Sand Creek Trail Future Projects
Last week, we highlighted the newest connection along the Sand Creek Trail, the underpass being constructed as part of the Platte Avenue bridge replacement. While we are excited to see this new and valuable connection open later in October, we would like to also mention a few of the other projects being planned along the Powers Blvd corridor that will enhance network connectivity for both the Sand Creek and Rock Island Trails. The City is currently in review for the underpass along Sand Creek at Powers Blvd which will provide the critical urban trail connection from east to west along this densely populated area of Colorado Springs. The connection will be just upstream from Heathercrest Park and will provide the connection for both trails to be extended east of Powers Blvd. There are multiple easements and agreements that have been, or are in the process of being negotiated and, we look forward to continuing to advocate and support network connectivity and extension projects like this. This one connection will unlock the urban trail connectivity potential for the entire region!
PARK AND TRAIL News
Periodic Closures at Homestead Ranch
A fire mitigation project at Homestead Ranch Regional Park will begin Sept. 21 and continue to Nov. 18, 2022. During this time there may be periodic closures. Please use caution around the closure areas when visiting the park.
National Public Lands Day
Saturday, September 24th
National Public Lands Day was established in 1994 and is traditionally the nation’s largest single-day celebration of parks and volunteerism. This year’s theme is “Giving Back Together” which celebrates the outdoor community giving back to their favorite wild places after relying heavily on public lands during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some ways to celebrate public lands this Saturday:
- Visit a National Park Service Property for FREE
- Volunteer on local public land. Consider one of the Creek Week Cleanups.
- Share your favorite outdoor activity on social media with the hashtag #NPLD.
Learn More about National Public Lands Day
Coleman Park Community Forum
Thur. Sept 29, 5:30 – 7:00 PM
Please join us at Sand Creek High School, 7005 Carefree Circle N. for the second of three public forums about Coleman Community Park. Hear project updates, survey highlights, the three initial park concepts, provide feedback on park amenities and help identify elements to be incorporated into the final master plan.
Coleman Community Park is a 70-acre mostly undeveloped community park site located on the east side of Colorado Springs, near the intersection of Tutt Boulevard and Barnes Road. The project involves three focus areas: Active sports, Sand Creek and nature, and community park amenities.
Check out the project website for more information, active surveys,
and to sign up for project updates! www.ColoradoSprings.gov/ColemanPark
CMSP – Welcoming LOTS of Visitors
Did you know TOPS helped purchase the property where Cheyenne Mountain State Park is located?
A great partnership between TOPS and CO State Parks led to one of the most successful State Parks in Colorado. Consistently in the black, CMSP has recently added a couple of cabins that sleep six with plans to add 3-4 more cabins. The park has 60 campsites and will add 14-15 more with an additional campground loop. In a recent presentation before the TOPS Working Committee, Park Manager Jason Hagan praised the Friends Group for their volunteer efforts – they logged 10,000+ hours last year.
Congratulations to Britt Haley!
Britt is the new Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Director. Serving as Acting Director since Karen Palus’ departure, Britt has been managing the TOPS program since 2017. We are delighted Britt was chosen to head the department.
Our Best to Jenn!
One of TOSC’s closest partners is Rocky Mountain Field Institute. We advocate for trails then they build and maintain them. We greatly respect the quality of their work in this region and the great projects they tackled and accomplished since Jennifer Peterson joined them as their Executive Director 8 years ago. She was honored at this months TOPS Working Committee for her accomplishments.
Jenn is leaving RMFI and joining the US Forest Service. We’re delighted she’ll be working in Pike National Forest with partners like TOSC. Congrats Jenn!
New Incline Friends Scholarships
The Incline Friends have announced a new scholarship program. This program is designed to provide college scholarship awards of up to $2,500 to a couple of students who have shown interest in outdoor recreation, environmental stewardship, and community involvement regarding the preservation of natural resources.
TOSC Creek Week Cleanup
Sat. Sept 24, 10:00 – 12:00 PM
Please join us this coming Saturday as we join forces with the team at Peaks & Pines Brewery – Tutt to host the Creek Week kickoff cleanup along the Sand Creek Trail behind the Rock Mountain Vibes stadium. You many also recognize this area as the site of the future Coleman Community Park, an exciting future development that is currently in the master plan phase, with the next public session occurring next Thursday, September 29th. We will be cleaning the area from Barnes Road to North Carefree Circle and will then be hosted by the gracious staff at Peaks & Pines Brewing for pizza. This corridor will also support the extension of the Sand Creek Trail and is a beautiful riparian habitat that is home to over 100 species of birds, a fun-fact we learned during the first public meeting.
