Trail Improvement Survey
The results are in! Forty-seven of our readers responded with suggestions for needed trail improvements or connections. These suggestions will be passed on to city and county staff working with the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Agency as they make decisions about PPRTA 3. It was clear from the responses that a lot of thought went into the suggestions. We believe that when trail advocates join together to provide comments to public agencies it makes a strong case for the needed improvements.
You can review the results here.
Often there are topics related to trails that we would like your input on. Using this form of map-based survey is one way we can solicit our readers’ ideas in a geographic context. Look forward to more of this type of survey in the future. Your input is vital. Thank you for taking the time and for being trail and open space advocates!
PARK AND TRAIL News
Falcon Trail Closure
The Air Force Academy’s Natural Resources Office will host a controlled deer hunt Dec. 11-12. Frequently used roads and trails in the hunting areas will be posted with bright orange “Area Closed: Authorized Personnel Only” signs. The Falcon Trail, archery range, Pine Valley horse pastures, and Parcourse will also be closed. Academy officials urge personnel and visitors to avoid roads and trails leading into the hunting areas. The hunt is designed to control the deer population within the carrying capacity of the habitat, reduce deer-vehicle accidents and prevent over-browsing of landscaped areas.
More info at usafa.isportsman.net
Manitou Incline Closure
The Manitou Incline will close to the public on December 14 and 15. Colorado Springs Utilities is scheduled to work on upper Ruxton Avenue and testing water lines near the base of the trail.
Rangers will perform some maintenance work on the Incline during the closure.
Additionally, a contractor will stripe Ruxton Avenue, between Spring Street and the Iron Springs Chateau to allow for easier and safer pedestrian traffic. The parking spots around Memorial Park will be striped on December 15th.
Please respect the closure and allow crews to work.
Proposed Fee Increases for RMNP
Your park entrance and campground fees help support critical projects to improve visitor services at Rocky Mountain National Park – such as hazard tree mitigation, hiking trail repairs, wilderness campsite improvements, bear management, and historic rock wall restoration along Trail Ridge Road. Rocky Mountain National Park may increase the Daily Vehicle Entrance fee by $5 and campground fees at Moraine Park, Glacier Basin, Aspenglen, and Timber Creek Campgrounds may also increase. Other park fees will remain the same.
Public comments will be accepted through Friday, January 7, 2022. Please be sure to comment through the park planning webpage.
Work at Barr Camp
Barr Camp is hiring a part time or full-time seasonal Caretaker with possible consideration for full-time. Single and couples invited to apply. This position involves living remotely at Barr Camp. Great customer service and handy-person skills required. Must be able to hike 6.2 miles up Pikes Peak and perform physical tasks at 10,200 ft. elevation.
Go to barrcamp.com for information about Barr Camp.
Wheels and Legs: Reducing Nonmotorized Trails Conflicts
Thurs. Dec 9, 11:00 – 12:30 PM
“Share-the trail” has been a mantra for decades. In many cases, particularly for urban trails and greenways, the shared use (multiple uses) concept has offered an efficient and affordable way to build and manage trails. However, with the explosive growth of trail visitation and the growth of the types of uses, the question of conflicts among users, has arisen—particularly between mechanized (bikes) and foot (including people with mobility devices) traffic.
This presentation will benefit all levels of expertise and roles from trail users, to planners and designers, to managers. The goal is to provide perspectives, an assessment of the issue of conflicts, and potential solutions when dealing with non-motorized trails.
Learn more about the webinar and presenters here.
The new Daniels Pass Trail System in North Cheyenne Canon Park (Ancestral Land of the Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute) and the Cheyenne) is extraordinary and provides our community with a “National Park-like” experience. Getting to the new trail system is not easy. For this route, we followed a modified 8-mile lollipop loop set by the Friends of Cheyenne Canon for their “Canya Canyon” trail race and would be considered a difficult/strenuous trail due to length and elevation gain. This route starts at Starsmore Visitor Center and uses 3 miles of the Lower Columbine, Creekside and Mount Cutler/Mount Muscoco Trails to reach the new trail system. The 1,000+ foot climb from the canyon floor to the new extension of the Mount Muscoco Trail is strenuous; however, you are rewarded with breathtaking views of Sweetwater Canyon, Stove Mountain, Almagre and the rest of the North Cheyenne Canon backcountry. From this point, the hike descends back into N. Cheyenne Canon using the Sweetwater Canyon Trail to connect with the Daniels Pass Trail. These new trails are extremely popular and will require patience and respect for other users. The Daniels Pass Trail goes over N. Cheyenne Creek, with an awesome new bridge, before crossing the road to connect with the Upper Columbine Trail. From the Upper Columbine Trail junction, it will take about 3 more miles to finish the loop and return to the parking lot. To avoid large crowds of people, start your adventure just after sunrise. During the winter months, be prepared for unpredictable weather and ice on the trails. Congratulations to all the City of Colorado Springs Park staff, area outdoor organizations and volunteers that built these new trails, you created a masterpiece!
Watch the TOSC #GetOutSpreadOut Relive Video for the “Canya Canon” Loop
Find more hikes, walks and rides on TOSC’s Get Out Spread Out Page.
TOPS Stewardship in 2021
Each December the City’s TOPS Staff shares highlights of what they accomplished. It’s a great team and they do a variety of work. Everything from trails assessments, map making, vegetation mapping to fuels reduction. And that’s just the Resource Technicians. Trail Technicians restore rogue trails, improve trails and supervise volunteer events. Biological Technicians conduct bird and prairie dog surveys, map invasive weeds (and have myrtle spurge pulls) and have created a “Birding Ethics” reference card available at the Parks office.
