A common complaint amongst park and open space users is inadequate parking. For that reason, as Blodgett Open Space grows by 64 acres after a recent purchase, 15 new parking spaces will be added to a new trailhead south of the existing trailhead. How excellent to have the foresight to plan for more visitors!
Blodgett has never attracted as many hikers as spots like Red Rock Canyon Open Space or Ute Valley Park. Purchased in 2001, Blodgett Open Space is unusual because it’s bordered on three sides by Pike National Forest; Blodgett Peak is actually part of Pike National Forest. The Waldo Canyon planning process, with its focus on trail connectivity, continues to bring up Blodgett as an obvious connection one day. Won’t it be wonderful to begin a hike or mountain bike ride in Waldo Canyon and end in Blodgett Open Space?
Blodgett is a community jewel that added another emerald with this recent acquisition. It has more than three miles of system trails and excellent views of the city. The new addition will allow parks staff to build 1,500 feet of trail providing connectivity to existing trails,
Several factors make this little project worth celebrating. First, the speed at which these improvements are occurring is impressive. The property was purchased with TOPS funds in late August. The parking lot and trail improvements are scheduled to be completed by this summer. Second, parks staff took their ideas to the neighborhood in January to get their feedback. So successful was that process, the Peregrine Home Owners’ Association (HOA) has agreed to have their privately hired patrol to monitor the new trailhead. Not only is that an indication of a great partner, but a wise HOA. Curbing vandalism or illegal behavior will maintain the quality of the experience and trailhead. This is a great partnership in every way.
The additional amenities are a temporary fix. Blodgett Open Space will eventually get a new master plan. But in the meantime, hikers, cyclists and equestrians will be treated to adequate parking, new signage and the pleasure of exploring news trails thanks to a process well done.
Susan Davies is executive director of the 30-year-old Trails and Open Space Coalition. Send any questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.