Walking trail reopens after month-long closure

Section of Dad Clark Trail was in a flood plain

Posted 1/3/19

A section of Dad Clark Trail, a 4.1-mile loop in southwest Highlands Ranch, east of Northridge Park and south of Shadow Mountain Drive, is expected to open this week after a month-long closure. The …

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Walking trail reopens after month-long closure

Section of Dad Clark Trail was in a flood plain

Posted

A section of Dad Clark Trail, a 4.1-mile loop in southwest Highlands Ranch, east of Northridge Park and south of Shadow Mountain Drive, is expected to open this week after a month-long closure.

The portion of the trail — which is in close proximity to Dad Clark Gulch and has experienced years of increased upstream runoff — sits within a FEMA flood plain, according to the Highlands Ranch Metro District, which oversees the trail. It's continually flooded with water, creating hazardous and slick conditions throughout the year, including ice and algae buildup, the metro district says on its website.

The $80,000 trail replacement project is funded by the metro district's conservation trust fund. Improvements began Dec. 3. The trail has been moved up, slightly to the north, and out of the flood plain, while still keeping distance from neighboring homes, according to the metro district.

“The goal of this project is to provide a safer and more enjoyable experience for trail users,” Courtney Kuhlen, community relations coordinator at the metro district, said in an email.

The project is expected to be completed the week of Jan. 7, weather permitting. Contractors have poured 900 feet of concrete, increasing the width of the section of the trail from 6 feet to 8 feet, according to the metro district.

The final step is to restore disturbed areas surrounding the original trail. A native seed mix and erosion control fabric will help re-establish vegetation around the trail, Kuhlen said. The process typically takes a full growing season, and staff will continue to manage the area for weeds.

The metro district owns and maintains more than 70 miles of trails and 2,500 acres of open space in Highlands Ranch.

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