Thursday, September 25, 2014

Accessible Trail to be Dedicated in Colorado National Monument

Join park staff at Colorado National Monument at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, October 1st to celebrate and dedicate the completion of the Alcove Nature Trail accessibility project!

Following standards established by the U.S. Access Board for Trails, the monument's trail crew constructed a 1/4-mile hard-packed, natural-surface trail composed of crushed granite. Tan in color, the crushed granite blends in with the natural surroundings, yet provides a stable surface to accommodate wheeled assistance devices such as wheelchairs and walkers. The trail tread is five feet wide bordered by hand-shaped sandstone blocks. Causeways constructed over drainages further ease use.

The Alcove Nature Trail starts from the south end of the visitor center parking area where two accessible parking spaces have been added adjacent to the trailhead. It leads from there through pinyon-juniper woodland to an overlook of Wedding Canyon.

Following a few brief remarks and ribbon-cutting at the trailhead, the trail will be open for use (due to concerns for public safety, the trail had been closed during construction). "As the National Park Service approaches its centennial in 2016, we are enthused to offer another type of trail experience for our visitors," shared Superintendent Lisa Eckert.

Recreational fee dollars (your entrance fees) were used to accomplish these trail improvements. In addition to providing a means for people who use wheeled assistance to leave paved areas for an enhanced park experience, project improvements secondarily increase trail stability and upgrade resource protection in the area.


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