News Wednesday July 8, 2020

Palmer Park Parking Lot

On the 3rd of July, the Yucca Flats Park Lot in Palmer Park was full of cars. Then the park closed on the 4th of July. When users returned to their favorite spot on July 5th for a run or to take their dogs to the off-leash dog area, they were surprised to find the parking lot had nearly doubled in size! Ranger Nathan Hook (City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services) is the assigned lead Ranger for Palmer Park. Ranger Hook told TOSC that “…since the park is usually closed on the 4th of July, I usually think of a project I can do that won’t interfere with the public or the crew.” He had the idea for the parking lot expansion for a few months but wanted to keep it a surprise. Leading up to the project, he started placing large boulders near the parking lot. When users asked him what was going on with the boulders, he told them he was just replacing boulders that were eroded in an effort to maintain his surprise. When the 4th of July came, time was short to get the project done, so Ranger Mark Tatro (Ute Valley Park) and Mike Culinane (Senior Equipment Operator) stepped in to help Ranger Hook get the job done. The next day, Ranger Hook said, “(the) look on people’s faces on the 5th when the park reopened said it all! That’s all I needed.” This project was needed to keep people from parking along the road. People were creating a hazard for emergency vehicles. The parking lot can now accommodate about 35 cars.


Shooks Run Trail Update
Parks staff still have two ped ramps to install at the corner of Corona and Columbia as well as some backfilling along the trail that needs to happen. If everything goes as planned, the trail will be open to the public by the end of next week, July 17. Learn more.
Thanks to the GoCOS app, it’s easier than ever to contact the City, make a request, or report a problem. If you encounter any issues on the trail or in a park please report it! Rather not download another app? No problem, you have all the same access at ColoradoSprings.Gov/GoCOS.
Incline Update
The Northern Return Trail off the Manitou Incline is on schedule to be completed by the end of this month (weather dependent.) Once finished, it will give Incline users the option to shorten their hike for a safe return to the trailhead. The new trail connects at “rail-road tie 1300” for 1.1 miles of scenic hiking before connecting to the Ute Regional Trail for a final .7 mile descent. The goal is to take pressure off the Barr Trail end improve safety for Incline Users.
The Incline remains closed at this time under a Manitou Springs emergency order. Colorado Springs Parks Staff presented a reservation plan that would limit access but open the Incline. Manitou Springs City Council turned it down. The Trails and Open Space Coalition is monitoring the situation and continues to advocate for its reopening. The Incline is owned by Colorado Springs, CSU and the USFS – not Manitou Springs.
Pioneers Museum set to Reopen
The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum will reopen to the public on Thursday, July 9.


TOSC 20|20 Parks Challenge
July’s park to visit is Fountain Creek Regional Park. The trail wanders through huge old cottonwood trees and along-side creeks and ponds. Visit the nature center to learn all about the critters and ecology of the area. Fun for the whole family: dog park, multi-purpose fields, picnic shelters, playground, walking trail and fishing ponds. Post a photo from your outing on Facebook or Instagram using #tosc2020challenge for a chance to win a prize from one of our fantastic sponsors!
Congrats to Kate, one of our June20|20 Challenge WINNERS!
Thanks for stopping by our office at the Sustainacenter #biketobizCOS
Give! Matching Grants
TOSC is looking for local supporters to provide Matching Grants for this year’s Indy Give! Campaign. If you or your business want to support TOSC and our mission to create and preserve trails and open spaces in the Pikes Peak region, please contact us at 719-633-6884 or


Bird Walk at Mueller State Park
Thur. July 9, 8:30 AM Meet at Elk Meadow TH Meet at Elk Meadow Trailhead. Get to know the birds of the area with Naturalist Linda as she guides you through the spruce-fir forests of Mueller. Slow-paced 1.5–miles. Masks required. Limited to 15 people, sign up at the Visitor Center 719-687-2366.
JoyRide – Every Wednesday @ 6:00 pm
Meet up with a group of bike lovers at Streetcar520 for a joy ride. Route will vary each week depending on crowd size. Each time you ride, you will be given a ticket. A drawing will take place on September 2nd and one lucky person will roll away with a limited addition NB cruiser. Group is expected to practice social distancing and wear masks. If you need wheels or have not tried out an e-bike, Pike Ride is still offering FREE 30 minute rides. Please RSVP on Facebook.
Guardians of Palmer Park Workday
Saturday July 11, 8:00 – 12:30 PM
Come help the Guardians with a mitigation project or park clean up. Each group will be limited to 10. Volunteers must PRE-REGISTER! Face mask and physical distancing will be required. Volunteers are encouraged to bring work gloves and water.
Group 1 will be doing mitigation work in South Canyon. It will meet in the parking lot at the end of the South Canyon Rd. Please pre-register here.
Group 2 will pick up dog waste in the dog off-leash area and do trash pickup throughout the park. It will meet at the Maizeland Parking Lot. Please pre-register here.
The First Recorded Ascent of Pikes Peak
Thursday, July 16, 6:00— 7:00 PM
Join History Colorado on Zoom. In this new online, participatory format we will hear from Phil Carson. Carson is an independent science writer, journalist and author. Carson retraced naturalist Edwin James’s ascent of Pikes Peak in July 1820 – 200 years ago this summer – based on James’ unpublished diary and personal letters, which contain geographic descriptions and notes on geology and botany. Native Americans undoubtedly made prior ascents over the 12,000-plus years prior to James’ effort, but they left no known records. James made his climb as a member of Major Long’s expedition to the Rockies that summer, one of the first American expeditions into the West to bring trained scientists to document a region largely unknown to a young nation.
The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.
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