Jeffco: Regional parks scarred by flooding

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Two parks in Jeffco are still recovering from last month’s historical downpour with Apex Trail and Lair o’ the Bear Park still closed, according to Jeffco Open Space.

Jeffco Open Space estimates hundreds of volunteers have registered to help repair the damage. On Oct. 3, dozens of volunteers showed up at Jeffco Open Space Park along Bear Creek to help build trail beds and cover exposed roots and rocks.

Efforts will help pave the way for future heavy machinery that will be needed. If all goes well, Jeffco Parks officials say Lair o’ the Bear should reopen by the end of the year.

Two trails at the park will be re-routed away from Bear Creek which are Bruin Bluff Trail and Creekside Trail. The picnic area will also be relocated from its current location because it has always been a reoccurring flood spot.

Apex Trail was hit the hardest in Apex Park, and an opening date for the area is still unknown. The landscape will be forever changed by September’s floods, and the trail will have to be re-routed entirely. The park is expected to remain closed until late 2014.

Work for volunteers at Apex Park is unavailable, and volunteer projects are not scheduled for the immediate future.

“The damage was so severe that this park needs a deliberate plan for the long term,” said Kim Frederick, Trails Supervisor in a news release.

Alternatives to Apex Park include Mount Falcon Park and Matthews-Winters Park.

Visitors can check park statuses and closure updates at: http://jeffco.us/parks/parks-and-trails/