Today, Jeffco Open Space celebrates the opening of Black Bear Trail, a major connection between two popular parks in the system. The construction of 6.3 miles of new trail between Plymouth Mountain Trail and Mill Creek in Deer Creek Canyon Park began in October of 2016 and the trail opens for shared-use recreation on Wednesday, August 1.Accessible from the East via Hildebrand Ranch Park Trailhead (9880 Deer Creek Canyon Road,Littleton), or the West via Deer Creek Canyon Park Trailhead (13388 Grizzly Drive, Littleton), Black Bear Trail is rated ‘most difficult’ and connects the two main trailheads. The trail is 11 miles long, trailhead to trailhead. Black Bear Trail is posted as ‘stay on trail’ for visitor and natural resource protection and will be subject to a seasonal closure for nesting raptors each year. Although the trail is open, work is still ongoing.View Black Bear Trail Fact Sheet and MapBackgroundThe original Black Bear Trail was constructed in 1994 with only parts of the trail available for shared-use recreation. In 2014, Jeffco Open Space received an easement from Lockheed Martin allowing the entirety of the Black Bear Trail to become accessible for shared-use recreation.Hildebrand Ranch ParkVisitors enjoy diverse terrain at Hildebrand Ranch Park, which has 1,675 acres with 7.7 trail miles, including the new Black Bear Trail. The park offers rolling plains and views from high on the hogback. A nearly five-mile loop includes a wide-open experience on the Two Brands Trail, with gentle grades in the shadow of the Dakota, Lyons and Niobrara hogbacks.Deer Creek Canyon ParkHikers and equestrians can have a few trails to themselves at Deer Creek Canyon Park which has 1,634 acres with 13.6 trail miles. Designated-use trails for hikers and equestrians include Meadowlark, Homesteader, and Golden Eagle Trails. On shared-use trails, visitors on bikes enjoy the challenge of ‘The Wall’, a steep section of rocky terrain on Plymouth Creek Trail, and pedal the 2.5-mile Red Mesa Loop.Jeffco Open Space was founded as a land conservation organization in 1972. Our mission is to preserve open space and parkland, protect park and natural resources, and provide healthy, nature-based experiences. Funded with a one-half of one percent sales tax, our organization contributes to city and park district projects, has preserved more than 54,000 acres, and manages 28 open space parks and more than 258 miles of trails in Jefferson County, Colorado.