Location: Peaks & Pines Brewery – Tutt, 4005 Tutt Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80922
RSVP: Send email to email@example.com
Autumn Scoop the Poop Challenge
Sat. Oct 8, 9:00 – 11:00 AM
Save the date for the Autumn Scoop the Poop Challenge! TOSC and Animal ER Care are teaming up again to be at 5 different parks in the Pikes Peak region on October 8th. If you bring back your pet’s waste or bring back other pet waste bags that you find along a trail at one of the selected parks, you will be entered to win a one-of-a-kind pet first aid kit made by Animal ER Care! This is the 5th Scoop the Poop Challenge and the event uses education and “pawsitive” reinforcement to bring big changes to our public lands.
Come Hike With Us!
Sun. Oct 2, 8:00 – 12:00 PM
Our favorite Hiking Leader – Hiking Bob is leading a TOSC Members fall color/photography hike Sunday, October 2nd. We will meet at the Mueller State Park Visitors Center parking lot at 8am. Carpool options will be provided. The hike is an easy/moderate 3 mile hike. Bring camera or cell phone. We’ll finish up by noon.
Unsure of your membership status? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Aaron’s Favorite Fall Hike
Leaf peeping along Highway 67, between Divide and Victor, has been a family tradition for decades. We have tried our hardest to find a better adventure to see aspens; however, nothing tops the experience that we have in our own region. We start our adventure with grabbing some hot chocolates from a gas station in Divide, CO and then head for Mueller State Park. The Outlook Trail (#7) to the Raven Ridge Overlook Trail (#8) is that quintessential “autumn in Colorado” experience with walking under stands of golden aspens and being treated to amazing vistas in all directions. It is a quick hike that is magical in the early morning hours or just before sunset. Mueller State Park does hit capacity regularly during leaf peeping season and trailhead parking lots burst at the seams with cars. Despite the temporary pain of getting into the park, the memories of hitting these trails at the right moment will last a lifetime.
Other recommended trails along or near Hwy 67 include the Vindicator Valley Trail
in Victor and the Gold Camp Trail in Cripple Creek.
Pikes Peak Bigfoot benefit hike
Sat. Sept 24, 8:30 – 2:30 PM
Are you ready to find Bigfoot? This is a laidback hunt, and being on the trail at 8:30 will not guarantee you seeing him. Show up when you can and you’ll still have the same chance as everyone else. The hunt would take place along part of the Ring the Peak trail, more specifically Mt Esther/Crowe Gulch Trail. Proceeds benefit Friends of the Peak, a volunteer group that works to preserve the many miles of trails on Pikes Peak.
Fall Art Show at Mueller State Park
Sept 24 & 25, 10:00 – 4:00 PM
Come to the Visitor Center at Mueller State Park for work by local Artists. The artists participating in this show will be donating a portion of their sales to the Friends of Mueller State Park. Find the piece you have been looking for! The gallery will feature photography, paintings, glass, wood, drawings, jewelry and more.
September 24-October 2
Join thousands of volunteers from across the Fountain Creek Watershed as we come together for the Fountain Creek Watershed District’s 9th Annual Creek Week. This year’s Litter Letter Project word is PRICELESS. The public dedication will be on Sept 30, 4:30pm at America the Beautiful Park.
Register at https://www.fountain-crk.org/register/
Questions on any of these events can be directed to: email@example.com
Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day
Sat. Oct 1, 9:00 – 11:00 AM
El Paso County Parks is hosting this FREE event for kids of all ages! Enjoy guided trail rides, skill building lessons, giveaways and more. Fox Run is a terrific place for kids to develop their mountain biking skills. Bring your own bike event, helmets also required.
Participants must pre-register for this event. REGISTER HERE!
Fall Colors Walk at Monument Valley Park
Sat. Oct 1, 10:00 – 12:00 PM
Join the Friends of Monument Valley Park for a lovely fall walk Led by Colorado Native Plant Master, Carey Harrington. Meet at the Fontanero parking lot (W Fontanero St and Culebra Ave) Free and Open to Everyone! Bring: Water, sturdy shoes, sunscreen, pen & paper, and camera, if you like. NO PETS please.
Please RSVP, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Cheyenne Mountain Run
Sat. Oct 8th, 8:30 – 2:30 PM
Save the date for this 25k (to the top of Cheyenne Mountain), 10k and 5k that benefits the trails and events in Cheyenne Mountain State Park. TOSC is a Dixon Level sponsor for this incredible event and we urge all trail lovers to participate!