Land Managers are telling us illegal trails are a problem that is getting worse. Vertical trails used by mountain bikes are the most common challenge but rogue hiking trails are also an issue. City Parks, County Parks and Forest Service personnel all report an uptick.
Few cities are as fortunate as ours to have a National Forest in our backyard. It is a gift to our senses. Our daily check in with Pikes Peak from our cars and trails. The smell of the forest. The taste of snowflakes above tree line. Then there are all those miles of system trails to explore in the 1.1 million acres of forest.
Illegal trails “steal” from all of us. They usually cause erosion, damage flora and can send sediment into fragile ecosystems. Once created illegal trails attract more users. Wildlife habitat and migration patterns are affected.
If you see a rogue trail, report it. Land managers and Friends Groups close and restore rogue trails on a regular basis. With hundreds of miles of trails in our region there is no valid reason to illegally build new ones.
PARK AND TRAIL News
Fountain Creek Corridor Master Plan
Thur. Dec 16, 5:30 – 7:00PM
A public meeting for the Fountain Creek Corridor Greenway Master Plan will be held virtually. Join the meeting to hear about planning efforts to date. Plus share thoughts, ideas and opinions for the Fountain Creek Corridor and project area.
Pass Code: 038114
Hosted by Fountain Creek Watershed District
Catamount Trail Update
A positive outcome is close at hand in regards to the Catamount Trail Closure. Back in August, the trail was closed after a property owner objected to having the trail cross a portion of their property. Recently, the Historic Green Mountain Falls Foundation purchased the land in question leading the way to a recommendation from the Green Mountain Falls Parks, Recreation and Trails Committee to reopen the trail. The trail will officially reopen pending a vote by the Towns Board of Trustees on the subject. When the trail officially reopens, TOSC will provide the update on Facebook.
Coyote Run Trail
The Coyote Run Trail in Cheyenne Mountain State Park (Ancestral Land of the Ute and Cheyenne) is the perfect trail for anyone looking for an easy 1.6 mile loop. This trail has several starting points including parking lots near picnic areas and a trailhead at the Visitor Center. For those who want a longer adventure, there are connections to the Boulder Run Trail to the west and Soaring Kestrel Trail to the north. Since this area of the park mostly faces south, the trail tends to stay warmer and dryer due to the intense winter sun. With amazing views of Cheyenne Mountain, granite rock formations and the prairie, there is something for all nature lovers along the trail.
Find more places to Get Out – Spread Out,
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.
Holiday Ornament Supports Blackpackers and TOSC
This custom, limited-edition ornament was designed to capture our love of the outdoors and our commitment to equity on our trails. With a suggested donation of $20, you can support the work of TOSC and one of our newest partners – Blackpackers – via IndyGive!. Pick up your ornament in-person or make alternative arrangements with our staff.
Available for In-Person Purchase (cash accepted)
Thurs. Dec 16, 10:00AM – 7:00PM
TOSC Office: 702 E. Boulder St
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to make alternative arrangements for
IndyGive! – The Final Stretch
We are within reach of meeting our ambitious IndyGive goal of $50,000 this year! As of this week, we are only $10,000 shy with 2-1/2 weeks remaining in the campaign. This is an increase from last year’s goal, but we have so many new programs and goals for 2022 that need your support – from our new Trail Ambassador program to continuing the fight for additional public funding for our outdoor spaces. We continue to be your advocate for our trails, parks and open spaces, and it is your support that allows us to do this work. For those of you who have already donated – thank you! If you haven’t yet made your donation, there is still time!
“What ride I am planning on enjoying over the holidays.” Staff member Allen Beauchamp is always looking for the silver linings that have been a part of the Covid era, and one of his favorite rides to do on a day off has definitely become one of those. During our #GetOutSpreadOut initiative, he discovered the beautiful urban trails down in the South District area of El Paso County. The Crews Gulch Trail and Fountain Creek Regional Trail combo quickly became a go-to destination for all of the great places they connect to and through.
Parking at the Willow Pond parking lot off of the CanAm Highway just south of Mesa Ridge Parkway makes for a beautiful start for this 9 mile dual out and back ride, and the bonus is to bring a fishing pole along for post-pedaling angling!
The Crews Gulch Trail will take you up through the City of Widefield and the turnaround spot is the very scenic Widefield Community Park where you can view one of the newest community mural projects along the trail underpass to McCrae Reservoir, a gem of a #hiddeninplainsight location if there ever was one.
Once venturing south along the Fountain Creek Regional Trail, you’ll enjoy the unparalleled beauty of the Fountain Creek Nature Center area and you can now continue on down and across Fountain Creek using the recently reopened Hanson Trailhead Project trail realignment to the turnaround spot (and end of the FCRT) at Bandley Drive. All in all, an exceptionally enjoyable tour along trails less traveled.
For the route and map, visit here: TOSC Members Crews Gulch & Fountain Creek Regional Trail Ramble
And if you go sometime before the end of the year, please take a few photos along the way and post them to our TOSC Facebook page, we’d love to see the ride through your eyes!
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.
CMSP Holiday Open House
Sun. Dec 19, 9:00 – 4:00 PM
Cheyenne Mountain State Park has lots of fun things planned and the party is free!
ALL DAY: 30% discount on most items in the gift shop – enjoy hot cocoa and cookies by the fireplace – visit with the Friends of CMSP and pick up their 2022 calendar!
NOON: Meet on the VC patio and follow Naturalist, Pru on a Winter Mystery Hike
NOON – 4:00: Santa Claus will visit before he heads off to the North Pole for last minute preparations – Make ‘N Take Crafts – S’mores on the patio – Free Gift Wrap – Festive Fun
1:30: Ranger Will presents a Winter Birds program followed by a birdseed craft in the meeting room.
No park pass required for guests parked at the Visitor Center during this event.
Now – Jan 1, NOT open on Christmas Eve
5:00 – 8:30 PM
Lights, Animals and Holiday Spirit. Electric Safari at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has over 60 one-of-a-kind light sculptures! Get photos with NEW larger-than-life illuminated inflatable animals throughout the Zoo. SANTA will be available for photos and to hear wishes in the Safari Lodge through Thursday, Dec. 23. Sky Rides and Hot Cocoa available for additional cost. Advance timed tickets are required; no walk-up tickets available.
17 Ways to Stay Active Around the Holidays
Children’s Hospital Colorado, Colorado Springs has some helpful tips on how to stay moving around the holidays, when some of us are likely to be less active. We know most of you are already fairly active, but it never hurts to have some gentle reminders!