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Projects in Colorado's State Forest State Park will close 2 trails, road to Lake Agnes parking lot this summer

State Forest State Park alpine lake
Posted at 8:13 PM, May 10, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-13 09:07:00-04

WALDEN, Colo. — Beginning this summer, multiple trails in the southern end of Colorado's State Forest State Park will close for projects.

State Forest State Park stretches along the west side of the Medicine Bow Mountains to the north end of the Never Summer Range. It includes 71,000 acres of land that encompasses forest, high mountain peaks, lakes and more.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife said the American Lakes and Michigan Ditch trails will close in early July for mitigation work — led by the Colorado State Forest Service and the City of Fort Collins — in the Michigan Ditch drainage. Both trails will remain closed through the late fall of 2024. CPW offered up a few alternative hikes: Ruby Jewel or Hidden Valley trails.

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Fort Collins was recently awarded a $507,805 grant for this trail work through the Forest Restoration & Wildfire Risk Mitigation Grant Program. This is one of 31 funded projects across Colorado through the program.

The Michigan Ditch area of the park was threatened by the 2020 Cameron Peak Fire, which burned within two miles of it, according to the Colorado State Forest Service. It added that the Upper Michigan Ditch provides about a quarter of the City of Fort Collins’ drinking water — a $1.7 billion value at risk from wildfire.

In addition to the two trail closures, the Lake Agnes trailhead parking lot and road between the lower lot and trailhead will close from July 8 through July 19 while crews work to improve the parking lot. Part of this work includes increasing parking spaces.

However, the Lake Agnes trail itself will stay open. Drivers who want to park near the trail will need to find a spot at the smaller lower lot, which will add about one mile to the hike. During this time, the road to the trailhead will stay closed to both drivers and pedestrians.

trail and road closures at State Forest State Park
This map from Colorado Parks and Wildlife shows trail and road closures at State Forest State Park beginning in July through late fall of 2024.

“State Forest is a popular year-round designation for day and multi-day adventures,” said Tony Johnson, acting state forest state park manager. “One of the many great things about State Forest is if one trail is closed, there are so many other options to pick from.”

Click here for a map of State Forest State Park. More details about the park's trails and camping opportunities is available here.

Colorado has more than 23 million acres of public land, including 42 state parks.


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