Maryland Mountain in Black Hawk
Local riders preview the newest addition to the Maryland Mountain trail system, Ore Chute.
Located 30 miles west of Denver in the heart of Colorado's gold rush hills, the town of Black Hawk sits in an area full of trail potential and mining-era riches. The City acquired the 600-acre property just north of town to create the Maryland Mountain Recreational Park and planners are quickly moving to build approximately 15-miles of trail for hiking, running, and mountain biking. COMBA got involved during the design & construction phase and successfully advocated for the addition of three bike-only, downhill-directional trails to the master plan.
Black Hawk's history as a mining epicenter inspired the first phase of construction, which converted an ore-hauling tramway track into a green-rated access trail. Construction of the park's singletrack started in Summer 2020 with beginner and intermediate level trails that bring visitors to the mountain's summit at 9,200'. The first two bike-only, downhill-only trails opened in Summer 2021 with an intermediate/advanced tread called Hard Money, that descends 1,000' over 2-miles and a beginner-friendly intermediate flow trail that is fun for everyone dubbed Fast Money. An advanced/expert level directional bike trail is being constructed now through the most rugged section of the mountain with an opening expected in August 2022. Officially named Powder Keg, this one is steep and rocky and is being entirely hand-built by Jagged Axe Trail Designs.
The town has also completed a substantial overhaul of its historic Gregory Street, which will include a casino-free walking mall with a brewery, distillery, shops and restaurants. Expect the options for post-ride food and beverages to expand along with the trails and put Black Hawk on your need-to-ride list.
Maryland Mountain Project Stats
Project Type: New trail system
User Groups: Mountain bikers, hikers, trail runners
Difficulty: Easy – Expert
Distance: Approx. 15-Miles
Status: Open / Ongoing Trail Construction
Maryland Mountain Project Timeline
2000 - After years of working to resolve mining claims and Bureau of Land Management inholdings, the city of Black Hawk purchased Maryland Mountain for the purpose of creating an outdoor recreation area.
2014 - An initial master plan for trails and amenities was created by Mary Hart Designs; updates followed in 2019 and 2020. The plan provided opportunities to enjoy a variety of singletrack experiences and tour the historic cultural sites from the Colorado gold rush era.
2020 - Phase one construction began, tackling the tramway conversion and construction of the Hidden Treasure Trailhead on Hwy. 119.
Summer 2020 - Construction of the Maryland Mountain singletrack trail system by Black Diamond Designs and High Country Conservation, supported by volunteers from COMBA and Boulder Mountainbike Alliance.
Summer 2021 - The awesome new MTB trail Hard Money opened to start the summer, while the smooth flowing Fast Money was added later in the year. Both are bike-only directional descending trails.
June 2022 - Construction of the bike-only, downhill-only, advanced/expert trail began with the help of Jagged Axe Trail Designs. This effort will be supported by volunteers from COMBA and Boulder Mountainbike Alliance. Major funding supplied by Orbea and Team Evergreen Cycling. Powder Keg is expected to open in August 2022.