VIRTUAL TRAIL MIXER
Tuesday, Dec. 15, 4:00 – 5:00 PM
TOSC Members will be invited to join us for a virtual TRAIL MIXER where we will be discussing topics you’ve been asking about. Get updates on the latest land purchase for Coral Bluffs and what the projected timeline is for public access. Find out what Cheyenne Mountain State Park has planned for next year. And learn why we need to be paying attention to the trees in our parks and open spaces. Invitation forthcoming for all TOSC members.
Not a member or has your membership expired? It’s not too late to join or renew.
PARK AND TRAIL News
Thorndale and Boulder Parks
When you voted yes for 2B a year ago, one of the projects involved replacing sports courts at Thorndale and Boulder Parks. While the majority of the 2B projects are underway or have been completed, this one has taken a bit longer. The good news: project bids are “out” and the hope is construction could begin in spring with completed courts by early summer. Plan on playing some tennis, pickleball and making some free throws by June!
Jones Park Update
You won’t find ballfields or playgrounds at Jones Park. You will find lovely aspen and conifer forests, meadows and trails. Located west of North Cheyenne Canon, 5 miles from downtown – Jones Park is now managed by El Paso County and part of Bear Creek Watershed, home of the endangered Cutthroat Trout.
A two-year master plan process was completed before the pandemic. The draft plan and a survey can be found here. Please read the material and take the survey by December 23rd.
Pet Holiday Tree at Fox Run
“In the spirit of the holidays, can people decorate trees along trails and in parks?” We asked city parks staff that question. The answer is no, for some good reasons. Glass and plastic ornaments can be dangerous for wildlife. Wind blows glitter and tinsel and creates litter. Our parks have embraced a “Leave no Trace” ethic that doesn’t support man-made intrusions. Park staff will remove decorations from park trees when they see them. On the flip side, if you yearn for a little holiday magic, check out the “Pet Holiday Tree” in Fox Run Regional Park. For the past decade home-made ornaments with pictures of beloved pets have appeared on one of the park evergreens. Sanctioned by EPC park staff with strict rules on materials and size, the decorated tree appears the day after Thanksgiving. All the ornaments are carefully removed, wrapped and stored January 2nd and reappear the following year. To see the tree (and shed a tear), park at the trailhead along Roller Coaster Road and take the main trail west to the first intersection. Signs share the history of the couple behind the tree. They’ve moved away but the tradition continues.
WHAT I WOULDN'T GIVE...
WHAT I WOULDN’T HAVE GIVEN TO HAVE ACCESS LIKE THIS WHERE I GREW UP
After graduating from law school, I thought long and hard about where I wanted to start my career and live life. I chose to move to Colorado Springs in large part because of its vast network of trails and open spaces. Years later, I am still in awe at the nearby places I can access on weekday mornings and evenings for exercise and decompression! What I wouldn’t have given to grow up with access to free outdoor resources like we have here in the Pikes Peak Region.
Today, I donated to the TOSC through the Indy Give! Campaign to ensure that our local network of trails, parks and open spaces is preserved, improved and maintained for future generations. What would you give to secure our outdoor spaces for the next generation?
20|20 Parks Challenge
You have about 3 weeks to finish TOSC’s 20|20 Parks Challenge! Haven’t started yet? No problem, you still have plenty of time to visit all 20 spectacular parks before the end of the year. Share a picture from each park on Facebook or Instagram using #tosc2020challenge and tag TOSC for a chance to win prizes. Keep an eye out for TOSC rocks at each of the parks! Email firstname.lastname@example.org when you complete the challenge to get your sticker and get entered into the grand prize giveaway! – Osprey hydration packs, TOSC t-shirts & dog bandanas, gift cards…
Trail Blazer Beer @ Fossil
TOSC’s custom chili beer is almost gone! Hurry over to Fossil Craft Beer Company and pick up a to-go crawler. You will be treated to a unique brew and supporting TOSC with your purchase. It’s a win-win!
Get out Spread out
Once again playgrounds in parks are being closed in some parts of the country. Not in our area. Nevertheless, with infection rates rising, it’s a good idea to get out and spread out when you are out on trails and in parks. Here are some of staff’s favorite, lesser used trails, parks and open spaces:
Susan’s family includes an 11 year old golden retriever who still thinks she’s a puppy. They love Monument Rock Preserve because dogs are allowed off leash (USFS) and there are plenty of sticks for chasing and chewing. Plenty of parking and miles of moderate/easy trails. Monument Rock Hike
Beth’s family, which includes a 2 year old and a 5 year old, likes easy to moderate 1-2 mile hikes. The trails around Bear Creek Nature Center are always a favorite. They are easy to access, parking is generally ample, and the trails tend to be quiet. Bear Creek Family Outing
Sharie and her dog Willow have been sticking close to home, using their front door as the trailhead. They frequent the Homestead and Cottonwood Creek Trail and have found several great 2-6 mile loops. Walkin’ with Willow
When Aaron looks to get outside in the winter, he heads south to Clear Spring Ranch. The 970 acre open space is south of Fountain, CO and provides a great retreat for anyone looking to escape the icy shadows of foothills trails or to enjoy a nice walk alone in the quiet solitude of nature. Clear Spring Ranch
When TOSC launched the #GetOutSpreadOut initiative, Allen’s focus was on casual bike ride opportunities on the south end of Colorado Springs and El Paso County. Allen has discovered a region full of #hiddeninplainsight gems and some of the most accessible healthy riparian habitat that provided just the right amount of beautiful vistas, connection to nature, and quiet solitude. All key things that added up to a restorative experience that have become some of his favorite rides along the Fountain Creek Regional Trail. Fountain Creek Regional Trail Ramble
Mike lives on the west side of Colorado Springs. His go-to walk is the Niobrara Trail at the southern end of Garden of the Gods. It’s a one mile loop with great views of Pikes Peak, the old Valley Reservoir and sandstone monoliths. It’s a nice quiet trail, mostly used by Pleasant Valley residents. Garden of the Gods Niobrara Trail Walk
Find more great hikes, walks and bike rides on our Get Out Spread Out page. Enjoy!