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Higher-ground for reopened Foothills Trail in Garden

       The Foothills Trail through the Garden of the Gods, closed because of flooding in mid-May, reopened Aug. 27.
       Portions of the trail between Gateway Road and the Navigators property have been relocated to higher ground and temporarily given a softer surface of recycled asphalt, according to Scott Abbott, a City Parks supervisor.
       He said the relocation was an attempt to get the trail “out of future flooding.”
       Previously, much of the trail between Gateway Road and the Navigators property was very 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 to higher ground (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.
       A comprehensive plan for creek control, estimated at $37 million, is also unfunded.
       Constant rains in late April and May caused Camp Creek to run high, which resulted in undercutting and breakage of portions of the concrete-paved trail in the Garden.
       The Foothills Trail is a city multiuse trail, 6˝ miles in all, including passage through Rock Ledge Ranch, the Garden of the Gods and Pleasant Valley.

Westside Pioneer article