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Higher-ground relocations in reopened Foothills Trail through Garden; current surface temporary

Although lacking final paving, the Foothills Trail in the Garden of the Gods was open Aug. 27 after being closed since May. The photo reveals new fencing and trail restoration work.
Courtesy of Lovice Riffe
       Update, Aug. 31: Flood-damaged portions of the Foothills Trail through the Garden of the Gods have been relocated to higher ground and temporarily given a softer surface of recycled asphalt, a city official said.
       According to Scott Abbott, a City Parks supervisor, the relocation was an attempt to get the trail "out of future flooding." Previously, about 1,000 feet between Gateway Road and the Navigators property had been close to Camp Creek and, in places, barely higher than its channel. But continuing after-effects from the 2012 Waldo Canyon Fire have meant larger-than-before amounts of sediment and debris coming down during hard rains, which can "inundate the creek," Abbott said.
       On the plus side, moving the trail higher up (along the grade between the creek and the paralleling 30th Street) offers "wonderful views of the Garden that you couldn't see when the trail was lower down," Abbott noted.
       He added that City Parks considers the recent work "phase 1" of restoring the trail. The cost was covered by federal emergency funds. But he said no money currently exists for a phase 2 that would lay down concrete, which was the previous surface for that part of the trail.

       Initial story, Aug. 27: The Foothills Trail, closed since mid- May between Gateway Road and the Navigators property, has reopened.
       City Parks had not yet made an official announcement, but Westside Pioneer reader Lovice Riffe passed along the discovery late in the afternoon of Aug. 27.
       “I was walking my dog yesterday, National Dog Day, from the [Garden of the Gods] Visitor Center to the Central Garden and back,” Riffe relates in an e-mail. “When I left, the trail closure signs were still there - but one hour later they were gone, so today we went to see. It is still needing repairs to part of the trail as they have temporary filling there. I imagine there will be an additional closure when they do the hard paving so it can set up."
       Constant rains in late April and May caused Camp Creek to run high, overtopping the Foothills Trail, which
This was how a section of the Foothills Trail in the Garden of the Gods looked after the rains in May.
Westside Pioneer file photo
resulted in undercutting and breakage of portions of the concrete- paved trail in the Garden.
       The Foothills Trail is a city multiuse trail, 6½ miles in all, including passage through Rock Ledge Ranch, the Garden of the Gods and Pleasant Valley.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 8/27/15, updated 8/31/15; Outdoors: Trails)

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