News Wednesday Sept 2, 2020

Ring the Peak Update

 

Like many other organizations, it took a while for TOSC to adapt to operations under COVID-19. And, since the Ring the Peak Trail program depended heavily upon other agencies and partners affected by COVID, progress slowed for several months. Now, with a new USFS Recreation Planner onboard and many of our other partners back in operation we feel confident that progress can be made. We hope to shortly finalize a route down from Pancake Rocks as a first step in moving the trail forward.

 

Look forward to progress updates posted on the TOSC website as well as the Ring the Peak Trail website: RingThePeakTrail.org.

Be a Friend
Every park needs friends! Here are the top 5 Reasons you should consider being a founding volunteer with either the Friends of the Pineries Open Space or the Friends of Rainbow Falls.
1)     Friends Groups are great social groups! Everyone is passionate about taking care of our favorite wild places and helping agencies make our parks better.
2)     Friends Group volunteers make a huge impact in our community. Where agency budgets are low and staff hours are spread thin, Friends Groups step up and fill the gaps using their time, skills, and wisdom.
3)     Learn new skills! When you join a Friends Group’s leadership team, you will learn new leadership skills and have access to trainings that will help you learn how to lead others on trail projects, fundraising and more!
4)     Leave a legacy! When you walk around many of our trails in the Pikes Peak region, you are walking on trails that Friends Groups help maintain or even build. When you volunteer with a Friends Group, you are leaving your mark with every project you help with.
5)     There are roles for everyone and time commitments that work with your life. Volunteering with Friends Groups is not a life commitment. If you can be a board president for two years, that is fantastic! If you just want to help with logistics for several trail cleanups a year, there is a spot for you too.
If you are interested in helping the Friends of Rainbow Falls get off the ground in Manitou Springs, please email Theresa Odello with El Paso County Parks at theresaodello@elpasoco.com. If you are interested in being a founding volunteer with the Friends of the Pineries Open Space, please attend the information meeting on September 9th at 6pm on Zoom. Click here to register!

PARK AND TRAIL News

Midland Trail is OPEN!
We are pleased to announce that the construction of the detention pond at Ridge Road and Colorado Avenue was completed to the point where they were able to pave the final connection of the Midland Trail to the now signalized crossing at Ridge Road. The trail is open and users will take the signalized crossing on the south side heading west to proceed down to the new underpass at Adams Crossing Bridge. There is still some work to be done adjacent to the trail, but users can now proceed all off-street through the Ridge and Columbia Road areas. This is one of the last non-motorized components of the Westside Avenue Action Plan project and is a step forward for connectivity between the communities of Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs.
Early Bird Hike & Bike at GOG
Garden of the Gods Park will be closed to vehicles on Wednesday, Sept. 2 from 5-8 a.m. The closure will accommodate an “Early Bird Hike & Bike,” an opportunity for recreationalists to enjoy the park and its roadways without vehicles. Offered free-of-charge by the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services department, this experience is in response to a community request received in March by many of the people on this email to accommodate a vehicle-free experience where cyclists, runners and hikers could more easily spread out to exercise while enjoying the Garden.
Detour on Barr Trail Extended
The temporary detour from the end of Barr Trail to the summit of Pikes Peak will remain in effect until at least September 30, 2020. The alternate route takes hikers down the Cog Railway track bed to the 19-mile point where hikers then access the Pikes Peak Highway to hike up the shoulder of the road to the summit. Find more info on our blog.
Palmer Lake Reservoirs
The Palmer Lake Reservoir Trail, closed due to recent construction will remain closed. Work on the road (trail) connecting the town to the upper reservoirs was recently completed. Trustees voted last week to keep the trailhead closed indefinitely due to current Stage 2 fire danger. For hikers and cyclists seeking alternatives near Palmer Lake – Santa Fe Regional Trail, Limbaugh Canyon Trail (limited parking) Spruce Mountain Open Space, Greenland Open Space, Mt. Herman Trail and Monument Preserve all offer miles of recreation opportunities.

TOSC

Two Shoes Trek Challenge
Saturday Sept. 5 – Sunday Sept. 13
The Two Shoes Trek Challenge weekends are upon us! Starting this Saturday, participants can run or walk the 5k and 10k routes in Fountain Creek Regional Park, Bear Creek Regional Park (East), Palmer Lake and Fox Run Regional Park. A fun twist to this event are the “Bonus Points” you can acquire by finding select landmarks along the routes! When a landmark is discovered, runners can take a selfie with the object and post it to social media using the hashtag, “#twoshoestrekchallenge” to get the bonus points. This weekend, runners will be on the lookout for objects ranging from Memorials for fallen heroes, culturally modified trees to other natural wonders.

