We Will Not Let Hate Define Our Community
The Trails and Open Space Coalition joins others in condemning the violence that took place Saturday night at Club Q and support our LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters. We mourn for the victims and hope friends and families can find peace and healing on our trails and in our open spaces.
PARK AND TRAIL News
Our Trails Are For Everyone!
El Paso County’s new Trailability Program is committed to making trails accessible to those with physical limitations. They launched July 29th and over a 3 month period provided 3 mile hikes to 32 participants who otherwise would not have access to trails. Some of the comments:
- “My 95-year old husband was having so much fun he kept beeping the horn!”
- “Seeing the smile on my friend’s face was my favorite part.”
- “I loved the ability to be able to go to the top of the hill, that we’ve never experienced before. Actually, the freedom was an amazing experience. I felt empowered.”
Partnering with the Independence Center, EPC Parks purchased two Terrain Hoppers for $20,000 per vehicle providing hikes at Bear Creek and Fountain Creek Nature Centers. Trained volunteers accompany the “hikers.” 17 volunteers have been trained to date. Park Staff are looking for additional volunteers for next summer to allow them to expand the program.
Monument Valley Park:
Shadow Lake Renovation
Work is proceeding on the renovation of two bodies of water located in the southern part of Monument Valley Park (MVP). This project is funded by the voter-approved November 2019 ballot issue 2B. The $7 million TABOR revenue accomplished an extensive list of parks projects. We recently learned that the southernmost “pond” is actually known as Shadow Lake, and it was one of the four original lakes that were a gift from General William J. Palmer.
Additional repairs and renovations to the historic stepped retaining wall along the east side of Shadow Lake and other historic stonework structures in MVP are being funded by a generous $400,000 dollar donation made by Lyda Hill Philanthropies on behalf of the Friends of Monument Valley Park (FMVP). We are thankful for the diligent and ongoing advocacy efforts by the FMVP that have led to over $500,000 dollars in repairs to the historic stonework features throughout MVP the past 10 years. We look forward to celebrating a beautiful spring as the park comes back to life and all of our residents and visitors can enjoy these wonderful newly renovated features.
Name Change Suggested for 14er
The Colorado Geographic Naming Advisory Committee recently voted unanimously to change the name of Mount Evans to Mount Blue Sky (located 68 miles northwest of Colorado Springs in Clear Creek County). This advisory committee evaluates proposals to change offensive or controversial names of geographic features and public places. The recommendation of this particular name change has been sent to the Governor’s Office for review. If approval is given, the U.S. Board on Geographic Names will make the final ruling on the permanent name change.
Colorado Springs Community Centers:
Active Living Everyday
Time to plan for a more active 2023, everyday! Registration is open for the Active Living Everyday class series being hosted by our Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Community Centers. This effort was funded by a grant jointly applied for by Deerfield Hills, Meadows Park, and Hillside Community Centers, received via the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) – Supporting Healthy Aging through Parks and Recreation. Learn from certified instructors how to incorporate daily activity, healthy habits and successful behaviors that can result in better health through regular movement. It is a great way to jump-start your 2023 hiking season!
To register, click HERE or call (719)385-5996
Pike National Forest: Christmas Tree Cutting Permits
Permits to harvest your own Christmas tree from the Pike National Forest (Pikes Peak Ranger District) go on sale on November 25th. Cutting will be allowed to those with a permit through December 18th in areas north of Divide and northwest of Woodland Park.
It is the season for pause and reflection. Here is what the TOSC staff is thankful for this year:
“I’m thankful for mountains, sunshine, a strong outdoor community and (of course) dogs.”
“Could you imagine living in Colorado Springs if places like Red Rock Canyon Open Space, Austin Bluffs Open Space or Cheyenne Mountain State Park had not been protected? I am thankful for the long line of advocates who have fought to preserve our landscape and champion access for everyone.” -Aaron
“I’m thankful for endless trails, bluebird days, the pikes peak community and my family.” -Jenn
Susan is thankful for:
“Our County and City Park Staff who accomplish so much with limited resources.
Our Friends Groups who had another banner season improving many of our parks and open spaces.
Our TOSC Members and Partners who support and stand with us on critical issues like TOPS (Trails, Parks and Open Space Programs).
And My Amazing Staff and Board!”
“During this season of thanks, I’ve been reflecting on the incredibly positive partnerships and connections that have developed during the time TOSC has been working in Southeast Colorado Springs. Deeply engaged citizens working alongside multiple organizations, ours included, to create real change within the community. Efforts with an impact that will benefit not just our generation but will create a better environment for the youth of Southeast COS to grow up in and thrive.” -Allen
Live Here, Give Here
We know that you and thousands of other trail lovers enjoy our weekly Trail Talk and rely on TOSC to keep you updated on trail closures/openings, public planning opportunities, volunteer projects and more! When your favorite parks, trails and open spaces are at risk, TOSC is always ready to advocate to keep them safe.
