News Wednesday January 4, 2023

2022 Give Pikes Peak- Thank YOU!

The 2022 Give Campaign has concluded and the support of over 200 people, organizations, companies, and foundations led to TOSC receiving a grand total $53,100 in donations. TOSC finished the campaign with a top 5 finish in overall number of donors and total donations. The generosity of the matching grant sponsors helped make this fundraising campaign a success.


big thank you to all the matching grant donors including: Source Insurance, 45 Degree Art Gallery, Absolute Body Balance, Bloom Foundation, Fossil Craft Beer Company, Kevin O’Neill, Luke A. Johnson, Attorney at Law, N.E.S. Inc., SRAM, Timberline Landscaping, Trails and Open Space Coalition Board of Directors, Urban Egg Eatery and Walker Schooler District Managers. TOSC would like to thank everyone who donated during the campaign and participated in our fundraising events. The gifts received from this campaign support TOSC’s mission and also serve as a spotlight showing the community that public spaces are an important part of our community. TOSC would also like to thank the Give Campaign Staff and Board of Directors for the hard work they put into making this campaign a success.


TOPS – What’s Next?


We are exactly 3 months away from the April election when voters will decide if the TOPS program should continue for another 20 years. At this time there appears to be widespread support for the program from the Mayor and City Council.

Today the TOPS Working Committee and Parks Advisory Board will discuss and vote on the draft ballot language. It includes:

•   Extending the TOPS program for 20 years through 2045.

•   Flexibility for TOPS trails dollars to be used to improve any city trail and TOPS open space dollars to be used to improve any city open space. This aligns with what city voters approved regarding parks in 2013.

•   Requiring 75% of TOPS open space funds be used for acquisition.


We are committed to championing the extension of TOPS. If you’d like to help with this effort, email us at and let us know!

TOPS – Shining Accomplishments

To date TOPS has preserved 7500 acres of open space, constructed 53 miles of trails and helped to create 67 parks. Not bad for a 25 year old program. Imagine what 20 more years could accomplish! In future weeks we’ll highlight some of these gifts to ourselves and what could be preserved in the future

Save the Date! Next Coleman Park Master Plan Public Meeting


Be sure to save the date of Tuesday, January 17th and plan to attend the third and final community forum supporting the exciting Coleman Community Park Master Plan process from 5:00pm – 7:00pm. To date City staff and the project team have taken robust input from the community and provided three initial park concepts, which were presented at the second public forum. Feedback from this meeting, online surveys, and additional stakeholder engagement have provided the needed input and the final draft of the master plan will be presented at this upcoming public forum. We are looking forward to seeing the master plan finalized and the community-informed vision for this park take shape in an area of Colorado Springs that will be well-served by the many amenities it will offer. Additionally, this project will include the next paved portion of the Sand Creek Trail connecting North Carefree Circle to the existing trail access at Barnes Road.


Meeting details:

When – Tuesday, January 17th, 5:00pm – 7:00pm

Where: Sand Creek High School, 7005 Carefree Circle North


Fountain Creek Corridor Greenway Master Plan


On Thursday, December 20th TOSC staff joined Allison Plute Schuch, the newly appointed Executive Director of the Fountain Creek Watershed Flood Control and Greenway District, as she facilitated the last public meeting scheduled for the Fountain Creek Corridor Grenway Master Plan. This plan sets the vision for the eventual trail that will connect the southern portion of Colorado Springs and Fountain (via the Fountain Creek Regional Trail) southward to the El Paso County Parks Clear Spring Ranch property. Then continuing on along the creek corridor to Pueblo. We are happy to report that the City of Fountain is moving forward with establishing a new trail connection that will include the Christian Open Space property, not currently open to the public, and additional urban trail connections in the city. The entire trail corridor is 46 miles in length and we look forward to partnering with the FCWD as they work to create additional trail access between our southern communities. 

Glad You Asked – Lighting in the new Foothill Trails Tunnel


Recently we received a question about the lighting along the Foothills Trail inside of the new trail tunnel that goes under Gateway Road. This person uses the newly improved Foothill Trails alignment to commute by bike to work and they were wondering why the lights weren’t on for their return trip home. We’ve reached out to the project team to find out more about when these lights will become active and the hours that they are planned for operation and will provide an update as soon as we know. This tunnel is just one of the major trail improvements that are part of the larger 30th Street Corridor Project. Have you been out to check out the new Garden of the Gods sign plaza yet?

Chamberlain Trail- Our favorite trail historian Eric Swab


Our favorite local trail historian tells us how the Chamberlain Trail came to be. Once completed, the Chamberlain Trail will connect Blodgett Open Space and Cheyenne Mountain State Park.


If you ask the Colorado Springs Park and Recreation Department who the Chamberlain Trail is named for, they will tell you Fred W. Chamberlain, because he gave the City 200 acres, 160 acres in 1937 (outlined in green on the map below) and 40 acres in 1938 (outlined in purple). These parcels became part of North Cheyenne Cañon Park. Reason enough to name a trail after him! But did Fred build any trails? At this point we don’t know if he did or not, but we do know his brother Frank did. Frank Clinton Chamberlain (1860-1928) and Frederick Weston Chamberlain (1872-1960) were brothers living in Colorado Springs at the turn of the 20th Century. They were both dentists, and both married to women named Anna. Frank’s wife was Anna D. and Fred’s wife was Anna B.


