Wanted: Volunteers for key trail projects
June1: new option from Section 16 Trailhead; June 16: 1st of Intemann link workdays
Two major trailbuilding projects - both scheduled in June - are taking shape and looking for volunteers.
The first of these, timed for National Trails Day June 1, will provide a roughly half-mile alternative for the Palmer/Red Rock Loop Trail going up the hillside above the Section 16 Trailhead off Gold Camp Road.
The second project, June 16, will lead off the effort to establish a long-awaited link between the two “sides” of the Intemann Trail above Manitou Springs and the Westside. The new 800-foot segment will provide a connection at the east end of Manitou Springs' recently purchased Iron Mountain Open Space, which includes Tom McGee's well-known (and now-awaiting-demolition) “house on the hill.”
Here is basic information on both projects:
Section 16, June 1 - According to Sarah Bryarly of Colorado Springs Parks, which is leading the project, it was initiated after a 2011 city-led trail upgrade included several steps that cyclists and horseback riders did not like. However, not all trail users disapproved. “Hikers like the trail for a workout,” Bryarly said.
As a result, a compromise has been worked out, in which the old trail will remain and the June 1 trail will provide a cycling/horsing option. The goal, as with all city-built trails, is to avoid structures and have a grade of 10 percent or less, she said.
No improvements to the trailhead itself are planned at this time.
Volunteer signups (capped at 100) are being taken through the REI outdoor company at rei.com/stores/colorado-springs. Others helping the city are the Trails and Open Space Coalition, Friends of Red Rock Canyon, Medicine Wheel, Friends of the Peak, Rocky Mountain Field Institute, and the equestrian community, Bryarly said.
The city bought the 640-acre Section 16 as open space two years ago, and a recent master plan update made it and the neighboring White Acres property part of an enlarged Red Rock Canyon Open Space.
Intemann, June 16 - Built by volunteers dating back to 1987, the Intemann Trail has long been planned as a roughly five-mile urban-access trail connecting Section 16 with Manitou Springs near the Barr Trail. However, until Manitou bought the 97-acre Iron Mountain property as open space, easement issues with McGee and another property owner had prevented the Intemann's completion.
During the past winter and spring, the Manitou Open Space Committee considered trail-link possibilities and in April it authorized the June 16 project. The workday was proposed and is being organized by the volunteer Intemann Trail Committee (ITC). The group had initiated the '87 project, as well as many that followed into the '90s, and has continued to maintain the trail since then.
Providing support for June 16 are the City of Manitou and other area trailbuilding groups, including Medicine Wheel (cyclist/ trail workers) and the Colorado Addicted Trail-builders Society (CATS).
According to ITC information, the project will reroute part of the existing Intemann that comes up from Crystal Park Road through Manitou Mesa Open Space. Called the Overlook Reroute, the project will start several hundred feet short of the current overlook, angling instead up to a McGee-built dirt road in Iron Mountain Open Space that will become - in later projects, not yet scheduled - part of the trail as well.
The ITC plan for the reroute calls for an overall grade of less than 10 percent. The only structure necessary is for a drainage crossing.
Volunteers are welcome. About 75 are needed to allow completion in one day. Advance signups are being taken at the ITC number (also that of the Jordan family) at 473-4143 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Westside Pioneer article