On Wednesday, February 2nd please join the project team and stakeholders as they host the second virtual public meeting for the Midland Corridor Transportation Study. This study focuses on Colorado Avenue, Pikes Peak Avenue, Cucharras Street, and also highlights the Midland Trail. Proposed trail enhancements include increased connectivity throughout the corridor, creating safer crossings at major roadways, better signage and wayfinding for trail users and more! This is your chance to weigh in and provide feedback on the plan to date. Want better lighting, connections to the multiple parks and public areas along the trail, safer crossings?
The Midland Trail was identified as a top priority during our recent planning sessions for the upcoming Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority 3 ballot initiative, a funding mechanism that could be used for enhancements proposed in this study. Your input matters and is appreciate by all involved.
To register for the virtual public meeting, click HERE
PARK AND TRAIL News
Stratton Park Reimagined
Parkland Dedication Ordinance (PLDO) is not as well-known at TOPS (Trails, Open Space and Parks) or CTF (Conservation Trust Fund – Lottery) as a revenue source for parks projects. Developers creating new
neighborhoods either donate land for future parks or pay fees in lieu of land to be used to buy/build parks. COS is using $2.3 million dollars out of PLDO to purchase Stratton Park which contains the P.E.O Chapter House. The Philanthropic Education Organization took ownership of the 8.48 acres in the 1960’s and sold it to the city. COS is partnering with the Golden Lotus Foundation to turn the property into a Colorado Asian Art and Culture Heritage Center. City Parks will manage the grounds and trail and Golden Lotus will operate a Botanical Garden and Tea House.
An open house on Feb 5th, 11:00 – 2:00 pm will allow the community to learn more about the project. Please make reservations if you plan to attend.
Skiing and Snow-shoeing
New residents often contact us asking us where to cross country ski and snowshoe that doesn’t involve driving an hour or more. Here are our recommendations:
Fox Run Regional Park has great trails and is heavily wooded. Park at the Trailhead on Rollercoaster Rd and you’ll find lovely rolling terrain to explore. Because of the trees the snow doesn’t get “sticky” until late morning.
Section 16 and Black Forest Regional Park are also great choices. Close to the Palmer Divide and located in Black Forest they tend to get more snow than most other parks.
The Pineries Open Space is the county’s newest open space available to the public. It too is well forested and offers a lovely 9 mile trail loop to explore.
West of I-25 Monument Preserve offers great snow-shoeing options and when the temperatures are cold enough – decent snow for skiing. Best of all, because it is part of Pike National Forest your pooch can run by your side without a leash.
Rogue Trails – Bad
Recently, Land Managers told us newly created rogue trails are creating significant problems throughout the region. We’ve passed that information on to you. This week the Gazette quoted Pike National Forest Acting District Ranger Jennifer DeWoody who explained in detail why rogue trails damage the forest.
The illegal trails can “destroy wildlife habitats, disrupt wildlife migration corridors, harm fragile or rare plants, spread noxious and invasive weeds, cause soil loss, impact water quality and create safety and liability concerns.”
BIG CHANGES afoot at the Ute Valley Park Vindicator Trailhead
In late July, City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services employees began construction on the long-awaited Ute Valley Park (“UVP”) Trail. The UVP Trail was designated as a high priority project in the 2015 Ute Valley Park Master and Management Plan and will serve as a connection between the Pikes Peak Greenway and the Foothills Trail. The long-range goal of this project is to support a network of off-street trails that connect Palmer Park, Austin Bluffs Open Space, Ute Valley Park, Blodgett Open Space, and eventually, Cheyenne Mountain State Park.
City staff have built over 4,000 linear feet of trail and, when combined with work contractors have done near the Ute Valley Trail Trailhead, are now about halfway done with the build. The next phase of the project involves not only connecting the two sections but also beginning an intensive restoration project of old, decommissioned trails – also a high priority project. The web of trails crisscrossing the meadow directly South of the Vindicator Trailhead are part of this restoration plan and will be closed and decommissioned starting the week of January 16th. Please respect these closures and utilize the new UVP Trail connectors that lead East and West from the trailhead.
Templeton Gap Trail Detour
Traffic on Union Boulevard has shifted to allow work on the outside lanes, sidewalks and trail as part of the Templeton Gap bridge maintenance project. A trail detour is in place, follow signs using a different section of Templeton Gap Trail and Templeton Gap Rd. Detour is expected to last through July.
