Wednesday, June 05, 2013

The Wheeler Ditch

Not far from our condo is a trail that goes behind a number of very elegant homes:
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Trail Head
After a while the trail goes down a slope to the banks of the river and the "ditch" or channel that diverts some of the water flow.

As I understand it, the Wheeler Ditch was originally part of the original copper-mining operations of the 19th century town of Aspen, long before skiing, physics meetings, the music festival, and the Aspen Institute. Now the ditch is put to another use: controlling water flow on the Roaring Fork River to facilitate irrigation of the farms and ranches in the valley downstream from here. The Colorado Water Trust and public input play a role in determining how the water will be used.

The water-control channels and mechanisms:
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The ditch runs parallel to the river
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Just beyond the water gate
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Sluice Gates
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At the end of the trail is a city park and a very old cemetery from the 19th century. Though bikes aren't allowed alongside the ditch where the trail is very narrow, both ends of the trail connect to very nice bike paths as well as to the Ute Trail that goes much higher up Aspen Mountain.

1 comment:

Jeanie said...

How fascinating, Mae -- this is really a treasure to have so close at hand. It's lovely!