June 14, 2017

Under the watchful eye of Breckenridge’s Tenmile Range, the recently rerouted Swan River continues to flow this spring, smoothing out rough patches and getting used to its new path.

More than a year ago, Summit County’s Open Space & Trails Department with the town of Breckenridge — in addition to a multitude of other partners — initiated the renovation project south of Muggins Gulch Road ahead of Rock Island Road to rid the area of some of its centuries-old mining past. In search of gold, dredge boats destroyed the stretch of water that funnels into the Blue River. Further upstream mounds of rock for as far as the eye can see are what remain.

At a cost of $2.4 million, the first 1-mile phase of the concept wrapped up last fall in the hopes of restoring forestland and riparian areas, as well as recreating wildlife habitat and a self-sustaining trout fishery. Three other mile-long stream segments are left to be addressed over perhaps the next decade, but this summer the focus is on revegetation of the finished section and allowing the river to discover a bit of its own course.

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