News Wednesday October 26, 2022

New Trail to Check Out

Recently, the new Pulpit Rock Summit Trail in Austin Bluffs Open Space, ancestral land of the Cheyenne, Ute and Lipan Apache, was opened to the public. This new trail will quickly become one of the most popular trails in the region due to magnificent views from the summit and quality planning and construction that make it accessible to a wider range of abilities. Here is what you need to know about this amazing new trail.

  • Start your adventure from the parking lot/trailhead that is just south of Winslow BMW. Check the trail map at the trailhead and follow the wayfinding signs to the summit. The out-and-back trail is 2.1 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 250 feet. The City of Colorado Springs Parks gave the trail a “moderate” difficulty rating. The trail was constructed with excellent “flow” and no steep trail sections. Some light scrambling options are present at the end of the trail at the Pulpit Rock formation. Be mindful of rattlesnake safety while on this trail.

Check next week’s e-newsletter to find out more about the trail work underway in Austin Bluffs Open Space and how it relates to the 2020 Master Plan for the open space. Plus, learn about the new Friends of Austin Bluffs.


Connectivity is the Key!

We’re happy to report that work is progressing along the final piece of the Sinton Trail, connecting Arrows West Drive to the intersection at North 30th Street. Previously, trail users had to make the awkward connection through the Loaf & Jug parking lot. Now, trail users will be able to smoothly travel up to the wide sidewalk/path junction at the intersection, allowing direct connection to the Palmer-Mesa Trail. We applaud the City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services staff for identifying this needed connection and moving ahead with it now and not waiting for the development of the adjacent property.

This is just another piece of what we at the office like to call the New Spectacular Loop, a beautiful ~14 mile tour taking in some of the best sights and destinations that Colorado Springs has to offer and the smooth new connection will be appreciated.

EPC Commissioner & Parks

Two El Paso County Commissioner seats will be filled on election day. We contacted the four candidates and invited them to answer three county parks related questions. Three responded.

Here are their answers to our third question about increased funding for county parks:

· Holly Williams: El Paso County runs on the lowest cost per citizen on the Front Range. Our El Paso County Parks system operates very efficiently with many partnerships with local volunteers, non-profit organizations, and businesses. Preserving, protecting, developing, and maintaining our parks system is an increasing budgetary need despite this support. Black Forest Section 16 is a prime example of an increased cost for an area that I would like to protect and maintain as open space. Last year I worked to provide citizens the opportunity to vote on whether funding for transportation and parks could be increased including funding for a Nature Center in Fox Run Park. The economy’s downturn led to the issue’s defeat. I am in full support of dedicating additional one-time revenues to our parks system and supported additional funds for wildfire mitigation. This year I worked with my colleagues in the City of Colorado Springs and other communities to place an extension for the Pikes Peak RTA on the ballot. In addition to providing critical funding for roads, it also includes significant funding for our trail system. I’ve also worked to oppose mandates from the state that put additional strain on the county budget and threaten funding for local priorities like parks and roads.

· Cami Bremer: I’m a big supporter of our parks, and plan to approve the proposed budget listed above. Moreover, I’m supportive of the additional $160,000 in Parks critical needs requests that will specifically address several of the issues listed above. We must continue our commitment and put in place a long-term plan to ensure our Parks and Trails remain able to serve our growing (and gratefully outdoor- loving) citizens.

In addition, the County Budget is one way we support Parks, but working with key partners to bring other types of support is just as critical. I’ve worked and volunteered with groups that help preserve our amazing parks, and there are also numerous public-private partnerships that we can continue to engage to support our parks systems. Regardless, our citizens want and need a vibrant and beautiful system of parks and trails, and I am committed to supporting these vital parts of our community.

· John Jarrell: The county is underfunded and we are failing to make the investments necessary for sustainable growth. We have to find a way to increase revenues without putting any new burden on working families. For all the reasons described above, increasing the budget for our county park system is an investment in both our people and our economy. We can’t wait for our park system to become overloaded before we make these investments.

