This past Saturday, we kicked off the 2021 TOSC Member Outings with a wonderful 10 mile Legacy Loop ride! It was a spectacular 3 hour tour with historic points of interest highlighted by the City as a part of Pedal our Past, a Bike Month celebration. Members received an in-depth look at both the northern and southern connection sections still to be constructed, and experienced several of the recently completed Legacy Loop enhancements. We were able to highlight how TOPS funding contributed to the Legacy Loop and how critical TOPS is for future projects along this corridor and beyond. The Legacy Loop continues to be one of our favorite places to experience because it has a deep connection to our rich history, brilliantly showcases the legacy of parks and it serves as a functional, modern urban trail corridor.
A segment of New Santa Fe Trail remains closed this week.
The mile long closure is between the Baptist Rd Trailhead and the trail crossing on Old Denver Highway. Utility work related to the construction of a church prompted the closing. Given the proximity of the trail to ongoing excavation, no detour was provided. EPC Parks staff is working with Monument Town officials and contractors to minimize the impact to trail users. The trail could reopen next week. Proposed development along Old Denver Highway will continue to impact the trail and add an undetermined number of vehicle crossings. The New Santa Fe Trail is part of the Front Range Trail, which will stretch from Wyoming to New Mexico when completed.
El Paso County Parks staff has finished flagging two loop trails in Santa Fe Open Space located along the New Santa Fe Trail, south of Palmer Lake. This new 65 acre open space is not yet open to the public. Trail construction will get underway later this summer and should be completed by fall. No opening date has been set.
Road Closure at North Cheyenne Canyon
The weekday closure of North Cheyenne Canyon Road, from the Starsmore Visitor & Nature Center to Helen Hunt Falls within North Cheyenne Cañon Park, has been extended through June 28, weather and construction dependent. Monday-Friday, vehicles are not permitted on the road, however, trails will remain open to non-motorized recreational use. The road is open to vehicles on weekends.
The weekday closure was expected to end June 18, however, crews need additional time to complete parking improvements. Over the next week, crews will pave the parking lots at the Bruin Inn picnic area and Daniels Pass trailhead; complete construction on two new Daniels Pass Trail bridges; install signage; and stripe the improved parking areas.
Pickleball Courts at Bear Creek Regional Park
Twelve new pickleball courts are scheduled to open Sat. 6/26/21. El Paso County Parks will host a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday at 9:00 AM. Other minor improvements that will be completed prior to the facility opening: parking lot grading, wood rail fencing, and landscaping.
E-Bikes Pilot Update
COS Parks Staff is still waiting for clarification from City Attorneys to determine if e-bikes violate City code. A modification/clarification of the code allowing e-bikes on urban and soft-surface trails could require a City Council vote and further delay the start of the pilot program. The electric bikes pilot was scheduled to begin Memorial Day weekend and last for one year.
TOPS Properties to Visit
Aaron Rogers (Program Coordinator) – My favorite Colorado Springs TOPS property is the Austin Bluffs Open Space. I love how you can have a wildly different experience based on which trail you take in this open space. Within a few minutes of hiking from the University Park Blvd trailhead, you can escape urban life and be in the mild of a thick stand of ponderosa trees. From the Butler Court Trailhead, you get one of the best panorama views of Colorado Springs and be amongst amazing sandstone rock formations after just a few minutes of easy hiking. Our community is fortunate that this open space was protected from building and can give people living in the central part of our community a wild space to recreate.
TOSC Trail Ambassadors
Learn how you can get involved with TOSC’s Open Spaces Trail Ambassador Program this Thursday, June 24, 5:30 – 6:30 pm at Red Rock Canyon Open Space. If you are interested in answering questions and sharing stories and insights about Red Rock Canyon, Stratton, Austin Bluffs, Blodgett, Palmer or Ute Valley please join us! Additional in person information session on July 1st and 8th.
TOSC is in the 2021 Indy Give! We are thankful to be selected to be one of the 82 local nonprofits included this year. Although the 2021 Indy Give campaign does not start until November 1st, TOSC is looking for local supporters to provide Matching Grants. If you or your business want to support TOSC and our mission to connect trails and preserve open spaces in the Pikes Peak region, please contact us, 719-633-6884 or email@example.com.
JOIN YOUR FELLOW ADVOCATES AND BECOME A MEMBER
Are you considering joining the Coalition? This week TOSC member Pattye Volz shares why she is passionate about our parks, trails and open spaces and why she thinks it’s important to become a member!
Share Something Unique About You:
Capping my journalism career and our kids becoming settled, I recently served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the attorney general’s office of the country of Georgia.
What Do Our Parks Mean to You?
Our local parks and trails are key to what makes living here so wonderful – easy access to such amazing spaces and vistas!
Why Would You Encourage Someone to Join TOSC as a Member?
I find it so valuable that we have an organization like TOSC tracking and advocating for the issues and activities which impact citizens’ abilities to use and enjoy the nearby natural areas that can help us reconnect with what’s meaningful in life.
What is Your Favorite Trail/Park?
So many trails in our region are “favorites,” but a frequent go-to for my husband and me is the Bear Creek Trail off of High Drive in the southwest part of town – so beautiful in all seasons!
Do you know how to protect your bike when locking it up at a trailhead? Do you know how to identify a rattlesnake if the rattle is missing? Do you know what to do if someone goes missing from your group while hiking? All these questions (and more) were answered during the TOSC Trail Mixer on Trail Safety, with guest speakers: Colorado Springs Police Department Officer, Garden of the Gods Park Interpreter and Cheyenne Mountain State Park Ranger!
Butterflies, hummingbirds, bees, and bats are all beneficial pollinators whose numbers are dwindling. Between habitat loss, decreasing water quality, drought, fires, and misinformation these critters need our help. Come to the POLLINATOR PARTY at Mansions Park! It’s free, family-friendly, and full of fun outdoor activities: making a seed bomb, chalk art, short pollinator walks, educational booths with local partners and more! Enjoy a “Pint for Pollinators” – a special brew from Manitou Brewing Company – $1 from each pint will support pollinator efforts such as these.
Kinship Landing invites you to an evening of summer lawn games, $2 beers, and summer tips from outdoor experts. Bring your kids and soak up some of the Colorado good life. TOSC will be there with Get Out Spread Out Trail suggestions and info on how to get involved with our Trail Stewardship program. Find cool stuff to do, meet like-minded folks, and start planning your summer excursions!
Thanks to a wet Spring the wildflower season is spectacular this year! Join Bob Falcone at Cheyenne Mountain State Park for a crash course in wildflower photography. “Hiking Bob” is an award-winning photographer and avid hiker. Bob will share his secrets for outstanding photos in all kinds of weather and lighting conditions, using anything from a cell phone to a high-end digital SLR during his presentation at the Visitor Center. Then the group will head outside for a short practical exercise in wildflower photography. Put your newly learned skills to the test by entering Friends of Cheyenne Mountain State Park’s 2021 Photo Contest!
Reservation required, please call 719-576-2016.
Cost: $10 for Members of Friends of CMSP, $20 for non-members *No refunds
Two Shoes Race
Registration is now open for the 2021 Two Shoes Trek Challenge. TOSC and the Pikes Peak Road Runners have teamed up to stage a community running event. The live race will take place on September 11th, at Fox Run Regional Park. The virtual race option will take place Sept 4th – 11th.