“A flat and wide trail that will take you through pastures and alongside the Gunnison River.”
— Bradley Potter
Birding · River/Creek · Views · Wildlife
This is a beautiful place for a walk, run, or bike ride. Wide trails, great scenery and open space with little noise other than the occasional school bell, river and birds. It is a very friendly space. If you do bring dogs, which are allowed, please pick up after your dog. It is important to keep this area in good condition and have respect for others. Thank you.
In the winter time the area offers free Nordic skiing. Those few intersections can be slightly muddy too sometimes.
Need to Know
The shaded areas have the most mud for obvious reasons. Also, this area is open to mountain biking, its not extreme by any means so you won't have someone rage right by you, but bikers are on the trail from time to time.
I love hiking on a trail that goes through a stand of tall trees, there is something scenic and isolated about it. Well that's what you can expect in the beginning. As you continue there will be a turn off to the left that is a cutoff or a side trail if you want to make it shorter.
Continuing on, you begin to escape the trees on a straight and wide path until you reach a dirt road. Cross the road to where the port-a-potty is and the trail continues. Soon after there is a wonderful hand carved bench and picnic table under some trees if you want to have a picnic or stretch.
As you continue, the trail makes a few turns with a slight downhill (very easy in the reverse direction) with a pink-ish house on the right. The trail makes a left, now headed west, where there is another hand carved bench alongside the Gunnison River for a good chance to take a break and look around before the trail makes another left. The path makes another curve and if follows a ditch for the cattle and agriculture in the area where you may see some ducks.
Then, you cross a small foot bridge which is probably the narrowest part of the trail and can be icy sometimes of the year. Passing fences on either side, you may be greeted by some cows or horses. The fenced in land is private property so do not cross onto their land, the trail is obvious so this should not be a problem.
Further down the trail you'll get to a split in the trail. To the left is that same cutoff optional trail to where the tall trees are. The other trail that crosses another tiny foot bridge takes you down to a house which will then link you up with the road you started on. If you go left you should know where you are and is a great trail to take if you want to make another lap or put you back where you started. If you go right, across the small wooden foot bridge, you'll reach a house on the corner to your right and a dirt road, where you'll then make a right and end up where you started.
Flora & Fauna
You are guaranteed to see some cows and horses as they are always in the pastures in between the trail. They are fenced in well and won't bother you if you don't bother them. From time to time you can see some Mallard ducks swimming in the Gunnison River, I have yet to see fish, but I know they are there. There are many types of birds so if you are an avid ornithologist and walking around the area, bring your binoculars.
History & Background
A wonderful man by the name of Ray Van Tuyl was the original owner of the property where he raised his cattle and kept a few horses. When he passed away a number of years ago it was made in his will that the property would be donated to the city of Gunnison. The land was divvied up in a way that would set aside land for recreation (the trail), a Nordic Skiing course that goes through some of the open pastures in the winter time, grazing areas for local ranchers and an area where a new Library that has yet to be constructed.