Palo Duro Canyon trails closed for 2 weeks, maybe longer - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Palo Duro Canyon trails closed for 2 weeks, maybe longer

Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Palo Duro Canyon (KFDA) -

All trails at Palo Duro Canyon have been closed for almost two weeks straight.

The hiking, biking and equestrian trails closed because of rain on September 25th, and except for opening a few times when the sun came out, they've remained closed.

With rain chances Friday night, those closures may be extended.

When it rains in the Canyon those trails soak up water and quickly turn into mud, making it easy for hikers to damage the paths just by walking through them.

"[The trails hold] a lot more water than the road does, and so...when those are really well saturated like they have been this round of rains it can take days for those things to dry up enough to be able to use them," said Jeff Davis, Park Interpreter.

Park staff have placed signs at each trail head declaring the paths closed, but some hikers aren't listening, tearing up the trails by walking through them.

When the trails are muddy like they are now, foot prints and bike tracks are easily formed and cause serious damage to the ground there.

"Our primary mission in Texas Parks and Wildlife is the conservation of the resources that we're charged with taking care of, and when hikers, bikers, equestrian users make use of the trails when they're wet it really tears them up really bad," said Davis. "So it's done in order to protect the resource from damage."

The trails being closed for this long has impacted the number of visitors to the canyon, but staff said people are still taking advantage of the park in other ways.

"We still have a lot of people coming in to drive through and visit the visitor's center and that kind of thing," said Davis. "We've also been very busy with campers, lots of campers staying every night especially with weekends. But we've seen a little bit of a decrease in the number of day users."

One stretch of road is closed from the rain, too.

It's unclear when any of the closed roads or trails will open up again.

"It's up to the rain," said Davis. "As soon as it dries we'll open them up. We're always hopeful that it's going to quit but at the same time we enjoy the rain, we need the rain. It's kind of a double-edged sword."

The best way to check on when the trails will open again is to follow along with updates on Palo Duro Canyon's Facebook Page.

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