Horsethief Park Trail
The Horsethief Park Trail, Forest Service trail 704, starts at a trailhead on CO 67 by an abandoned highway tunnel and near a road cut. With several branches, it takes trail users to Horsethief Falls, Pancake Rocks, and, with the Putney Gulch link in the Ring the Peak trail system, even over to the Crags area.
Most everyone appreciates wildlife and seeing animals in the wild and finding signs of their activity. Beaver ponds are an engineering marvel. But folks are less enthusiastic about the beavers and their engineering genius when beavers build a dam that puts their pond over a trail. Beavers are active in Horsethief Park. They built a dam that flooded part of the trail. Friends of the Peak offered to help, but Forest Service said they would handle it. In 2008, Forest Service rerouted the trail below the beaver dam. It was a good trail with a nice stream crossing. Forest Service also worked to close and restore the many social trails that had developed as people tried to find dry ways around the beaver ponds. In 2009, with the natural wear trails receive, the reroute needed some care. The new trail was narrow and the stream crossing was wet. So Friends of the Peak worked to widen the narrow section and raise the wet section of trail. Volunteers installed structures to keep the hikers out of the water and dry.