In 1922, Manly Ormes, author of Mountain Trails of the Pikes Peak Region, wrote to Frank C. Chamberlain, inquiring about his trails. Frank’s response was, “I think the trail to Willard Heights was started twelve, perhaps fifteen years ago. I had expected to put cottages on the road above Point Sublime and pipe water from the spring. I have a permit to cross the rail road and also a deeded right of way from the road crossing over the land which belongs to the Stratton estate near Point Sublime Station. … I built the trail west of the road and wanted to extend the road to Capt. Jack’s place from Willard Heights and so make a circle trip. May do so yet some day.” The “deeded right of way” from the Stratton Estate, dated July 30, 1908, was “for right of way, thirty feet in width, for a wagon road” (outlined in brown on the map).


At the time Frank replied to Manly Ormes, he was living in Los Angeles, California, having moved there in 1919. In his letter, he allowed as how he would, “consider selling the 200 acres I own at Point Sublime for something like $5,000.00.” Was his 200 acres the same 200 acres Fred gave to the City? The records of the General Land Office and the El Paso County Clerk show they were. On December 17, 1906, Walter A. Brown received a patent for his homestead in Section 27 (outlined in green on the map), just northwest of Point Sublime. On September 4, 1907, Brown sold his land to Anna D. Chamberlain, Frank’s wife.


Did she buy Willard Heights? For the answer look at paragraph 18. on panel 10 of Manly Ormes Mountain Trails of the Pikes Peak Region, 1921 edition. Ormes writes, “go to Sesame Canon, go up to the end of the canon to Willard Heights, and take [the] trail along the outer edge of the mountain to Point Sublime on the Cripple Creek Short Line. From this point you can descend by trail abruptly into North Cheyenne Canon; or you can follow north on a trail that runs parallel with railroad, then crosses it and descends via Chamberlain trail to a point on North Cheyenne Canon road near Stratton Park.” (see Ormes map below)


Ormes doesn’t label Willard Heights nor Point Sublime on his map but the current USGS Topo map shows the Penrose Trail running along a ridge from the head of Sesame Canyon to Point Sublime. Surely this is the trail Ormes was describing. When the Penrose Trail reaches Point Sublime it does drop into North Cheyenne Cañon. Looking carefully on the ground at this point, you will see an old trail that heads north parallel to Gold Camp Road (purple trail on map). This trail fades out on a scree slope and a social trail drops to Gold Camp Road.

The point at which Frank Chamberlain had permission to cross the Short Line tracks must be the point at which the current Ladders, The Chutes, and Gold Camp Path trails all come together on Lower Gold Camp Road. Right across the road from this point is another old trail that heads south paralleling the road (not the Captain Morgan’s Trail shown on AllTrails web site). It also fades out before joining the old trail coming north from Point Sublime, however, they must have connected in the past. Of the several trails leading from the crossing point down to the North Cheyenne Cañon road, my choice for the route of Frank C. Chamberlain’s trail is The Chutes. Neither the Gold Camp or South Suburban Reservoirs existed at the time Frank built his trail, so his route may have been totally different.


On the 13th of June, 1925, Frank C. Chamberlain of Los Angeles, California, sold his 200 acres to Fred W. Chamberlain of El Paso County Colorado (green and purple outlines). It is not clear what Fred did with the land between 1925 and 1937, but it is clear the trail from North Cheyenne Cañon road to Point Sublime was already there, as shown on Ormes map, below. It seems appropriate the Chamberlain trail be named after both Frank and Fred.

Welcome to the TOSC Team!


We would like to give a warm welcome to our newest staff member, Jenn Cancellier.

Jenn is an avid hiker, trail runner, and lover of the mountains. She moved to Colorado Springs in 2007 from Peoria, IL. Her strong passion for the trails and getting people outdoors makes her a great addition to the team. She has spent time working for local restaurants downtown, the Colorado Springs Business Journal and Indy and running a small backpacking business called Focus Backcountry. In addition, she previously volunteered with El Paso County Search and Rescue and spent 4 years on the TOSC board. We are excited to have her join us as the office manager and to grow the mission of TOSC through memberships and awareness.

Save the date for Saturday January 21st as Jenn will be leading the next member hike.

Details coming soon!


Recycle your Christmas Trees-

Cheyenne Mountain State Park

January 7th and 8th

10am to 3pm


Tree recycle team will be set-up in the Visitor Center parking lot. Only real trees, no artificial trees.

Pikes Peak Road Runners- Winter Series

Saturday January 14 – 10 A.M. Start


There are two series: the short series and the long series. Each series consists of four progressively longer races. You must choose your distance when registering. The Long Race starts at 10:00am. The Short Race starts at 10:20am. The courses are gravel/paved roads, packed double-track, and some single-track trails, which may or may not be snow-packed, icy, muddy, rocky, slushy, uphill and/or downhill. Elevation will vary from 6,000’ to 7,500’. Temperatures will range from 50°F to -25°F. Register here for the full series or a single race.

Guardians of Palmer Park- Work Day

Monday, January 16, 2023 in the park.

9am to 12:30pm


We are looking for a few good volunteers to help us.

  • Group 1 will do trash pickup throughout the park. 

Preregister here.

  • Group 2 will pick up dog waste (and any other trash that may be found) on the Yucca/Mesa trails (the dog off-leash areas). Preregister here.
  • Group 3 will do trail maintenance. Preregister here.

Fountain Creek Watershed District

Job Opening- Watershed Outreach Coordinator

& Strategic Planner

Learn more about the job openings here.

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