Volunteers add to Red Rock’s trail mileage

       Through the labor of nearly 100 volunteers, roughly ¾ mile of trail was added to Red Rock Canyon Open Space Sept. 18.
       Chris Lieber, City Parks trails coordinator and project supervisor, was pleased with the turnout. “It was a great day. It's amazing what can be accomplished with a lot of people working together,” he said.
       Including the two-day inaugural project Aug. 28-29 with the Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC), the effort brought the total of new trail in Red Rock Canyon to about 1 ½ miles. Combined with 1 ½ miles of roads already on the property which Lieber said is usable for trail, a total of three miles of hiking/biking/horseback riding surface now exists at the site.
       “Three miles down and 14 to go,” Lieber said, referring to the 17 miles called for in the trails master plan for Red Rock Canyon.
       He said he plans another project day Friday, Oct. 22. The date coincides with the annual Make a Difference Day, in which City Parks has partnered with volunteer groups in past years on such efforts as planting and revegetation projects. People wanting to sign up should call Kim King, volunteer coordinator for City Parks, at 385-6509.
       For the most part, the Sept. 18 work was less technically challenging than the August project, which had involved two tricky canyon crossings. Workers spent much of their time delivering wheelbarrows of crusher fines (a type of crushed gravel that retains some soil so as to make a good trail surface) to raise the trail bed along relatively even, gradually uphill terrain that a bobcat machine had pre-cleared.
       The most even terrain was a grassy segment, about 350 yards long by maybe 75 yards wide, swinging up the canyon to a raised, flat area. Some people commented that it looked a lot like a golf hole. That's because, according to Lieber, it had actually once been intended to be a golf hole. The Bock family, the previous owners of the property, had used it as a showpiece for potential investors, to help them imagine a scenic, full-size course up and down the canyons as part of a vast housing and commercial development of the site.
       The trail work was between the old Bock family house and the quarry trail to Greenlee Canyon that had been built Aug. 28-29.
       Among the volunteers Sept. 18 were members of the Intemann Trail Committee, which redirected its forces to Red Rock Canyon for the second month in a row.
       The 788.1-acre open space property, which was purchased by the City of Colorado Springs last December, is not yet open to the public. City Parks plans a limited opening after a temporary parking lot is built at the Ridge Road/High Street access, possibly by mid-October, Lieber said.

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