Location: The Barbara Whipple Trail is named after a local artist and is accessible from the Buena Vista River Park Bridge, the Midland Railroad and Four Mile Trails, the Arkansas River Trail and the Whitewater Trail. From the traffic light in Buena Vista, take Main Street east until you reach the dirt parking lot at the boat ramp.
Description: The Barbara Whipple Trail is a grouping of several trails on the east side of the Arkansas River. It is the most popular hike in town and hiking this trail is easily combined with any biking or boating experience nearby. Looking back across the valley, you will see great views of the Collegiate Peaks. The trail runs through pinions and branches to a portion of the old Midland Railroad grade. Several kiosks along the way provide current and historical information about the area.
Length: The trail is approximately 1.3 miles in length if experienced as a loop hike. Hiking on various branches can lengthen that experience.
Difficulty: Moderate - The trail is steep beginning at the Arkansas River trailhead, but becomes much easier with some elevation gain. Total elevation gain for the trail is approximately 600 feet.
Recommended Use: Year-round, weather permitting.
For more information, click on the link below to see views from the trail, the layout of the trail on a topo map as well as an elevation profile of the hike.
Whipple Trail Views
Arkansas River Trail
Location: The Arkansas River Trail can be accessed from the Buena Vista River Park, South Main Development, Arizona Street (Chaffee County Road 313), Ramsour Road, BLM property, Whitewater Trail and the Barbara Whipple Trail.
Description: The trail is mostly a hard surface trail. It lies on the west side of the river and travles both north from the River Park kiosks and south from the kiosks. To the south, the trail passes through South Main to the intersection of the Whitewater Trail and BLM property - ending at Ramsour Road. In the South Main Development there are benches, a kiosk and civic square. The north section intersects with the Ripple Rock Trail and features great views of the boat launch and several kayak playholes.
Length: From Park restrooon south - .6 mile
From Park restroom north - .44 mile
Recommended Use: Year-round, weather permitting
Location: The Whitewater Trail can be accessed from the Buena Vista River Park, South Main Development, Ramsour Road (through BLM property, and the Arkansas River Trail via the stairway on the north. The trail runs south from the intersection of the Arkansas River Trail (at stairway) to the intersection of BLM property.
Description: This natural, hard-surface trail runs directly south along the Arkansas River and contains great views of kayak playholes and whitewater rafting. There are several informational kiosks and natural resting places (rocks).
Length: .35 mile
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Recommended Use: Year-round hiking, biking, dogs permitted on leash.
Non-motorized, Not ADA accessible.
Rock 'n Roll Trail
Location: The Rock 'n Roll Trail can be accessed from the Arkansas River Trail north of the Buena Vista River Park and the Barbara Whipple Trail.
Uses: Hiking, fishing not ADA accessible, no bicycles, dogs permitted on leash, non-motorized use.
Description: The Rock 'n Roll Trail lies north of the River Park restrooms and is a branch of the Arkansas River Trail funning along the Arkansas River. It is a natural surface trail with rocky outcroppings and is not suitable for bicycles. Its main purpose is an access for fishermen and hikers. It has one informational kiosk and has views of a kayak play-hole, boat launch and all the amenities of the Buena Vista River Park.
Length: .2 miles
Difficulty: Very rocky with steep grades
Recommended Use: Year round weather permitting
Location: McPhelemy Park is located at the northwest corner of the intersection of US Highway 24 and Chaffee County Road 306 (Main Street) and just west of Lakeside Street.
Uses: Biking, walking, relaxing, fishing, picnic sites, non-motorized use.
Description: McPhelemy Park is located in the center of town and is the trailhead for many bike and hiking trails. Restrooms, picnic facilities, playground equipment, fishing in the Town lake, and the historic Railroad Depot can be found in the park. A trail kiosk features brochures and maps of the trails within the Town limits and surrounding area.
Recommended Use: Open year-round: Summer fairs and a Fishing Derby.
Cottonwood Creek Trail
Location: The Cottonwood Creek Trail can be accessed from the McPhelemy Park trailhead, from the Marquard Nature Area (behind Buena Vista Middle School), from Railroad Street, from Arizona Street (CR313) or from Marquette Street.
Uses: Hiking, biking, dogs permitted on leash, ADA accessible in places. Non-motorized use.
Description: The Cottonwood Creek Trail is an easy walking trail which is primarily a hard surface trail meandering through the Town limits with a fork of soft surface trail in the Marquard Nature Area. This six acre nature area is presently managed by the Buena Vista School District with benches and "classroom" type settings along the trail. This trail includes the Arkansas River Trail and is presently not continuous.
Length: 3.33 miles for the loop beginning/ending at Town Hall
Buena Vista Wildlife Trail
Location: The Buena Vista Wildlife Trail is accessed from County Road 306 to the south at the Town water supply station and County Road 361 to the west. It is located on Division of Wildlife property and is called the Buena Vista Wildlife Trail.
Uses: Hiking, biking, fishing, ADA accessibility, no dogs, non-motorized use.
Description: The Buena Vista Wildlife Trail is a hard surface trail of natural material that was developed with funds from the Town of Buena Vista and a Fishing is Fun grant. It meanders along Cottonwood Creek and has many fishing access points. There is an ADA site for fishing at the south end of the parking area.
Length: .5 mile from the entrance on County Road 361
Recommended Use: Year-round weather permitting
Click on the link below to view the COMMUNITY TRAILS PLAN designed by the Trails Advisory Board and adopted by the Board of Trustees in August, 2008.
Community Trails Plan