Prospectors discovered gold when they founded Breckenridge in 1859. Today, this historic mining town fosters a whole new set of riches: world-class adventures (think summer dogsledding and backcountry powder), independent restaurants and boutiques, a growing Arts District, and a resort that’s known for winter but delivers big fun all summer long.
Bike love: The town’s easily-accessed trail network – once used by miners in search of gold – today leads to hundreds of miles of mountain biking across Summit County. Road cyclists can explore the surrounding counties via mountain passes, bike paths and state highways. Casual riders can hop on a cruiser, and in-town bike lanes – one of the many efforts that led to Breck’s designation as a gold-level Bicycle Friendly Community – make it a snap for any ability to saddle up.
Looking back: On July 23, 1887, the largest piece of gold ever found in Colorado was discovered in Breck. Tom Groves walked into town cradling the 13.5-pound, blanket-wrapped bundle that gained the name “Tom’s Baby.” Three days later, the nugget was put on a train to Denver and not seen for 85 years. In 1972, the Colorado History Museum examined gold specimens that were deposited in a Denver bank in 1926. “Tom’s Baby” was found, but over five pounds remain missing.
Local flavor: Each January, Breckenridge breaks out the Viking helmets and pays tribute to Ullr (rhymes with cooler), the Norse god of snow. All in the hopes of bringing abundant snowfall, revelers celebrate with a week-long snow dance that includes the notorious Main Street parade, Ullympic sports competitions, winter family activities and more. Don’t be surprised to see Ullr helmets throughout the year in Breckenridge, including during the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. ge.