Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content Bear Creek Basin trails to temporarily reopen

photo - A map of trails in and around Colorado Springs from www.cospringstrails.com. + caption
A map of trails in and around Colorado Springs from www.cospringstrails.com.
By Lance Benzel Updated: June 20, 2014 at 5:24 am

Trails in and around Bear Creek Basin will temporarily reopen to most recreational use on Friday morning.

Opening to hikers and cyclists are trails 665, 666, 667, 668, 701, 720 and 720A, including Bear Creek Trail and Cap'n Jacks.

The trail network was closed to all use after flooding last September.

A Colorado Springs city parks official, Kurt Schroeder, confirmed the reopening includes the city's portion of Cap'n Jacks, also known as the Penrose Multi-use Trail. High Drive, however, will remain closed between Trails 666 and 665, due to flooding damage.

The trails are expected to remain open until later this summer, when the Forest Service has said it will announce its decision on proposed trail closures and reroutes related to safety concerns over native greenback cutthroat trout living in Bear Creek.

The agency previously said the area would remain closed until it completed its review of the trails proposal, but announced June 10 it had partially reversed its position.

A variety of trail improvements were made to prepare for the re-openings, the Forest Service said.

Dirt bikes will be confined to a single loop from Frosty Park bounded by trails 701, 720 and 668, according to a Forest Service map of the re-openings.

The agency previously said allowing dirt bikes would violate its civil agreement with the Citizens for Biological Diversity, an Arizona-based environmental group that sued to keep dirt bikes away from the fish, calling them a threat to a unique species.

Forest Service officials did not respond to requests for interviews.

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