspective on the project was one of skepticism. However, after seeing the amazing transformation, I am now a true believer."