Animas River Trail

Colorado

Animas River Trail Facts

States: Colorado
Counties: La Plata
Length: 7 miles
Trail end points: Bennett Street at Animas City Park and La Posta Road and River Road
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Concrete, Gravel
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6015339
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Wheelchair Accessible, Mountain Biking, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

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Animas River Trail Description

The Animas River Trail runs for 7 miles along the scenic Animas River, occasionally following the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad corridor. During summer about 8 trains per day run along the tracks; in Durango the trains travel a maximum of 15-20 mph. The trail extends from Animas City Park at Bennett Road heading south to River Road, where it crosses the bridge to end at La Posta Road. The trail cuts through several city parks and across five bridges.

Along the way you'll find many interpretive signs and nice facilities. During summer watch the kayakers and inner-tube floaters along the river. There are plans to extend the trail both north and south of its current end points.

Parking and Trail Access

You can park at a small gravel lot along Bennett Road at the trail's northern end and at the bend of E. 29th Street where the trail crosses. You can park at the CSU Extension campus between the ballfields and the river. Parking is available at the Durango Public Library at E. 3rd and Park avenues and at Rotary Park at the end of E. 2nd Avenue, shopping plazas along Main Street on the river's east bank where the trail crosses, at Schneider Park along Roosa Avenue (2 parking areas), at Santa Rita Drive and Camino del Rio (US 550/160), at the Durango Mall, at the end of River Oaks Drive (a few spaces only) and at the southern endpoint at the scenic overlook by River and La Posta roads.

Animas River Trail Reviews

Started at the south end, parking lot across the river behind Home Depot. It had rained/misty conditions, and did not encounter many people. To label this RailsTrails might be misleading where I started; you expect that at most you encounter a slow grade increase or decrease with R to T, but the first 3 miles included several hills to travel up or down the river bank. Then the trail levels out though I turned around about 7 miles. STILL quite scenic, concrete sections very smooth, and asphalt sectins a bit bumpy.

The Animas River Trail, as its name implies, is a paved trail that runs along the Animas River for about 7 miles (one way).

We started the trail at the La Plata Fairgrounds and headed north into town. The trail through town is narrow and is busy with cyclists, walkers, joggers, and people pushing baby carriages. You need to pay attention on this section of the trail because it also has a number of large cracks and tree roots on the path. If you are a history buff, there are a number of interpretive signs along the trail. There are also a number of restaurants and cafés along this section of the trail. The trail also passes through several parks.

The trail passes through Santa Rita Park which has a visitor center and nice areas for picnicking. The trail continues on for about 3.5 miles from the park and this section of the trail is the best. The trail looks newer. It is wider and has more ups and downs than the northern section. The trail ends abruptly at a scenic overlook. Overall, it was an enjoyable ride.

Rode this trail 3 days straight in late July. The north end which is bordered by the Animas River and downtown businesses can be a little congested but is still very scenic and enjoyable.
Head south east out of town and you can get up a head of steam and enjoy some short climbs while still following the river.
This trail cost the Colorado Tax Payers a few bucks with dedicated bridges and mostly concrete pathway. It is first class all the way and I wish there were more trails done with the attention to safety and detail this one has gotten.

Accordion

Rode the trail end of July, 2012. We parked at the Visitor Center and rode out both ways and back. Loved it. Very scenic along the river and easy to follow. Plenty of interesting stops. Surface is good. A few large cracks to watch for. We were riding hybrids. Beware of not-so-smart people with babies sitting in lawn chairs under shaded bridges on the trail along the river in town. This trail is highly used.

this is a peaceful river ride. some parts of the trail were closed, but it was not a problem. If you look at the maps on the side of the trail, you can usually see where you need to go to get past the area being worked on. I saw two 'speedo torpedo's' all angry and complaining like petulant little kids about the trail being closed.

Many short steep grades. Except for the root heaves and cracks, mainly south of US 160 bridge, this would be a 5 star Trail. Excellent Scenery, Historical Signs and Facilities. Watch the River Trippers on Rafts, Kayaks, & Tubes as you ride along side, or from the bridges.
Noel Keller 26 Jun 2010

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