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Trail Closures for Muddy Conditions

Trail Closures for Muddy Conditions

Use of muddy trails has become a concern of many land management agencies. Extended use on muddy surfaces can lead to erosion, and trail users can create additional trail widening by going around muddy sections. Community leaders have directed the Ranger Staff to develop a trail closure policy for times when trails are muddy enough to cause damage to the trail tread.

The Ranger staff will evaluate and close trails when they are determined to be too muddy for sustainable use. The trail closure status will be updated to the public through the Ken-Caryl Ranch website and Facebook Page. The Ranger staff will monitor sections of trail throughout the shoulder and winter seasons.

In collaboration with the Open Space Committee, the Ranger Staff has designated the Lower Cougar/Bluebird Trail area as the trails to close for muddy conditions.

Trail Closure Map

Click for Larger Image

Trail Closure Sites
• Cougar Trail/Valley Parkway – Gate will be locked and a temporary sign posted notifying visitors that trail is closed.
• Colorow Trail/Massey Draw Intersection – A chain gate and sign will be permanently located approximately 30 feet from the Massey Draw Intersection (See Map). The test section of trail used to determine if it should be open or closed, is just south of the chain gate.
• Golden Banner/Cougar Trail Intersection – A permanent post and sign will be installed to caution trail users that access to lower trails will be cut off during muddy trail closures.

The Ken-Caryl Ranch website and Facebook page will be listed for users to check on condition of the trail.
Inspection of the trail test section using the following guidelines will determine if the trails should be closed.

1. The trail test section will be checked between 12 and 3 p.m. Maximum thawing will usually occur during this time period when muddy conditions are at their peak.
2. Does the segment show signs of being muddy? Standing water and melting snow with
exposed trail surface are all signs of a muddy trail.
3. Can the muddy surface be navigated without damage to the trail? Check if trail traffic is apparent on the section and is the user traffic penetrating the surface. Other indicators are slide marks or smears from either foot or bike traffic.
4. The indicators must be represented on over 50 percent of the designated area.
Once the Ranger has closed the trail segment, the closure will be posted on the Ken-Caryl Ranch website and the Ken-Caryl Ranch Facebook page.

The Ranger Staff will complete the evaluation procedure daily and determine if the trail can be reopened. If the Ranger determines that the trail can be reopened, the Ranger will remove all barricades so trail use can resume and the trail condition will be updated on the website and the Facebook page.

Any trail users recreating on the “closed” section of the trail will be in violation of Rule No. 3 of the Ken-Caryl Ranch Open Space and Parks Use Rules which states..…”use or occupancy of parks and open space during such lands are administratively closed to use is prohibited and will be prosecuted per the rules and enforcement policy.” If you have any questions, call the Rangers at 303-979-1876, ext. 170.

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