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Quarry Trails Metro Park is Open

Brent Warren Brent Warren Quarry Trails Metro Park is OpenMillikin Falls. Photo by Brent Warren.
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It has taken longer than advertised, but opening day for the new Quarry Trails Metro Park is almost here. Starting Tuesday, November 30, visitors will be free to hike and bike in the new park, although it will be some time before all of the planned amenities and attractions on the sprawling site are complete.

“All 180 acres will be available to explore,” said Steve Studenmund, Metro Park’s Strategic Planning and Land Acquisition Manager, but he cautioned that that exploration will need to take place “mostly on foot, as additional phases of construction will be ongoing for several years.”

There will be two access points for visitors to the park:

  • 2158 Old Dublin Rd., near the intersection of Dublin Road and Old Dublin Road, where a stone pathway leads down from the parking lot to Millikin Falls, one of the natural highlights of the park.
  • 2600 Dublin Rd., near where Roberts Road dead-ends into Dublin Road. This is the parking area for the northwest section of the park, which features an extensive mountain biking course that will be ready for riders on Tuesday.  

Some of the features that will be coming online later include a large sledding hill (which won’t open until next winter), a dog park, and multiple access points for kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding and fishing. Also planned is a climbing and rappelling area that takes advantage of large cliffs created by decades of mining activity.

Metro Parks had initially hoped to open a portion of the park in the fall of 2020, but construction and weather-related delays led to the timeline getting pushed back significantly.

The parkland is being developed simultaneously with a large residential and commercial development from Thrive Companies. The first phase of the 80-acre development will contain 293 apartments, 520 for-sale units, 43,000 square feet of office space and 16,000 square feet of retail space.

Steve Bollinger, Principal and Executive Vice President of Development for Thrive Companies, said that the first residents are expected to move in later this winter, while the first office tenants are shooting for a summer opening. Work on the retail portion of the project will start some time in the spring.

Both the park and the development are being built on former quarry land that was purchased by Thrive Companies (then Wagenbrenner Development) in 2017. An additional 250 acres of land to the north and west is still an active quarry site but could be developed in the future.

An overview of the site, with Trabue Road at the bottom and the still-active quarry land at the top. Map courtesy of MKSK.
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