Hanging Lake Trail project in its public comment phase; work would repair fire-damaged trail | VailDaily.com

Hanging Lake Trail project in its public comment phase; work would repair fire-damaged trail

Project would repair debris flow damage, redesign some sections

The U.S. Forest Service and other partners are accepting public comment on plans to redesign and rebuilt the Hanging Lake Trail.
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The White River National Forest is seeking comments on its proposal to redesign and reconstruct sections of the Hanging Lake Trail. 

The trail and associated bridges suffered significant damage following the 2021 debris flows in Glenwood Canyon. While a temporary trail was opened in 2022, more extensive repairs are needed for long-term sustainability. 

The White River National Forest is proposing a combination of trail improvements and ecological restoration to make the 1.2-mile Hanging Lake Trail more sustainable, safe and resilient. The project would be funded through Great Outdoors Colorado, the National Forest Foundation, and the U.S. Forest Service. 

“This work would not be possible without the close support from the many partners who help us with Hanging Lake, especially Great Outdoors Colorado, the National Forest Foundation, City of Glenwood Springs, and Colorado Department of Transportation,” White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams said.

Proposed work includes reengineering six of the trail’s seven bridges to better accommodate high water and debris flows. Two of the bridges would also be slightly relocated to crossing locations that provide better stream clearance.

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A boardwalk is proposed at Spouting Rock to reduce erosion and other impacts by guiding visitors on a pathway looping around the falls.   

Minor re-grading and rock work, flood debris removal, and native seeding and planting would be done by hand along the trail to stabilize stream banks and reduce erosion. 

At the trailhead, debris would be removed and the stream channel reconstructed to protect the adjacent paved recreation path, restrooms and trailhead facilities. An accessible plaza with seating and shade would be constructed. 

The Civilian Conservation Corps-built structure along the trail would be stabilized in consultation with the State Historic Preservation Office to ensure the longevity of this historic resource.

Work is expected to begin in September 2023 and continue through fall 2024. Trail closures could be necessary as work progresses.     

Additional details about the proposal and information about how to comment are available at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=63318. Comments will be most helpful if received by Feb. 25.

Reservations are required to visit Hanging Lake and are available through http://www.visitglenwood.com.  Reservations for May 1 through June 30 will be available beginning Feb. 15.  Reservations for July 1 through Sept. 4 will be available beginning March 15.  

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