TOSC Member Hike Corral Bluffs Open Space
Sunday September 6, 9:00 – 1:00 pm
TOSC invites its members out for a rare opportunity to hike in the beautiful, rugged terrain of Corral Bluffs with our incredibly knowledgeable friends from Corral Bluffs Alliance. Corral Bluffs Open Space is not open to the public. Enjoy an easy to moderate 3 mile hike to observe and learn about the unique natural resources in this protected area. You can expect desert terrain, rolling hills, lofty rock outcrops and abundant wildlife. Corral Bluffs and Jimmy Camp provide 13,000 acres of habitat for birds, mammals, reptiles, invertebrates and unique plant life. Dogs are not allowed. Group size is limited to 10, masks and physical distancing will be required. 
Due to popular demand we added another hike. Only 2 spots left!
 
Please note this hike is for TOSC Members only. Want to become a member? Join Trails and Open Space Coalition by make a donation at http://trailsandopenspaces.org/donate. For questions about membership, please call 719-633-6884.
TOSC Member Ride – Legacy Loop
Sunday Sept 20, 9:00 – 12:00 PM
Join TOSC for a pleasant September pedal cruise around the Legacy Loop. We will tour the full 10 mile loop; which includes the Pikes Peak Greenway and Shooks Run Trails! Learn about the history of COS and the future projects along the way. Ride will be lead by Community Engagement Guru Allen Beauchamp. Group will be limited to 10 participants, masks and physical distancing will be required. 
Urban Trail Challenge
Friday Sept 25 – Sunday Sept 27
TOSC invites you to come out for a bike ride adventure! TOSC has cleverly crafted a list of challenges for riders to complete during this 3 day event. Some challenges are geared toward avid cyclists (furthest distance, how many parks can you link along urban trails, etc…). Other challenges will be for everyone (take a selfie with a landmark in the background, ride in costume or make a dance video from a certain spot). The majority of the challenges are family friendly and have social distance in mind. This will be a selfie scavenger hunt on an epic level! Plus, riders will receive a commemorative neck gaiter. Create your own urban trail route or pick from routes created by TOSC.
 
Phelan Gardens Raises $600 for TOSC!!
As trail users, our friends at Phelan Gardens wanted to support TOSC’s advocacy and sustainability efforts by hosting a fundraiser. Over the weekend, they hosted a hybrid online/in-store raffle for a rare houseplant: a Calathea Orbifolia. Over 120 raffle tickets were sold, raising $600 for TOSC’s work to preserve, improve and connect our trails and open spaces. If you missed the chance to win this houseplant, you can still check out the selection that Phelan Gardens carries!

Community

Labor Day Lift Off
Saturday, September 5 – Sunday, September 6
Look to the sky – from the comfort of your homes – between 7:30-8:30 am on Saturday and Sunday morning to watch a spectacular array of 35+ balloons participating in the modified citywide celebration, lifting off from 10-12 locations across the city (balloon launch site area map will be available at ColoradoSpringsLaborDayLiftOff.com as the event nears). While balloons soar overhead, tune in to your radio to listen to engaging and historical ballooning commentary. Several “pop-up” Balloon Glows are planned around the community for Saturday evening at 7:00pm, weather permitting.
Bike the Night!
Sat. September 5, 6:00 – 9:00 PM
Memorial Park in Woodland Park
Join Mountain Top Cycling Club for an evening ride: 1, 8 or 12 mile routes. Event starts at 6:00 with kids races for medals and trophies. Then the adult/youth Bike the Night will start at 7:00. Pizza Party after the ride! GREAT FAMILY EVENT. Masks and social distancing will be required.
Trail Love Day
Tuesday Sept. 8, 5:00 – 8:00 PM
Red Rock Canyon Open Space (RRCOS)
Join Medwheel for a Trail Love work day on the Upper Codell trail in RRCOS. Help with a range of maintenance & improvement work. Please arrive no later than 4:45pm & meet us at the 26th Street parking lot. COVID guidelines will be followed: social distancing, hand sanitizer & Chlorox wipes will be provided, and gloves & masks will be required.
MER – New Location
2222 Bott Ave
Mountain Equipment Recyclers (MER) has a new location! MER is Colorado Springs’ best second-hand outdoor equipment store specializing in new and lightly used gear for skiing, camping, hiking, biking, climbing, fishing, etc. Consignment proceeds are used to support local organizations, like TOSC!

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