The Castlewood Canyon Experience

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Mary Eleanor Tezak writes, Have you ever explored the wilderness, while learning Science, History, and Math.

Have you ever explored the wilderness, while learning Science, History, and Math. On Thursday, my classmates and I did just that. We took a field trip down to Castlewood Canyon, located south of Franktown. When we first got out of the car, We took a picture of my carpool on top of the Castlewood Canyon entrance sign. This is the first of the many pictures we took on this hike. First, we had to got to the Visitor’s Center and watch a video on the history of Castlewood Canyon. I know it sounds boring, but it was actually really interesting. Castlewood Canyon used to be home to a large dam, used to prevent the Cherry Creek River from flooding Denver. Unfortunately, this dam was poorly constructed. It leaked for many years until it collapsed. When the dam collapsed it destroyed everything in its path. It reached all the way to Denver.Now Castlewood Canyon is a beautiful state park home to lots of wildlife. We took a three or four mile hike that took us all the way from the Visitor’s Center to the ruins of the dam. We used compasses to find the trail and different lookout points. It was beautiful. There are lots of diffrerent things to look at, nothing was boring. We saw a lot of different types of animals including: woodpeckers, hawks, bugs, and bluejays. Trail markers guide you along the path, and for about half of the hike a rushing river called Cherry Creek lined with smooth rocks, pebbles and boulders, stays right at your side.. Castlewood Canyon also has a lot of different plants. We saw juniper trees, shrubs, moss, and wild grasses.The hike takes you all the way from the top of the canyon where you can look down at the Cherry Creek river. Once you’re past this area you hike down into the canyon where you can look up to see soft sandstone cliffs adding color to the canyon. Eventually you round a corner and the ruins of the dam come into view. You can climb on top of the end of the wall (its a great place to take pictures). During this season the East Canyon Trail is closed, so you can’t go down into the dam. After reaching the dam,you back-track or try to find a hidden path toreach the Visitor’s Center once again. Castlewood Canyon has a lot to offer and besides being educational, its fun. So next time you have sunny Saturday, ask your parents if you can hike Castlewood Canyon.