Corn Lake Section

Round Trip Distance: 6 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 4558 - 4652 feet
Cellphone: 3-5 bars
Time: 2 hrs.
Trailhead: Corn Lake
Fee: $7/vehicle or states park pass (bicycles and pedestrians - no charge)
Attractions: Paved trail

The Corn Lake Section of the Colorado River Trail System runs to the west from Corn Lake, through the Colorado River State Park Wildlife Area, to 29 Road. The parking area for the trailhead is located near the northwest shore of Corn Lake. There is also a trailhead at the Wildlife Area that requires the same fee as Corn Lake.

There is access to the trail from several neighborhood streets but no parking is available except at Corn Lake and the Wildlife Area. At the time of this post the trail was in excellent condition and easily accessible for wheelchairs and strollers.

As you leave Corn Lake the south side of the trail is bordered by marshes. The water in the marshes seems to have enough of a flow to it to keep it from stagnating.

The land along the north side of the trail is all private property until you reach the wildlife area. At the wildlife area there are two large connected lakes. I have heard the lakes are stocked with fish but there were only 3 young boys fishing there.

The sign refers to the trail from the wildlife area to 29 Road as the Pear Park Section. Some maps don't make that distinction but if you ever hear mention of the Pear Park Section this is where it's at.

You might never imagine that such an extensive wetlands existed in the Grand Junction area if you had never traveled along this section of the river trail. With all the ponds, lakes and marshes the trail is like walking over a dike in places. It has been good fortune that the area was preserved before it could be irreparably damaged. Some of the waters are posted no fishing, swimming or wading.

There is a sign at 29 Road that gives directions to the Watson Island Section near the Mill Bridge. An alternative route is to follow 29 Road up to Unaweep Avenue and get back on the trail at the Eagle Rim park. If you look at the 29 Road bridge you can see a section of trail that passes under it to provide for a future trail that would continue along the shore of the river.

Back at the wildlife area there is a wheelchair accessible gazebo with park benches. It is a good spot for fishing or viewing the wildlife. While a bit tentative the birds seemed accustomed to humans.

This might be the closest that I have ever been to Canadian Geese without spooking them. There were probably enough around this island to blacken the sun if they were to fly in that direction.

Most of the people that I encountered along the trail probably lived near by and had gained access to the trail from one of the neighborhood streets. This section of the Colorado River Trail System seemed to be the least used and I imagine that is due to the fee that is required at Corn Lake and the Wildlife Area. The Corn Lake Section of the river trail was well thought out and provides a unique experience for the Grand Junction area.  If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.