The Rueter-Hess Reservoir hiking incline opens to the public Nov. 26, another milestone for the north Douglas County recreation area. The reservoir is located south of Hess Road/Castle Pines Parkway …
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The Rueter-Hess Reservoir hiking incline opens to the public Nov. 26, another milestone for the north Douglas County recreation area. The reservoir is located south of Hess Road/Castle Pines Parkway and east of I-25.
Before the pandemic, the recreation site allowed visitors by reservation only and has offered limited access on weekends in the summer. The compound lacks the necessary staffing and infrastructure to accommodate regular public use.
The Rueter-Hess Incline Challenge is an outdoor staircase of 132 steps — roughly equivalent in height to a nine-story building.
The incline is located north of the reservoir and accessible off Heirloom Parkway near the Rueter-Hess Water Purification Facility. A parking lot west of the water purification facility has been designated for visitors at the bottom of the Incline Challenge. A one-mile trail, the Rosie Rueter Trail loop, leads to and from the parking lot and incline.
The incline has one-way access, up the steps and down the service trail.
Dogs are allowed on trails only and must be leashed. Dogs are not allowed on the incline.
The incline will be open from sunrise to sunset, seven days a week.
The opening of the incline marks the finish of the first phase of the five-phase Rueter-Hess Recreation Master Plan.
“We know that residents have been anxiously waiting for regular recreation activities to open at Rueter-Hess. We are very happy to have Phase I complete and the Incline ready for public use,” RHRA President Darcy Beard said in a Nov. 17 news release.
The Incline Challenge will be the county's second. The Miller Park incline in Castle Rock, at 200 steps tall, opened in 2013.
Rueter-Hess Reservior will eventually be home to outdoor activities from archery to canoeing. The 1,600 acres of land surrounding the reservoir is owned by the Parker Water and Sanitation District.
Parker Water is an agency separate from the Town of Parker and operates in areas throughout northern and eastern Douglas County.
There is no timeline for when the rest of the area will open.
Rueter-Hess Recreation Authority is made up of six government agencies: the Parker Water and Sanitation District, Town of Castle Rock, Town of Parker, City of Castle Pines, City of Lone Tree and Douglas County.
The RHRA will hold a grand opening event in the spring, according to the release, once the East-West Regional Trail, which will connect Parker to Highlands Ranch, is complete. To view the Rueter-Hess Reservoir Recreation Plan, visit rhrecreation.org.
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