In late 2020 and early 2021, in conjunction with its municipal and county partners, the Stage and Rail Trail project obtained formal approval and signed two major sections of the 70-mile hiking/driving/biking trail from Salida to Leadville in Chaffee County.
The project, sponsored by GARNA, has been underway for more than a decade, and is steadily making progress. In 2016 it was recognized as one of Colorado’s 16 top priority regional trails under then Governor Hickenlooper’s Colorado the Beautiful Program https://cpw.state.co.us/trails-strategic-plan
At its southern end, the City of Salida and Chaffee County approved a nine-mile section on country roads, city streets and city trails from US50 north through Salida and west to join US285. Rhe multiuse trail generally follows the historic route of the old stage road from where it crossed the Arkansas near Cleora, through town and west along the south side of the river out to Big Bend.
In its midsection, the Town of Buena Vista and Chaffee County approved and signed a thirteen-mile section from US285/24 in Johnson Village north through the town and further north along the Arkansas River’s East bank along CR371 to its junction with US24. In this history-rich section the trail alternatively follows the old stage road or the historic route of the Colorado Midland Railroad.