This is only part of what they accomplished. They also brought in “track chairs” for disabled hikers to try and brought in a volunteer crew of hearing impaired students from the Deaf and Blind School for a trails project. And they are very close to becoming the first park system in the country to earn Leave No Trace – Gold Standard Site Status! New Way-finding, Friends group support, maintenance projects; our TOPS team is amazing. Thank them when you see them!
Do Good Drinking
Wed. Dec 8, 5:30 – 8:00 PM
“Do Good Drinking” is tonight at Pikes Peak Brewing in Monument! Join TOSC, Medicine Wheel Trail Advocates, Tri-Lakes Cares, Wild Blue Cats and Paws ‘N Hooves Colorado for an evening of fine beer and mingling with people who love their community! Win a door prize drawing by donating to each non-profit during the evening! Throughout the whole day, you
will be able to “round up” your tab and the total round ups for the days sales will be donated to the five non-profits by Pikes Peak Brewing!
Visit the Facebook Event
The Perfect Holiday Gift
TOSC is excited to partner this holiday season with Blackpackers, a local organization that provides outdoor gear, excursions and outdoor education for free or at subsidized costs to underrepresented and economically vulnerable populations. Together, we have created this limited edition holiday ornament as part of a combined IndyGive! fundraiser. Ornaments will be available for a suggested donation of $20 on Thursday, December 16 from 10am – 7pm at the TOSC Office. Stop by anytime, but we will have cookies and hot chocolate from 4:00 – 7:00! Can’t make it, but want to get an ornament? Contact email@example.com to make alternative arrangements.
Limited Edition Ornament Pickup
Thurs. Dec 16, 10:00am – 7:00pm
702 E. Boulder St
Creative Collaboration in support of TOSC & Blackpackers
When TOSC and Blackpackers decided to collaborate on a fun holiday-inspired Indy Give! event, our thoughts settled on having a decorative ornament that would be a gift for those making donations to our organizations. Sure enough, there were plenty found via a Google search and Etsy is chock-full of options, but something with our local flavor was what we really wanted. But how in the world would we make this happen with a limited amount of time?
This is where the creative and inspiring duo of Drew Johnson and Jake Weien came to the rescue. Drew is the Executive Director of the Pikes Peak Makerspace and he welcomed TOSC in with open arms, giving us an overview of the laser that could produce just what we desired. Now, we just needed a design. A call to Jake Weien, a friend of TOSC and owner of Creative Jake, he quickly developed a few interesting options and we all quickly settled on the version that spoke to our mountain-loving hearts. Through a flurry of emails and text’s, we quickly had our laser-friendly file and Drew shepherded us through the production process in spectacular fashion. We are fans of the laser engraver and cutter, you can bet there will be future projects!
We would like to extend a sincere thank you to Drew and Jake and welcome everyone to join us on December 16th to celebrate the season and the work TOSC and Blackpackers do for our region…and beyond! For more details, check out our Facebook Event.
Check out the wide range of graphic design services that Jake Weien offers by visiting creativejake.com
Where Will TOSC Staff be Hiking over the Holidays?
I love to hike and try to get out at least a couple of days each week. Living near Monument, Monument Preserve, Spruce Mountain, Fox Run Park, Lincoln Mountain and the new Sandstone Ranch are some of my favorites. With so little snow I may hike to the top of Mt Herman with its lovely views of Black Forest and Pikes Peak. I can’t wait to check out the new trails in New Santa Fe Open Space – they open next spring. Here’s a mistake I often make with visitors during the holidays: I forget they’re coming from sea-level and take them to the top of Mt Muscoco on their first or second day ….bad idea. Instead we’ll start out easy and work our way up. Enjoy your holidays and see you on the trail!
Thanks to Everyone Who Voted
Thank you to everyone who nominated TOSC for the Scheels Giving Campaign. Thanks to you, TOSC was one of the top-voted organizations and will be awarded $5,000 by our local Scheels store. We appreciate your support!
Liquid Lecture – Brewshed Alliance
Thurs. Dec 9, 6:00 PM
The Final Liquid Lecture of the year will be 3 UCCS students presenting on their efforts for Fountain Creek Watershed and Greenway District’s first Brewshed Alliance Internship! Each student was paired with a brewery (Storybook, Fossil and Phantom Canyon), participated in an on-site audit, and compiled the results/recommendations into a sustainability report. Attend in person at Storybook Brewing and get a free beer or attend via Zoom.
Ornament Party at Fox Run
Sat. Dec 11, 1:00 – 3:00 PM
Bring your kids and grandkids…neighbor kids or kids at heart to make wood and pine cone ornaments with Friends of Fox Run! Come to the Warming Hut for this fun and FREE holiday event. Supplies and Hot Cocoa will be provided.
Virtual Public Meeting
Wed. Dec 15, 5:00 – 7:00 PM
Please join City staff and project representatives to learn more about the proposed citywide transportation improvements as well as specific possibilities for Platte Avenue Corridor. 5-6 pm Get updates on ConnectCOS and preview draft multimodal projects list. 6-7 Learn about and discuss alternatives for Platte Ave between I-25 and Powers Blvd.
Gingerbread Habitat Decorating
Sat. Dec 18, 10:00 – 1:30 PM
Learn about the different animal habitats at Bear Creek while decorating a Gingerbread Habitat! This is a nature twist on the traditional gingerbread house. All you need to bring is your imagination, and we will provide the gingerbread, frosting, and candy. Pre-register for specific times. Hosted by Bear Creek Nature Center, $15 per member kit/$20 per nonmember kit.
Cheyenne Mountain State Park 2022 Calendar
Get your hands on the first ever Cheyenne Mountain State Park calendar! Each photo was taken at CMSP and hand-selected by the Friends of CMSP. The calendars are available for purchase at the Visitor Center, which is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cost is $10 and proceeds will go to the Friends of Cheyenne Mountain State Park.