News Wednesday February 1, 2023

Northern Legacy Loop Connection Underway!

The northern connection of the Legacy Loop, the continuation of the Rock Island Trail from Templeton Gap Road, is taking shape in 2023. Soon crews will begin building the paved trail segment within the newly cleared right of way. Once they reach the top of the Shooks Run Trail (near N. Weber St./Lilac St.), the contractors will continue with the construction of the paved trail connection from that point west, along the railroad corridor. 

This new segment of urban trail will formalize the route to the Pikes Peak Greenway (the Greenway currently ends at Beacon St./W. Van Buren St.) and create the northern connection of the Legacy Loop! This project has been years in the making and we are thankful to the staff of our Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural ServicesPublic Works and other departments throughout the City that have juggled the many details and constraints throughout the process. The TOPS program contributed to the Legacy Loop project.

We look forward to bringing you construction updates and highlights, please visit our TOSC Facebook and Instagram pages for these as well.

Legacy Loop – Our Founder’s Vision


General William Palmer is deservedly credited with turning a treeless stretch of prairie into a city filled with parks, paths, greenways and many trees.

The Legacy Loop was included in his vision. The General donated land that became some of the city’s most beloved parks – AcaciaMonument Valley, Palmer ParkNorth Cheyenne Cañon and more.

He wanted to see these parks connected by greenways that would circle the city and allow people to easily enjoy nature. Today much of the Legacy Loop is completed. A near 10 mile circle around the city that includes the Pikes Peak Greenway, Rock Island TrailShooks Run Trail and will one day connect to the Pikes Peak Greenway south of Downtown.

Why has it taken 150 years to complete? Ironically, the same railroad built by the General has been the most challenging roadblock in completing the loop. Acquiring easements and permission to cross local tracks to finally complete the trail has been the main struggle for two decades… railroads and funding.

But we’re getting closer…

Photo Courtesy of Denver Public Library Special Collections

Title: Pikes Peak from Monument Valley Park (1903-1910)

McClure, Louis Charles, 1867-1957


OPPI Public Process – Great Success


Last week the Outdoor Pikes Peak Initiative held public listening sessions in Colorado Springs, Woodland Park, Canon City and Cripple Creek. In all, hundreds of people shared their concerns and ideas regarding the Pikes Pike region. They discussed conservation challenges, ideas for new forms of recreation and tackled solutions to critical problems like lack of adequate funding. Many attendees expressed a desire to see more cooperation between the land managing agencies. Thanks to Pikes Peak Outdoor Recreation Alliance and its funders and partners for a great public process.

Out of your comments will come strategies to address the key challenges and opportunities.

The final listening session will be on February 2nd and will be virtual.

More Information and Registration

Continued Town Hall Regarding East-West Mobility Study

Saturday, Feb. 4th, 9:00-12:00 PM

Wasson Academic Campus


This Saturday, February 4, at 9:00am City Councilmember Nancy Henjum invites the public to continue the discussion for a potential feasibility study addressing East-West mobility. The Public Works Department of the City of Colorado Springs would like to continue to listen to feedback and solicit ideas from citizens about the best way forward.


There will also be a virtual viewing option available at Virtual viewers will be able to view the meeting live and watch the recording following the meeting.


TOSC is committed to ensuring that our existing urban trail corridors are preserved throughout Colorado Springs and that potential changes are fully vetted during future project discussions. 

“What I Love About Fox Run…”

The Friends of Fox Run Regional Park are collecting short stories about what you and your family love about Fox Run Regional Park. The FoFRRP are creating a presentation that will be used in future fundraising projects.

Brief stories and photos can be sent to

Winter Safety Refresher


February 3rd is the halfway point in the winter season. Even though spring is in sight, winter in Colorado is unpredictable and can linger to Mother’s Day Weekend! Here are some winter safety tips to think through before your next adventure.

  • Avalanche Safety: If you snowshoe, cross country ski or engage in backcountry winter recreation, be mindful of quickly shifting avalanche conditions. Learn more about avalanche safety and check current conditions on the Colorado Avalanche Information Center webpage.
  • Ice Safety: Colorado Parks and Wildlife created a fantastic video listing the steps to recreating on ice safely, check out the video, feature “Elbert” the CPW mascot here. Read more ice safety tips from CPW here.
  • Extreme Cold: The National Weather Service is a great resource extreme cold weather safety tips and what to wear to prevent frostbite.
  • Leave No Trace-Winter Recreation Principles: Learn more about how to respect nature and create the least impact while recreating in the frozen months here.


Frequency Asked Questions about the TOPS Program (Trails, Open Space and Parks)


Q: Should we buy more Open Space if we can’t take care of what we already own?


A: Here’s the good news: open space is an amazing bargain when it comes to maintenance. Parks Staff estimate it costs @$75 per acre per year to maintain open space. Compare that to a neighborhood park and the cost is 150+ times as expensive. With a park you have irrigation, mowing, fertilizer, playground checks and more. Open space requires a trailhead, limited signage and trail maintenance – often supported by Friends Groups.


