Another sign of progress as the west side of the Springs continues to heal in the year since the Waldo Canyon Fire: Blodgett Peak Open Space reopened to the public over the weekend.
The popular hiking area had been closed since the fire ravaged parts of Pike National Forest and destroyed almost 350 homes in neighboring Mountain Shadows. Keeping the trail closed gave vegetation time to begin growing back, and allowed flood mitigation to take place. Dead trees and brush have also been removed from the trails.
Blodgett Peak was has been hopping over the holiday weekend, as happy hikers returned to one of their favorite places. Monday, cars could be seen lined up down the street on both sides of the parking lot.
"We're glad," one hiker told 11 News about returning to his "backyard" trail. "We wanted to go on a short hike today, so to have an area of open space so close to our house is really nice."