For their complete answers to all the questions, here is a link




Richard Skorman Awarded Spirit of the Springs for TOPS


At a special TOPS 25th Celebration, Mayor John Suthers awarded former Council Member and Open Space Advocate Richard Skorman a Spirit of the Springs award. Richard graciously accepted the award and mentioned others who were instrumental in getting TOPS passed by voters 25 years ago. He is credited for helping to save Stratton Open Space and Red Rock Open Space. Congrats Richard!




Trout ‘N Trails

Thur. Nov 3, 6:00 – 8:00 PM


Kickoff the 2022 Give! Campaign season with TOSC, Rocky Mountain Field Institute (RMFI) and Pikes Peak Outdoor Recreation Alliance (PPORA)! The three nonprofits are hosting the 2nd Annual Trout ‘N Trails Pint Night! Drop in to this FREE event at Angler’s Covey for beer (Thanks Fossil Brewing), donation-based prize drawings throughout the evening, fly fishing demos, and more! This is an open-house style event, but the first 40 attendees will get a free logoed pint glass! Parking will be limited, so arrive early.


Check out Facebook Event


Glad you Asked


We recently received this question from Charles:

“I have a question about the Bluestone Prairie Open Space. My family and I are looking at purchasing a house bordering the open space. My question is what the likely hood that that open space would be sold off and developed. My hope is that it wouldn’t be, but I wanted to reach out to check. Thanks!”

Charles: because the property was purchased with TOPS dollars, it can never be used for any other purpose but protected public open space to be enjoyed as it is today – forever. Any change would require a vote of the residents of Colorado Springs. Great Question!


CMSP Calendar Contest


Do you have a great photo of Cheyenne Mountain State Park? The Friends of Cheyenne Mountain State Park are NOW accepting entries for their 2023 calendar! The contest is open to amateur and professional photographers. Cost per photo entered is $5.00, youth entries are free! Entries are limited to three (3) per person. Mail your check to: Friends of CMSP, 410 JL Ranch Heights, Colorado Springs, CO 80926 OR drop it off at the Visitor Center between the hours of 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM. Submit your photos by October 31st, winners will be announced on November 15, 2022.


Get more details about the contest,



Pumpkin Carving & Jack-o-Lantern Trail

Sat. Oct 29, 9:00 – 12:00 & 5:30 – 7:30 PM


The fantastic Halloween tradition continues… it’s almost time for the Jack-o-Lantern Trail! Grab your friends and family, throw on your costumes, and enjoy a spooky good time at the Fountain Creek Nature Center. By the way, YOUR jack-o-lantern can be one decorating the trail! Come carve a pumpkin in the morning ($5 per pumpkin) to leave behind for the event. You’ll receive a FREE ticket to the evening event for each pumpkin you carve.


Registration Required, signup HERE.

Emma Crawford Coffin Races and Festival

Sat. Oct 29, 10:00 – 2:30PM


Emma Crawford’s dying wish was to be buried on top of Red Mountain. Emma’s lover, William Hildebrand, honored her wish; with the help of eleven other townspeople, Emma’s coffin was carried up the 7,200 foot slope and buried near the summit of Red Mountain. But, after years of harsh winters and spring rains, Emma and her coffin came racing down the mountainside. The Coffin Races have become a beloved tradition in Manitou! There will be live music and venders; the parade starts at noon and races begin around 1:00. The awards ceremony will be at Soda Springs Park immediately after the last race. Awards are presented for the three fastest race times, Best Entourage, Best Coffin, and Best Emma. Emma will be crowned by the previous year’s Emma.


Find out more Facebook Event or

Southeast Fall Festival

Sat. Oct 29, 12:00 – 3:00 PM


Come out and enjoy a family friendly event at the newly remodeled Panorama Park!!!

Petting zoo, pumpkin patch, live music, face paint, food trucks, farmers market, free books, vendors, trunk or treat and more. . . . Lots of candy!!! 

Facebook Event



The Human Element

Tue. Nov 1, 4:00 – 6:30 PM


Colorado College, Colorado Springs Downtown Partnerships, The Nature Conservancy of Colorado and El Pomar Foundation’s Pikes Peak Heritage Series are bringing James Balog to Colorado Springs. Hear the world-renowned artist, photographer and explorer share what he’s learned through documenting our world and its changing climate. The event is free and open to the public. Hours d’oeuvres and beer/wine, followed by a presentation at 4:30 and a book signing.


Learn more and register

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