Local News

Popular trail gets touch-up

Popular trail gets touch-up

MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. - Rocky Mountain Field Institute teamed up with volunteers from Colorado College to tackle problems along Barr Trail, in Manitou Springs.

Barr Trail is a community hot spot. Hikers use the trail to climb Pikes Peak. People also use the trail to get back down to Manitou after they finish the Manitou Incline.

Barr Trail is almost 100 years old, and in some places, it shows. Heavy foot traffic, erodible soil and heavy rain can be tough on the trail. Water from last month's heavy rain dug deep gullies into the trail in some sections. It even pushed large boulders into hikers' paths.

"The more water we get, the more sediment that gets taken down. It becomes more of a hazard, and frankly, it becomes a little bit uglier," said Dan Allen, with the Rocky Mountain Field Institute.

Rocky Mountain Field Institute is focusing on a 3-mile section close to the trail head. It's installing drainage systems to steer water off the trail. The institute is using money from the city of Manitou Springs to complete the work with the help of volunteers.

Grete Wilt is a senior at Colorado College. She was volunteering for the day with her classmates.

"It's devastating, what's been happening with the fire and then the flooding. It's eroded a ton of it," said Wilt.

Wilt wants to make sure Barr Trail is here to stay.

"I've climbed Pike's five times now, I do the incline all the time, so I think this is so important. I love how I will feelt the direct impact of what we are doing today," said Wilt.

Rocky Mountain Field Institute is not in charge of removing boulders that fell in heavy rain, because the portion of trail that was impacted falls under the U.S. Forest Service.

The service is working on a plan to address the boulders.


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