This remote stretch of county road provides a road bike ride that is different than most anything else in the county. It’s also a great stretch to hike-a-bike if you want to extend your day by checking out the Eagle’s Nest Wilderness up by Lower Cataract Lake. — Antonio Olivero
Heading north on Heeney Road, the first 2 miles of the paved road provide flat riding along the river. In the fall, the aspens turn golden and canopy over the road on a few stretches. About one-third of the way into the ride, there’s an eagle’s nest in view from the roadside looking to the northeast. Bring your binoculars, as it’s located near where the Blue River’s inlet becomes Green Mountain Reservoir.
Heeney Road climbs steeply from the area around Melody Lodge Cabins & Store to the top of the hillside where there’s a turnoff for the McDonald Flats Campground.
After McDonald Flats, the road jogs back and forth for a while as it heads downhill. About 4 miles along the road, you’ll dip back down into ranchland. It’s common to find mule deer, elk and fox scurrying near the roadside through this stretch, particularly around dusk.
After climbing another hill, you’ll be near the halfway point of the ride where more year-round and seasonal residences begin to pop up. The ride climbs and dips over the next few miles to the heart of Heeney before declining to the Green Mountain Reservoir Dam. The final 2 miles provide jaw-dropping views of Ute Peak, the Gore Range and Green Mountain Reservoir.
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