Bike-only downhill trails within an hour from Boulder
Located less than an hour away from Boulder in the heart of Colorado’s gold rush hills, the town of Black Hawk sits in an area full of trail potential and mining-era riches. The City of Black Hawk acquired the 600-acre property just north of town to create the Maryland Mountain Recreational Park and planners are quickly moving to build approximately 12-miles of trail for mountain biking, hiking, and trail running. The Colorado Mountain Bike Association and BMA got involved during the design and construction phase and successfully advocated for the addition of two bike-only, downhill-directional trails to the master plan.
Black Hawk’s history as a mining epicenter inspired the first phase of construction, which converted an ore-hauling tramway track into a green-rated access trail. Construction of the park’s singletrack began in 2020 starting with beginner and intermediate level trails that bring visitors to the mountain’s summit at 9,200′. The first of two bike-only, downhill-only trails is an intermediate level tread that descends 1,000′ over 2.4-miles and delivers riders back to the trail head. An advanced level designated-use and directional bike trail is also planned through the most rugged section of the mountain.
The town also plans a substantial overhaul of its historic Gregory Street, which will include a casino-free walking mall with a brewery, distillery, shops and restaurants. Expect the options for post-ride food and beverages to expand along with the trails and put Black Hawk on your need-to-ride list.
Maryland Mountain News
BMA and COMBA team up to create a unique trail in Black Hawk, Colorado (reprinted from imba.com)
The wait is nearly over! The newest addition to the Maryland Mountain trail system, Powder Keg, is set to open Friday, September 16th!
Powder Keg at Maryland Mountain is getting close to opening. Here’s Rutter’s report on some of the final tuning being done to get this trail ready to roll.
Maryland Mountain Project Timeline
After years of working to resolve mining claims and Bureau of Land Management inholdings, the city of Black Hawk purchased Maryland Mountain for the purpose of creating an outdoor recreation area.
An initial master plan for trails and amenities was created by Mary Hart Designs; updates followed in 2019 and 2020. The plan provided opportunities to enjoy a variety of singletrack experiences and tour the historic cultural sites from the Colorado gold rush era.
Phase one construction began, tackling the tramway conversion and construction of the Hidden Treasure Trailhead on Hwy. 119.
Construction of the Maryland Mountain singletrack trail system by Black Diamond Designs and High Country Conservation, supported by volunteers from COMBA and Boulder Mountainbike Alliance. Crews completed Claim Jumper and its alternate lines and got Hard Money finished and tuned by the time the snow fell in January 2021.
The area’s second bike-only downhill trail Fast Money was started by High Country Conservation and mainly built by BMA and COMBA volunteers. COMBA volunteers built the first section, BMA’s Mike Rutter tuned the middle section and designed and built (with volunteers) the third section. The full trail opened in the fall.
Construction of the bike-only, downhill-only, double black trail “Powder Keg” was completed with the help of Jagged Axe Trail Designs on September 16, 2022. This effort was supported by volunteers from COMBA and BMA.
Sometimes, when you work hard enough and long enough, dreams do come true. We finally had the opportunity to build the kind of trail we’ve been hunting and the already great trail system on Maryland Mountain is the site. When these trails were originally planned, they left off this portion of the mountain as it was too rocky and steep for the types of trails being envisioned. So we asked if we could take the lead and build something really special. The generous folks in Black Hawk agreed and we got busy putting this project together!