Mineral Belt Trail

Mineral Belt National Recreation Trail in Leadville
The Mineral Belt Trail in Leadville passes close to the Matchless Mine. | Photo by Jeffrey Beall

Staff writer

The Mineral Belt Trail covers 11.6 miles, including six miles through the historic Leadville Mining District on Fryer, Fairview, Carbonate, Iron and Rock hills, where pioneering prospectors working in harsh conditions at high altitude discovered the silver deposits that produced millions of dollars worth of ore in the late 1800s. The alignment parallels California Gulch, the site of Leadville’s first gold strike, and offers views of the Sawatch and Mosquito ranges.

The trail is wheelchair-accessible and is used for hiking, walking, bicycling, and in-line skating in the summer and freestyle and cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and bicycling in the winter. It is 12 feet wide, with three-foot-wide recovery zones for those needing a break from the average grade of 3 percent, and it has pitches reaching 5 percent.

The trail was developed by a coalition of community groups and businesses. The project was initiated by the Asarco mining company as part of the cleanup of a Superfund cleanup site that covered a large area around Leadville. Asarco and the Resurrection Mining Co., two of the responsible parties, signed a consent decree with the EPA in 1993 to clean up portions of the site.

Details
Mineral Belt Trail
Mineral Belt Trail Committee
Leadville, CO 80461
(719) 486-4288
Website

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