Work began this week on the Foothills and Gateway Trails in Garden of the Gods Park. The Foothills Trail will be relocated to the east of the overflow parking lot at Rock Ledge Ranch and improved in order to eliminate the current conflict with the overflow parking lot.The Foothills trail, which runs parallel to 30th Street near Rock Ledge Ranch, is a popular bicycle transportation and recreation route for people riding from Old Colorado City or Manitou Springs to the northwest side of our city. The parks department is hoping that most of this trail work can be done without closures. Yet, in the case of connection points or improvements to existing trail, some trail closures will occur. We will update this article with information on trail closures and detours when they occur.
The Gateway Trail, which parallels Gateway Rd at the entrance of Garden of the Gods Park will be realigned from 30th Street into the park, providing a more accessible pathway. A new pedestrian bridge will also be constructed over Camp Creek.
According to city staff “Much of the Foothills Trail and Gateway Trail will be constructed outside of the existing trail corridor, allowing for user access while the work occurs. Trail closures will be required at those points of connections or improvements to the existing trail tread that will remain. The goal would be to limit the length of trail courses as much as possible.” Completion of these trail improvement projects is expected by the end of 2018.
The Foothills trail through the Rock Ledge Ranch area is still expected to be a gravel trail, yet according to parks staff, they are “actively searching for additional funds to be able to pave the trail with colored concrete as part of this project while the contractor is still on site.”
These trail improvements will tie in to future work on the Foothills Trail north of Gateway Road as part of the Camp Creek Drainage Project. This drainage work will address the temporary trail alignment that has been in place since a paved portion of the paved trail was damaged by flooding.
Funding for the Foothills and Gateway Trail project is funded by a combination of the Lodgers and Automobile Rental Tax (LART) with the remainder of the funding from the Trails, Open Space and Parks (TOPS) trails account. TOPS is funded by a 1/10 sales tax. For every $10 spent, the parks department receives one cent which goes to Trails, Open Spaces and Parks. TOPS has purchased many open spaces such as Corral Bluffs and Red Rock Canyon, and constructed many miles of trails to include the Legacy Loop and Rock Island Trail along with many park facilities such as Snowy River Park, Gold Camp Park and many more.