One year ago this month, a monstrous wall of mud, water, and debris ripped through the Front Range, flattening anything in its path—and, in many cases, taking the path right along with it (for more on the 2013 floods, read “The Rising”). In Boulder County alone—the worst-hit of the 17 affected counties, with more than 15 inches of rain falling in just four days—nearly 30 miles of trails were damaged. But 12 months, $3.7 million, and 3,200 volunteer hours later, all but 6.85 miles have been restored. Among them: the beloved 5,020-acre Heil Valley Ranch (pictured), which reopened 14.6 miles of paths in May. To date, Boulder County Parks & Open Space has removed 5,600 tons of debris from its properties, largely thanks to volunteer efforts. “The silver lining,” says Ron Stewart, director of the county’s Parks & Open Space department, “has been the overwhelming amount of support from the community members who have shown up in great numbers and volunteered for project after project to restore the lands they love.”
5280.com Exclusive: Visit 5280.com/water for more coverage of last year’s floods.