Prisoner of War
Mile W-8.3 to W-9.3
Description:The Prisoner of War section of the trail is relatively level with the exception of a small rise near the west end. Through the center portion, the trail is shaded by a very lovely grove of trees. The West end is the Kodak Bridge with pretty views of the flowing river below, the East end passes an area for cattle grazing. A portable restroom is located in this section for your convenience.
Features: During planning of this section the landowner wanted to have wild turkeys brought to his property. The Division of Wildlife decided to relocate a flock of turkeys that were causing problems in a community nearby. The turkeys were transplanted to this property and have flourished in the area. It is common to see them along the trail. During the summer bull frogs enjoy sun bathing on the trail. Don't run them over, they help control the grasshopper population. Turtles and deer are also common sights along this section.
Geology: One of the greatest attributes of this area is the system of wetlands that are associated with the draws and the river corridor. This habitat type is very specialized and does a lot more than what meets the eye. Besides providing habitat for many bird species and other animals, wetlands help to clean our water, and protect us from floods. Plants and microorganisms help to filter out pollutants and sediments that have made their way into the water through run off. The soils and vegetation of wetlands help to contain water just like man-made detention ponds. So, the next time you see a wetland look beyond the cattails and think of how wetlands work to help you.
History: This section commemorates the World War II Prisoner of War Camp located south of the trail near the HWY 34 bypass in Greeley. Prisoners of war were placed in Weld County by the Federal government to help meet the needs for laborers in the agriculture fields. The first POW's arrived in 1943 and in 1944 Prisoner of War Camp 202 was constructed. The camp could accomodate 3,000 prisoners and 600 U.S. Army personnel. In 1946 the camp was dismantled after the prisoners were sent home. The only remaining physical reminders are the two stone gateposts that once marked the entrance to the camp. These memorials are located close to the Missile Silo Park entrance on the 257 spur off of HWY 34.