Q: Will there be a time when there is no additional open space to purchase?


A: Yes, but right now there are still thousands of acres of candidate open space called out in the last parks master plan for their conservation values. We are not there yet!


Learn more about our TOPS program and all it has accomplished over the past 25 years!

Tadasana, Twinkle, & Tithe: A Trails and Open Space Benefit

Thurs, Feb 16th 5:30pm to 8:30pm


Urban Veggie (Christy Cole) and The Venue at Almagre are hosting an evening of twinkle lights, yoga, community, spirits, giveaways, & philanthropic goodness! You will not want to miss Tadasana, Twinkle, & Tithe: A Trails and Open Space Benefit. The evening will consist of a 60 minute Hatha/Power sequence, music, food and amazing giveaways!

Register now to lock in your spot at this amazing event!

There event is wildly popular and will sellout soon!


Don’t Miss Out! Buy Tickets TODAY!

TOSC Member Hike

February 25th at 11am

Coleman Community Park

Peaks N Pines Parking Lot

(4005 Tutt Blvd.)


Join us for an urban adventure along the social trail network that runs along Sand Creek behind UCHealth Field. We are excited to give our members a behind-the-scenes look at the Norman “Bulldog” Coleman Community Park project, currently in the last phase of its master planning process.  We will visit key locations to discuss planned project elements and check out alignment for the future Sand Creek Trail extension that will connect existing paved trail north of Barnes Road south to North Carefree Blvd. During our hike, we’ll be picking up litter along the way in support of our regional Leave No Trace initiative.


Following the hike we invite members to join us at Peaks N Pines Brewery for a beverage.

Register here


Join the Coalition! Become a Member of TOSC Today

Behind the Scenes: PPCLT

The 2023 Pikes Peak Crew Leader Training is scheduled for May 6th & 7th. Although the event is months away, planning has been going on since late last autumn. Staff from the City of Colorado Springs Parks and Recreation, TOSC, USFS and RMFI meet regularly to plan this annual training.

Aside from finalizing logistics, program components and registration details, one of the big tasks is to pick a site for training. The planning team decided to choose the North Slope Recreation Area on Pikes Peak. In order to move forward with finalizing details for the training, the group needed a site visit to see the area trails that will be worked on and see where facilities near the worksite are located. 

Winter on Pikes Peak is unpredictable leading to unsafe conditions that canceled a handful of early attempts to see the site. Earlier this month, between storms, the majority of the group finally made it to check out the site.  During this time of year, the North Slope Recreation Area is closed to the public. The only blemishes in the nearly perfect snow were from wildlife (or Colorado Springs Utilities Maintenance Technicians working around the reservoirs). With less traffic than usual on the Pikes Peak Highway, the only sounds were from our group and the wind whispering in the pines.  Around 14” of snow was on the trails, so the group had to use their collective imagination to visualize what work needs to be done and how the site will be setup to make the training a success. 

One thing we could all agree on, Crew Leader Training has never been at such a magical site before. If are not a trained crew leader yet, you need to sign up today!



Pikes Peak Region Summer Camp    

Registration for the most popular youth outdoor and nature summer camps are underway. Many of these camps fill up fast! 

El Paso County Nature Centers: Registration is now open

Kids on Bikes: Summer Camp registration is open, some camps have filled

Catamount Institute Summer Camp registration is open

Stone Canyon Outdoor EDventures: Summer Camp registration is open

Winter Fun at Fox Run

Saturday, Feb 4, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM


Make a dif-FUR-ence this winter and spend the day at Fox Run Regional Park!

Don’t miss Winter Fun at Fox Run, a celebration of winter’s beauty. Roast hot dogs and marshmallows over a fire, warm drinks (bring your own cup, of course!), enjoy live music, hayrides through the park, storytelling, a dog costume contest and parade with prizes for the winners, games and more!

All proceeds support a new nature center in Fox Run Regional Park. $5 per person includes food and all activities. Day of payment will be cash only!

Pre-register online at

Guardians of Palmer Park Workday

Saturday, Feb 4, 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM


The Guardians of Palmer Park invite you to a workday, Saturday, February 4, 2023 in Palmer Park. Preregistration is required.

There will be three separate working groups:

Group 1: Trash pickup throughout the park.

Group 2: Dog waste cleanup (and any other trash that may be found) on the Yucca/Mesa trails (the dog off-leash areas).

Group 3: will do trail maintenance.

All working groups will meet at the Maizeland Parking Lot near the storage container next to the Baseball field. Crews will assemble there and be dispensed to the actual work sites.

Only preregistered volunteers will be accommodated. Volunteers are encouraged to provide their own work gloves and drinking water. The Guardians of Palmer Park will provide tools.

Annual Meeting

Tuesday, February 7th

7:00 – 8:30 PM

The First Lutheran Church

1515 N. Cascade Avenue

Fellowship Hall (Church Basement)

Easiest way to enter the church is from the alley and use the stairs or elevator to get to the basement level

Join Us for a Presentation by the New Director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services

Guest Speaker: Britt Haley

Monument Valley Park Update

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