Palmer Park

Before and after pictures of loose timber risers replaced with rock steps.

BACKGROUND

Palmer Park is located northeast of downtown Colorado Springs and is named after William Jackson Palmer, the founder of Colorado Springs. At 730 acres in size, the park is the largest park inside of the metro area. In total, it has over 25 miles of hiking and biking trails, a dog park, an off leash dog area, a community playground, picnic ground, and many other amenities. The highest altitude within the park is approximately 6610 feet. The park is characterized by large sandstone bluffs, scrub oak, ponderosa pine, douglas fir, and an abundance of wildlife. 

The Palmer Point Trail runs just inside the northwest boundary of the park, offering visitors access to piñon-juniper and native grassland areas between the bluffs in the center of the park and the neighborhoods bordering the park. In one area of the trail, water is being directed toward private residences off a severely-eroded segment of trail. A long-term solution involves a short re-route of approximately 300 meter length of trail; however, in the near-term RMFI will construct drainage and rock check-dam structures along an approximately 100 meter stretch to stem the erosion and dissipate drainage onto neighboring properties.

The Edna Mae Nature Trail ascends the central bluffs through forested slopes on sandy and gravelly soils. The trail is paralleled by a major drainage on this ascent and is crossed in several points by minor drainages. Significant portions of this trail are paved in a cobblestone fashion by nearby sedimentary rock, which is believed to have been installed by Civilian Conservation Corps crews in the 1930s. Years of heavy use and heavy precipitation in May 2015 have displaced many of the pavers and stone steps, and deeply incised the trail. Due to this degradation, much of the cross-trail drainage no longer functions. In a few segments, the original paver treatment remains, largely undamaged, to suggest the manner in which they were installed. RMFI will work to reconstruct cross-trail drainage, rock steps, and pavers along key portions of the Edna Mae Trail above the trailhead. 

2018 WORK FOCUS

  • Completing trail repairs to the Edna Mae Trail. 

PROJECT PARTNERS AND FUNDERS

  • City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services
  • Guardians of Palmer Park