COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The Blodgett Peak Open Space area is now back open to the public. It had been closed since last summer's Waldo Canyon Fire for trail restoration and flood mitigation work.
On Saturday, the parking lot quickly filled up with cars and many visitors had to park on Woodmen Road to hit the trails.
On Thursday, the groups that helped rebuild the trail system got a preview of the trails. There are burned trees along parts of the path but also fresh vegetation throughout the trail.
"I was just amazed at the amount of green that was up here and the amount of work that the kids have done," said Diane Groon, a Peregrine resident who was a regular visitor to the open space before the fire.
The Mile High Youth Corps and Air Force Academy cadets both spent a great deal of time on the trail. In just one day last fall, 170 logs were moved into place to control flood water. Four weeks were devoted to "saw crews" who helped cut up logs that helped reinforce parts of the trail that were damaged in the fire or subsequent floods.
Neighbors said it's wonderful to see progress from the fire.
"Oh my gosh it's wonderful because we've been looking at the little toothpicks on the ridge for the last year, and I had no idea there was some vegetation up here," said Groon.
A spokesman for the city of Colorado Springs said because of the team effort on restoring the trails, four years of work only took one year.
Money for the project came from Great Outdoors Colorado and Pikes Peak Community Foundation. McCloskey Motors also raised funds from Colorado Springs residents for mitigation supplies and native seeds used for reseeding.