FRANKTOWN, Colo. – Several trails and climbing routes at Castle Wood Canyon State Park remain closed to protect nesting raptors and other wildlife at the park, Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials said Wednesday.
Park rangers at the park are reminding visitors to please stick to designated trails and obey trail closures to help make sure there’s a successful nesting season.
Several raptors may be observed at the park, including golden eagles, Swainson’s hawk, Cooper’s hawk, red-tailed hawk and prairie falcon, officials said.
They also remind the public that Golden eagles are protected by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service under authority of the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Disturbing a golden eagle nest can carry a fine of up to $5,000 and one year in prison, they said.
The following climbing route closures are currently in place:
- Morning Sun Wall is closed March 1-July 31
- Porky’s Wall is closed March 1 - July 31
- Vultures Wall is closed March 1-May 31
- Shakespearean Theater is closed March 1-May 31
- Mind Meld is closed March 1-May 31
Park rangers said that while route and trail closure signs are posted in many obvious places, there are many undesignated trails that crisscross areas leading up to the walls, which can bring hikers too close to nesting raptors.
“Please give nesting birds a chance,” said park manager Brent Lounsbury in a statement. “The season looks very promising and turkey vultures are on their way to the summer home in Castlewood.”
Officials said the East Canyon will also closed through May 1. After that date, several regulations will be strictly enforced, including: Visitors must remain on the designated trails, no dogs or other pets are permitted, no climbing, traversing or rappelling on or from rock formations.
Other wildlife that can be found at the park include: Mule deer, coyotes, cottontail rabbits, porcupines, ground squirrels and red foxes; along with a few rattlesnake dens, eastern face lizards and the Woodhouse toad. The park also is home to over 100 bird species.