Now we need YOU!
Please consider making a Give contribution at an amount comfortable for you.
Glad You Asked!
This comes from Melody and Tanya – Cofounders of Colorado Hikes and Hops.
“On a recent hike with my elderly mother, we came face-to-face with a biker. With no warning of his arrival, we saw him seconds before we met on the trail. Quickly jumping to the side, we managed to avoid certain calamity.
It got me thinking about trail sharing in Colorado Springs. While multi-use trails are great, the unsteady walker, toddlers exploring or the contemplative hiker should have a few bike free trails in Colorado Spring. Just as we should have a few bike only trails as well. Multi-use trails are great; however, for the parent of the restless toddler hollering to break free from their caregiver’s back, a hiker only trail would allow nature exploration at its finest without worry. Imagine we also had bike-only trails where riders were similarly free of worry that they would hit a hiker at high speed. The benefits go BOTH ways.
I firmly believe most trails in our city should remain multi-use. But could there be a few dedicated to just one activity?”
Melody and Tanya, this question comes up from time to time. Often during planning processes when new trails are discussed. Other counties like Jefferson and Larimer separate bikes from hikers in various ways to improve safety. Both have better resourced programs that provide enforcement.
In this region we do have a few trails that are bike only or hike only: Contemplative Trail in Red Rock Open Space, the trail to the top of Mt. Muscoco and the Chutes in Stratton. If hikers want more “hiker-only” trails, we would encourage you to offer suggestions and we will take those to our county and city partners. Another option is to consider taking your suggestions and concerns to city and county Parks Advisory Boards.
And thanks for the question!
Fresh Air Friday
Fri. Nov 25th
The day after Thanksgiving is known as Fresh Air Friday. Colorado Parks and Wildlife is offering free admission to all 42 Colorado State Parks to celebrate the 8th annual alternative to the biggest retail day of the year. If you want to work off some calories and make memories with family in local state parks, consider visiting Muller State Park or Cheyenne Mountain State Park.
Mueller State Park: Outlook Ridge Guided Hike
Sat. Nov 26th at 9am
Meet at Outlook Ridge Trailhead. Descend into a valley to see Lost Pond and Geer Pond, then hike up to Outlook Ridge to see a great scenic view of the distant mountains. It’s a moderate 3-mile hike led by Volunteer Naturalist Rose.
Mueller events are free for any guest with a $9 day pass or $80 annual vehicle park pass. For more information, call the park at 719-687-2366.
Bear Creek by Candlelight
Fri. Dec 2nd, 5:00-8:00pm
Kick off the holiday season at Bear Creek Nature Center during Bear Creek by Candlelight! The nature center will be transformed into a winter wonderland with luminary-lit trails, live music, Santa, crafts, hot chocolate and chili dinner from Texas Roadhouse! $8 per person (or $7 per member) includes dinner and all activities.
Volunteers are Still Needed for this Event.
The biggest need is for volunteers on the trails and helping with parking. If you are interested in helping out, please email Mary Jo Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blackpackers- Hiker Trash Prom
Sat. Dec 3rd, 5:30pm – 10pm
This year marks a significant milestone in Blackpackers history. It is our first annual fundraiser and we are hosting it at the beautiful Clay Venues in Downtown Colorado Springs. At this year’s “Hiker Trash” prom you can expect live local music, dancing, food and beverage, drinks from local breweries and wineries, speakers, and a silent auction. Together, we’ll raise a glass in celebration of our progress toward making outdoor recreation more accessible to all members of our community. We are also thrilled
to share with you more details about upcoming Blackpackers’ programming in 2023. Purchase tickets here.
Winter Day in the Park
Fri Dec 2nd, 3:30 – 5:00 PM
Kick off the holiday season with the City of Woodland Park! Winter Day in the Park features hot chocolate, candy cane lane, petting zoo, pictures with Santa and more! Enjoy the second annual Elf Scramble – walk around Memorial Park and look for candy canes and elves! If you find an elf, you get a prize! Be sure to dress warm and bring a flashlight!
CMSP Christmas Tree Sale
Dec. 3rd/4th and 10th/11th, 10:00am-3:00pm
The Friends of Cheyenne Mountain State Park are hosting a Christmas Tree sale as a fundraiser for the park. The freshly cut trees came from wildfire mitigation in the park and will be available for donation over select weekends in December. Instead of seeing the wood chipper, these trees will have loving homes for this holiday season.