FLOOD damage has left a popular pathway impassable.
The route between Seaham Leisure Centre and Deneside Park has been closed after the surface crumbled during heavy downpours.
The area has been sealed off by Seaham Town Council, which owns the land, and discussions are now taking place between it and Durham County Council about repairs.
The town council believes water draining off The Graham Way is the cause of the damage, with surface water and subsidence also blamed.
Bobby Edwards, 67, of Seaton, Seaham, came across the ruined walkway while walking Great Dane Connor who belongs to his daughter Gemma Edwards, 32, at the weekend.
He said: “I was going through to the park from the other side of The Graham Way and it just looked like there had been an earthquake.
“There’s about 60 yards of it all broken up.”
Mr Edwards alerted Durham county councillor Dan Myers about the problem, who then told weekend workers at the authority.
The pathway was relaid in 2009 after the similar damage was caused to the surface due to flooding.
A spokesman for the town council said: “It has been cordoned off to keep the public away from the area and to ensure their safety.”
The path is a popular route with dog walkers and families heading to the playground, into the dene and over to Maureen Terrace.
A tunnel takes walkers underneath The Graham Way and the path also goes over a stream.