A popular recreation area northwest of Manitou Springs reopened Saturday after a nearly yearlong closure. Visitors are likely to notice a few new improvements.

Renovations to Rainbow Falls Historic Site, off Serpentine Drive, include trail work, a plaza near the falls with seating for visitors, and an expanded, paved parking lot, according to El Paso County.

The site — which closed last fall — will be open on weekends from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Oct. 28, the county said in a news release.

Nicknamed “Graffiti Falls,” the site has long been a popular spot for illegal spray-painting. The county estimated it attracted more than 300 visitors each day in the summer of 2017.

County officials had said last spring that the site would reopen in July, but construction crews encountered some unanticipated delays and weather-related challenges, county Community Services Department Director Tim Wolken said in an email.

Funding sources for the renovations include a $308,000 grant from CDOT, $34,000 in county park fees and $5,000 in donations, Wolken said.

“The improvements completed this summer are another major step in renovating the Rainbow Falls Historic Site,” he said in a statement.

“We appreciate the support of the Colorado Department of Transportation, Manitou Environmental Citizen Action, and the many other volunteers for their support for this improvement project.”

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