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Watch out for ruts: pounding rain taking toll on trails

Trail damage
Posted at 7:26 PM, Jul 25, 2019

COLORADO SPRINGS — Many trail and open space advocate groups in the Pikes Peak Region are spreading the message about a toll on off-road trails after a string pounding rainstorms. "In our region water is the biggest danger of trails,” said Medicine Wheel Trail Advocates, Director, Cory Sutela, “The trails change." The warning is about caution and care. Be cautious for your safety. Then use care to prevent more damage to trails.

"They get rutted and so people need to be careful first of all for their own safety,” said Trails and Open Space Coalition, Executive Director, Susan Davies. A trail can change quickly during a pounding storm, from smooth to laced with erosion tracks. “You might think you know the trail, it's always prudent, you have to ride in control and be able to close it down if you see something unfamiliar," said Sutela. Hitting a rut on a bike can said the rider over the handlebars.

Wet trails are also more susceptible to damage. Clay like soil, the kind that is slickm but also sticks to your shoes is best to avoid when it is wet. Then there is a best practice when encountering water on a single-track trail. "If you see water in the middle of the trail. It's important not to go around it. That makes the feature bigger, grow over time. It increases the maintenance," said Sutela.

There are some trails, like the ones that are decomposed granite in Cheyenne Canon, that are fine when wet. If unsure what trails are good or bad when wet, wait for some sunshine. "It's better to stay off, even for a day or two."

City and county crews are working on rain damage to roads and drainages, Getting to trails could take a while for repair work. If you see damage on trails it is typically best reporting it to your city our county parks department.