The 132-step incline and surrounding trails are scheduled to open in time to burn off those extra Thanksgiving dinner calories.

The Rueter-Hess Recreational Authority (RHRA) plans to open a 132-step incline and several trails in the Rueter-Hess Reservoir area on Thanksgiving Day unless COVID-19 restrictions prevent it. The Rosie Rueter Trail and Incline Challenge are the first phases of RHRA's Recreational Master Plan.

The incline is located immediately west of the Rueter-Hess Water Purification Facility, and a parking area has been designated for visitors at the bottom of the incline. Visitors should turn west off of Heirloom Parkway at the facility and continue west to the incline parking area. The trail loop leads to and from the parking lot and is just over a mile long.

The incline and trail will be open from sunup to sundown seven days a week, RHRA said.

“We know that residents have been anxiously waiting for regular recreation activities to open at Rueter-Hess," said RHRA President Darcy Beard in a statement. "We are very happy to have Phase I complete and the Incline ready for public use."

RHRA and Douglas County plan to hold a grand opening event in the Spring once Douglas County's new East-West Regional Trail, which will connect to the incline trails, is complete.

The Rueter-Hess Reservoir and recreational area is located about three miles southwest of downtown Parker on Newlin Gulch Blvd. RHRA is a regional collaboration that includes Parker Water, the Town of Castle Rock, the Town of Parker, the City of Castle Pines, the City of Lone Tree, and Douglas County.

Planning for the reservoir began in 1985 to address a projected water shortfall. Construction on the reservoir began in 2005 and was completed in 2012, at which time filing of the reservoir began. As of spring 2018, the reservoir was about one-third full. Beginning in 2014, partnering towns and Douglas County started planning for future recreation facilities, trails, and projects in the areas surrounding the reservoir, including the incline, a 12-mile trail around the reservoir, and additional trails for hikers, mountain bikers, horseback riding, cross country skiers and snowshoers.