View Bike Colorado Springs’ city wide detour map to see all current bike detours throughout Colorado Springs
Pikes Peak Survey Results
The final TOSC results are in. After running for two weeks, 551 people voted with 40.65% in favor of not changing the mountain’s name, 30.67% in favor of keeping Pikes Peak as the name but adding a “Known as Tavá Mountain by the Ute People” line and 28.68% in favor of changing the name to Tavá Mountain. Now that the survey has closed, what is next? TOSC will share the results with any interested media outlet and the issue will be discussed by the TOSC Board of Directors. This survey is not scientific and 551 responses don’t reflect the wishes of the entire community; however, this discussion has shown most survey participants are open to a change of some sort and there is a desire from the community to learn more about the history of the region. Over the past couple of weeks, TOSC has received emails from the community sharing stories of how other mountains and local parks received their names. In the upcoming weeks, we will share some of these stories.
Pikes Peak Crew Leader Training
Save the date! April 30 and May 1, 2022
The annual Pikes Peak Regional Crew Leader Training (PPRCLT) is an intensive weekend-long training for stewardship volunteers who are interested in becoming certified and active Stewardship Crew Leaders. While in the training, participants learn how to lead safe, successful trail projects and build upon basic trail construction and restoration skills. The training is hosted by TOSC, Rocky Mountain Field Institute and the City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department.
For more information, please visit www.rmfi.org/crew-leader-training
Memorial Park and Prospect Lake
When winter trail conditions settle in, it is a great time to explore urban trails and parks. Memorial Park, located just east of Colorado Springs’ urban core, is a great choice to get out in nature and have many options for walking paths. Prospect Lake is the focal point of the park and features a 1.25 mile concrete walking path that loops around the water. This path has fitness equipment spread out along the path and has many benches for admiring the water fowl and historic trees. If you are looking for more of a challenge, there is a 5k route that follows the perimeter of Memorial Park and circles Prospect Lake. A unique feature of Memorial Park are the various memorials scatter around the park. From the IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial to the Military Memorials, there are places to reflect on the sacrifices made to serve our community and country. TOSC created a Get Out Spread Out video showing the best route to see the memorials: Memorial to Memorial Walk.
Find more hikes, walk and rides to explore on the TOSC Get Out Spread Out page!
Join us and RISE for one of the weekly walks at the park.
Cerberus Charity Pint Night Benefiting
Tues. Feb 8, 4:00 – 7:00 pm
Come Raise Hell for a Reason at Cerberus Brewing! Come on out for a beer or two, and hear more about the great work Bike COS is doing to make bicycling in the Pikes Peak Region better for people of all ages and abilities. Plus, learn about bicycle infrastructure and how you can get involved! Cerberus’s taproom, restaurant, patio and heated tent are all open, AND dog friends are welcome in the outdoor (heated) spaces! For every beer you drink, Bike Colorado Springs takes home $1.
Go outside and explore! All Catamount Camp registrations for 2022 are up and running! We have a wide variety of camps for ages 6-16, for all skill levels and interests from science experiments to multi-day rafting excursions. Now with three sessions of Creepy Crawly Safari! All camps have potential discounts and sliding scale pricing for qualifying applicants.
Outdoor Media Summit Awards
Our friend Bob Falcone is up for two Outdoor Media Summit awards! If you listen to the Outdoors with Hiking Bob Podcast or enjoy reading his column, please vote to support him and all he does for our trail community. Here are the links: Best Podcast and Best Blog, you can vote for BOTH.
Platte Avenue Corridor Study
Last call, provide your feedback on the Platte Avenue Project and vote on the proposed incremental or transformational redesigns to address the needs and ambitions of our city. After viewing the meeting information, please provide your feedback via surveymonkey.com/r/9TPXTMD. Please note, this survey will close January 31st.
To learn more, visit: coloradosprings.gov/project/platte-avenue-corridor-study.
FIRST FRIDAY DOWNTOWN ARTWALK
Fri. Feb 4, 5:00 – 9:00 PM
Free and open to the public, First Friday Downtown features new art, live music, and special events on the first Friday of every month at dozens of galleries, retailers and nonprofits throughout Downtown Colorado Springs. For February, treat yourself to a progressive dessert tasting, present your Chocolate Passport (costs $10) at participating galleries and venues to receive gourmet treats, free art experiences and chances to win one of two $50 Downtown Gift Cards.
Learn more about participating locations and get tickets at downtowncs.com/event/chocolate/
Friends of the Peak Needs Volunteers!
The Friends of the Peak are accepting applications for those interested in volunteering as a board member or field staff. FotP has various volunteering opportunities throughout the year to do work on the trails. FotP volunteers are committed to maintain and preserve Pikes Peak trails.
Check out Description of Volunteer Openings. If you have questions, contact FotP via their website.