Justin Millar

Better access to improve LoBo Trail

Colorado’s regional trail system offers many opportunities to get out and bike with your family. One of the trails I like to ride with my own family is the LoBo Trail, a 12-mile long trail connecting Longmont and Boulder by way of Gunbarrel and Niwot. I am happy to share that one disorganized intersection along this particular trail is being improved as a write.

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Underpass rendering
Loris & Associates rendering, courtesy of Boulder County Transportation

Currently, the intersection of Highway 119, Airport Road and the LoBo Trail is busy with the construction of a new bicycle/pedestrian underpass and multi-use trail that will provide safer crossing options at the intersection. When finished, the underpass will allow cyclists traveling on the 119 Bikeway, users of the LoBo trail and transit users traveling northbound on 119 a much safer way to get to and from Airport Road.

More detailed information about the project can be found here.

At the macro level, the multi-use trail closes the gap between riding in southwest Longmont and accessing both 119 and the LoBo Trail. It may not seem like much, but projects like this are critical to creating a network of trails and improving overall bicycle/pedestrian infrastructure across our state. And on the micro level I live just off of Airport Road/119 and selfishly these improvements will help my daily rides!

For those unfamiliar with the LoBo trail, it is a great route from Longmont to Boulder for those looking to take their time. (It could also be called the BoLo Trail, but nobody from Boulder goes to Longmont!) The trail takes riders across packed gravel, cement, dirt and paved road over the course of its 12 miles. It twists and turns through a combination of open space, residential areas and creek side pathways that provide a scenic and enjoyable ride.

In Gunbarrel, the trail combines with moderately busy local roads with low speed limits for 1-2 miles.  Just beyond this, the trail takes you onto Jay Road for about a 1/3 of a mile, but there are wide shoulders and you’re back onto dirt/gravel just before Jay Road hits 119. I suggest bringing a map or smartphone with you for your first (and maybe second and third) time on the trail, because the signage is lacking in spots.

As a relatively new Longmont resident, I’ve found that the LoBo Trail is an good alternative to Highway 119 for getting to and from Boulder/Longmont. When riding with my 3 year old in the trailer or up front in the iBert, I will go out of my way to find routes that provide scenic pleasures and minimize exposure to traffic. The LoBo Trail does just that, and it will be even better with these improvements.

J&T LoBo Trail Mtn View1


Justin Millar

About the Author: Justin Millar

Justin handles all our bookkeeping including accounts payable and receivable, helps manage the online store and provides event support. His diverse background provides expertise any number of ways in the office. Justin enjoys riding around Boulder with his young son in tow.


Dan - Reply

I just rode the LoBo trail and concur with the author on nearly every point. It is a delightful trail from Longmont to Boulder. Although Justin may be correct about the direction of traffic historically being largely in Boulder’s favor, that is about to change. With city wide Gig speed fiber optic internet being installed right now, the all new shopping mall ‘Village at the Peaks’ opening late 2015, our growing number and quality of micro breweries, coffee houses and new restaurants, an expanding art museum, and a quaint, historic art centric downtown, I predict the traffic will begin to flow in both directions. In fact, though I love riding to Boulder and back, I am finding much less ‘compulsion’ to go there for shopping, dining or entertainment. We have a great farmer’s market too. Longmont is family friendly, bike friendly, more affordable, more diverse and in some ways more interesting than our friendly rival city, Boulder.


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Bicycle Colorado

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