FRANKTOWN, Colo. — Several hiking trails and rock climbing routes in Castle Wood Canyon State Park remain closed to protect nesting birds of prey and other wildlife in the park, Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials said Wednesday.
Park rangers at the park remind visitors to please stick to the designated trails and follow trail closures to ensure there is a successful nesting season.
Several birds of prey can be spotted in the park, including golden eagle, Swainson’s goshawk, Cooper’s goshawk, red-tailed hawk and prairie falcon, officials said.
They also remind the public that golden eagles are protected by the US Fish & Wildlife Service under the authority of the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Disturbing a golden eagle’s nest carries a fine of up to $5,000 and a year in prison, they said.
The following climbing routes are currently closed:
- The Morning Sun Wall is closed from March 1st to July 31st
- Porky’s Wall is closed from March 1st to July 31st
- Vultures Wall is closed from March 1st to May 31st
- The Shakespearean Theater is closed from March 1st to May 31st
- Mind Meld is closed from March 1st to May 31st
Park wardens said that while trail and no-way signs are posted in many obvious places, there are many unmarked trails that criss-cross the walls, which can bring hikers too close to nesting birds of prey.
“Please give nesting birds a chance,” park manager Brent Lounsbury said in a statement. “The season is looking very promising and turkey vultures are on their way to the summer house in Castlewood.”
Officials said the East Canyon will also be closed until May 1st. After this date, several regulations will be strictly enforced including: visitors must stay on the designated trails, no dogs or other pets are allowed, no climbing, traversing or abseiling on or off rock formations.
Other wildlife found in the park include: mule deer, coyotes, cottontails, porcupines, ground squirrels, and red foxes; along with a few rattlesnake burrows, east wall lizards and the European house toad. The park is also home to over 100 species of birds.