Section 16 Trailhead work:
Starting next week, we will be begin a small improvement project at the Section 16 Trailhead (Bear Creek Cañon Park/ Red Rock Canyon Open Space) for pedestrian and visitor safety, visitor experience and connectivity in and around the trailhead. This work will include:
The parking lot may have limited access during active workdays. Sporadic closures of some of the parking lots are anticipated during the project.
This work will allow for safer crossing of Gold Camp, an improved trailhead (new kiosk) at Section 16, and improved trails in Bear Creek Park. The city is working on a press release, I have asked city communications to send that to FoRRC when it goes out.
Regional Parks, Trails and Open Spaces Division Restructuring:
This year, our division is undergoing a restructuring, and now has two districts- North and South. The exact boundaries are still being developed, but Red Rock Canyon Open Space will be in the South District. Each district is overseen by a Senior Park Ranger, with several Park Rangers and maintenance staff. Larry Kitt (larry.kitt@coloradosprings.
Lastly, as you may be aware, the city was under a hiring freeze at the end of 2023- we still have several vacant positions which we are now working to fill, but we are still working with an even smaller crew than usual.
Roundup Pond Reclamation Site:
All contract work has been completed!
Park staff will continue to monitor/assess these areas. I know we have a couple areas where folks are still trying to use old trails (particularly, Palmer Redrock/Se 16’s old steep alignment)- we want to address any issues like this before they get too “burned in” so if you see this, please pass it along.
Other trail work:
Leave No Trace initiative:
The Friends of Red Rock Canyon partnered with Ute Pass Elementary School and the City of Colorado Springs to host a full day field trip for the fourth, fifth and sixth grades of the school, consisting of 100 students, teachers and parents. The City provided 227 varieties of native flora for the students to plant in the area of the old reclaimed catch pond and the newly redesigned Roundup Trail. Ranger Wes supervised the planting with other Parks employees and a board member. While fifty students planted vegetation in the morning, the other fifty students split into two groups and were led on hikes. Board members led two separate hikes with twenty-five students and teacher each. The students then had lunch and the groups switched activities in the afternoon. The morning hiking groups did the planting and the planting groups went on hikes. Many thanks to Ranger Wes, Miles G and Glenn P for coordinating this field trip. Everyone had a safe and rewarding experience. Permission was granted to take and post these photos.
Click on the “News” tab at the top of the page to see the Summer 2023 edition of our newsletter as well as older archived editions.
This from David Deitemeyer, Senior Lanscape Architect, City Parks Department:
Wanted to share a quick update that our trail contractor for the improvements in Red Rock Canyon Open Space has now mobilized over to the last phase of work on the Palmer Trail, Parallel Trail and Waterfall Trail area. We anticipate this work to take about two-three months with very minimal impact on public access. Any trail access closures may only be limited to sections of the Parallel Trail later in the project. Those details will be made available as we get closer.
At this time, the contractor will build portions of the new Palmer Trail (from the east side of the Parallel Trail intersection) and the Waterfall Trails over the next few weeks. Both the new section when built and old section of the Palmer Trail at the west end of the project site are planned to be open for about two weeks together before the old, very washed-out, unsustainable section is decommissioned. This will hopefully allow some time for trail users to get to know the changes. Temporary signage will also be added in this area.
More details to come as the work progresses but wanted to make sure your groups were aware of the next phase of work. Feel free to reach out to Wes or I with any questions or comments.
Crews will begin closing the former “Hogback Valley Trail” on the east side of Red Rock Canyon Open Space on Monday, June 12. Originally constructed as an access road by the former landowner, this trail was unsustainable and prone to erosion. The new Chamberlain Trail, which opened in early May, now provides a sustainable trail corridor to replace the existing access road.
On May 1 the Friends of Red Rock Canyon partnered with the school and the City of Colorado Springs to host a full day field trip for the entire student body of Ute Pass Elementary, consisting of 175 students, teachers and parents. The school was able to secure a grant to purchase native flora for the students to plant in the area of the old reclaimed catch pond and the newly redesigned Roundup Trail. Ranger Wes provided safety instruction and was joined by about six other rangers and David, Glenn, Shanti, Sean, Dave and Dan from the board. Everyone had a great time and a rewarding experience.
Last fall, the Friends received a gracious letter from an instructor at Ute Pass Elementary school thanking us for helping them achieve a Leave No Trace Youth Program Accreditation. This is the first school in the nation to do this. Read details HERE. On April 22, 2022, FoRRC teamed up with teachers, parents and students from the school for an educational field day in Red Rock Canyon Open Space for this(see below).
Below is a link to a KKTV newscast at RRCOS about the importance of staying on designated trails and the damage caused by rogue trails. https://www.kktv.com/2021/08/24/destructive-avoidable-park-rangers-reminding-hikers-not-go-off-trails-or-take-short-cuts/
These photos were sent to FoRRC by Scott Schow, great, great grandson of the original founder of the Greenlee Quarry. The Second photo is of Juanita Schow and Bud Greenlee, grandchildren of the original owner of the quarry.
If you have an idea of how to improve our open space please share it with us. Your friends’ group Board of Directors is looking for suggestions and we will consider all reasonable ideas. Please contact us here .
Here is a link to an interesting article about on rock cairns at National parks: Rock Cairns