About Poudre River Trail Corridor, Inc.
History of the Poudre River Trail
Just as the Cache la Poudre River has shaped our landscape, it has shaped our history and from the French Canadian Fur Trappers of the early 1800s, credited with naming the Cache la Poudre River, to the Union Colony settlers, who recognized the river as an agricultural and community lifeline. To the Town of Windsor, built on the spur of the Overland Trail that moved west along the river. Our communities have long relied on and benefited from the river.
The legacy continues. The Poudre River Trail started as a dream in the early 1970s. Local leaders would develop a vision to create a river trail that would provide a unique and appealing recreational amenity and connect northern Colorado communities. It would take 25 years to formally craft that vision into a trail plan and develop community and political support to move forward.
Groundbreaking for the Poudre River Trail took place on National Trail Days, June 2nd, 1994. Starting with a section in Greeley and a section in Windsor the trail came to life. As property agreements, community donations, grants, and in-kind and volunteer support allowed, sections of the trail were assembled like a 21-mile jigsaw puzzle. As more pieces were connected, the community utilized the trail to enjoy the Cache la Poudre Corridor in ways only dreamed of before the trail provided access.
Finally, in December 2008, the Poudre Trail Board drove its version of the Golden Spike, into the wet cement of the final stretch of the trail to connect its east and west sections. The completed concrete trail was 10’ wide and just over 21 miles long.
Nearly $ 8 million was raised through grants from Great Outdoors Colorado, Colorado State Trails, and North Front Range MPO, with matching contributions from local foundations, businesses, individuals, and governments.
The Poudre River Trail Corridor, Inc. (PRTC) is now a stand-alone non-profit organization, managed by an Executive Director.
Governance comes from a Board of Directors comprised of Greeley, Windsor & Weld County representatives. The organization operates under an intergovernmental agreement allowing the support of professional staff from the City of Greeley, Weld County, and the Town of Windsor. Together they form a community partnership that maintains and improves the incredible trail you see today.
This partnership has put forth countless hours to coordinate construction projects, land acquisitions, fundraising efforts, and community education programs about the trail.
PRTC is committed to maintaining strong governmental partnerships with Weld, Greeley, and Windsor; Strong community partnerships with our dedicated volunteers and community supporters; and, strong partnerships with other groups like the Poudre Learning Center and the Poudre Heritage Alliance.
As northern Colorado grows so will the landscape along the river system. To protect the river and its role as a linked natural area, the organization has expanded its vision to support the trail within a larger Greenway Corridor. The Greenway is more than just a trail. It is a corridor. This vision adds more pieces to the puzzle. Fortunately, while the trail pieces came together, Greeley and Windsor protected hundreds of acres of natural areas. This created opportunities to preserve sensitive habitats, protect the integrity of the river system and provide additional open space areas for public enjoyment. PRTC will also support the efforts of neighboring communities to connect to the Poudre River Trail. The legacy continues.
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