Capen Park proposal would add easier access to bluffs

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COLUMBIA - A new plan for Capen Park would offer a new trail for easier access up to the bluffs.

Columbia Parks and Recreation invites residents to join the Park Planning Staff at Capen Park Wednesday from 5-7 p.m. to provide input on proposed amenity and access improvements for the park.

Senior Parks Planner Matt Boehner said the proposal would add a concrete trail up to the bluffs for easier access. Boehner said the path would be built to ADA trail guidelines.

Capen Park trail improvement proposal

Currently, the trail up to the bluffs is a natural path of dirt and rocks. Columbia resident Hayley Leal said the current trail is a little difficult.

"If you were older or less fit, it would definitely be a little bit harder to get up there," Leal said.

Boehner said the concrete trail would not replace the current trail, but instead would be an alternative option.

"I think they should leave some natural places to climb on and some more easier [places] to access trails, because I think that everyone should be able to see that view up there because it's really astonishing," Leal said.

The proposal for Capen Park would also include a small overlook to enjoy the views Leal described.

Boehner said the Park Planning Staff wants input from the public about the plan before taking it to the City Council.

"The best improvements that we can make are the ones the public wants," Boehner said.

After reviewing resident feedback, Boehner said Columbia Parks and Recreation will take the proposal to the Columbia City Council for the first time at the Oct. 5 meeting. Boehner said, if passed, work would likely begin in early spring.