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Animas River Trail Durango, Colorado is fortunate enough to have a paved trail system running right through the heart of the city providing access to almost all points of interest. This trail over the years has become much more than just a "novelty" or recreational item to the community. It has become a well used path for commuters and for people wishing to travel within the city without having to use a motorized vehicle. In some cases, one can get to a destination faster by taking a bike along this trail than if you took a car! The Animas River Trail was just a dirt path winding its way through trees and thick undergrowth until 1976 when the city completed paving the first section. (City of Durango, 2011) Two years later they added the section behind the Durango High School and relocated the bridge from Smelter Mountain to allow foot traffic across the river. The rest as they say is history! The trail over the years has grown as Durango has grown and is now over seven miles with plans to expand well into the future. This path has become very near and dear to many local residents and you can see people traveling along it at all hours, all year round and in all weather conditions! It affords access to schools, businesses, the public library, parks, playgrounds, recreational centers, fishing and a myriad of outdoor activities. You can utilize it to get to the cities skateboard park, the Children's Museum, medical clinics, a BMX park and the list goes on. It truly does run right through the heart of the city. The trail passes through some very beautiful locations along the Animas River with bridges, well manicured parks, small waterfalls and a chance to see a narrow gauge steam locomotive chugging its way along the tracks. Quite a unique location. The path has become quite busy with people walking, bike riding, walking with pets, and families with children so good trail etiquette is a must. Bike riders should give notice when approaching pedestrians from behind and try not to ride past at high speeds. All users should be aware of traffic around them and not obstruct the path for others. Be courteous and pass a smile to somebody and you will get them in return. Whether for exercise or commute, school or getting home this trail makes Durango a special place and everybody can Go-Outdoors and enjoy! Reference City of Durango. (2011). Parks and recreation trails. Retrieved from http://www.durangogov.org/parks/trails.cfm 
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