The Trails and Open Space Coalition (TOSC) is dedicated to keeping our outdoor places and users safe by reducing overcrowding in our major parks and promoting responsible trail use.  Our team has been busy building this resource to help you find safe and less crowded spaces to visit.  Please note, our suggestions below are generally less populated, however, with more people getting out and exploring outdoor spaces, you might find a generally quiet trail more crowded.   If a parking lot seems full, please consider finding a different place to recreate or come back another time. Find more trail information on the COTREX App or visit


During this pandemic, the outdoors have taken on an important role in helping us cope. Our parks and trails provide much-needed physical activity, solace and a sense of normalcy. Now more than ever, it is important for us to be good stewards. If you can, please consider donating to the Trials and Open Space Coalition. We advocate for the creation and conservation of an interconnected network of trails and open spaces across the Pikes Peak region. You can help protect and maintain our trails and open spaces. 

Thanks to the following businesses for supporting this project


Teen Recommended Hikes

Leadership Pikes Peak has a teen program called the “Leading Edge.” TOSC was invited to partner with a group of ten inspired youth on a project that is outdoors, allows for social distancing and provides a benefit to our community. We asked this group of young leaders to create “teen-oriented” hikes.

Bear Creek Trail 
If your looking for an easy and scenic hike this one is perfect! Lots of beautiful views and many opportunities to explore the different paths in the area. There are two parks in the area to walk your dogs too. All around a very beautiful and relaxed hike!

Castle Rock Trail
This trail is crucial to complete if your living in the Pikes Peak Region. Everyone has driven by castle rock but not many people know that you can climb it! There’s two different trails going towards the top (a longer & a shorter one). Once you get to the rock there is a little bit of climbing involved to get to the very top where you can see the huge light up star and a beautiful view of the cities nearby. 

Rock Ledge Ranch Loop
This hike is one of my favorites for an easy scenic loop. There’s old American Indian housing sites and animals to look at (such as pigs,horses,sheep,cows,goats, and chickens). Many historical pieces to learn about scattered across the whole farm and a beautiful little pond with ducks! During the fall the owners grow pumpkins to sell to the public too. It isn’t a very busy farm and there’s plenty of parking spots. Come here to learn a bit of history, see some farm animals, and get some exercise in all at once!

Sondermann Park Loop 
This park is perfect when needing a relaxed and peaceful environment. Little streams as you go,lots of shade, and many different options when choosing which path to choose! If you want more of a challenge head up the ridge! Shading becomes less and less and the paths get a little narrow at times so be careful! There’s lots of wildlife to see too!

Tava Trail 
This trail is one of many that’s hidden from the public, it’s nearly always empty. It brings you around the UCCS apartments and than up a few switchbacks to a beautiful view of the springs! It has half shade, half sun, but still make sure to bring sunscreen! The views at the top are some of the best you’ll find in rural Colorado Springs.



An easy 1.5 mile walk linking two of Downtown’s historical parks. Along Tejon Street, there are dozens of statues and murals to stop at and view. This walk is perfect for people looking for an easy urban walk and families with strollers.


This quiet open space is nestled in downtown Fountain. Wide, hard-packed trails lead you throughout the open space. The trail from the library to the bridge leading into John Metcalf Park was just under a mile. Lots of beautiful trees and nice views of the gentle Jimmy Camp Creek. Great option for a playground-free family adventure or a quiet 2 mile run.


Some parts of Bear Creek can be crowded, but we checked out the smaller trails meandering through the hills on the west side of the park. The second parking lot on Argus Blvd had tons of open spots and had easy access to a network of smaller and quieter trails. (Note: we did encounter a few bikes on these small trails, so be prepared to step off the trail to make way). The east side of the park was also quiet, but the main trail by the gardens was slightly crowded, so we’d suggest avoiding that area. Lots of other areas to explore!



Great destination for families because it’s flat and there’s a creek. Several parking lots off W. Rio Grande near El Paso County Parks office. Plus you might see horses at the Equestrian Skills Course. Enjoy!

blair bridge open spACE

A good nearby alternative to the Garden of the Gods for a quick walk or for access to the Foot Hills trail.  Blair Bridge Open Space is located on 31st street, a mile north of the entrance into the Garden of the Gods. A wide hard surface trail starts from a good sized parking lot.  A tunnel connects to the Foot Hills trail, the trail going left into the open space goes north and south.  This route goes north through the narrow track of land.  The trail goes in a straight line up a hill that will give you a work out.  There are great views of the Garden of the Gods to the south, Rampart Range to the west and city views to the north.  This is recommended for families and people looking for a quick walk or jog. 


This quick less than 2 mile loop is mild and flat, primarily on sidewalks.  Shooks Run Trail is 12 miles long, you could extend your walk. Parking is available at Boulder or Mid Shooks Run Park. 

Carver Park and Neighborhood Walk

For neighbors that live near Carver Elementary and Penrose Elementary, this is a wonderful way to get out for 20 minutes. Both Carver park in Penrose Park offer wide open spaces for play and access to meandering neighborhood trails.

Cheyenne Meadows Park & Fishers Canyon Creek Path

Neighborhood park that has picnic tables, benches, playground/basketball courts and large grass field.  There is a .25 mile concrete path around the park.  Fishers Canyon Creek Path is a small dirt path leading from the southern part of the park and goes east to Eastmeadow Rd.  South of Cheyenne Meadows is a dog park next to Antero Elementary.   

Cottonwood Creek Trail Loop

This is an urban 2.7 mile loop using natural and concrete paths/trails with 288 feet of elevation gain.  Ample parking at Woodland Hills Park and with numerous neighborhood points of access. Great views of Cottonwood Creek and Pikes Peak.  This trail is perfect for people looking for easy jogging and biking, birding and dog walking. 

Cumbre Vista Park
Cumbre Vista is a small neighborhood park with a .3 mile sidewalk loop around the park.  Located near Dublin and Powers, this park is best for walks with the family, jogging or walking the dog.  

Fairfax Park to Buckskin Charlie Park
This is a unique neighborhood walk on the northeast side of Colorado Springs.  Options exist to make this one mile route longer between the parks.  Each park has large grass fields, trees for shade and walking loops around the park.  Parking is available along the streets bordering the parks. 

Fairview Cemetery

Are you looking for a quiet afternoon stroll? Have you ever thought about a cemetery? They can be peaceful places to have a quiet reflective walk. Fairview cemetery offers some spectacular views. Meander through the cemetery and appreciate the beauty.

Fountain Creek Nature Center

The Fountain Creek Nature Center offers a .7 mile, stroller/wheelchair friendly loop. From the loop you can connect to Fountain Creek Regional Trail, which follows the creek and offers some great views and some spits for you to dip your feet in the gentle waters. Also a great spot for bird watching! We’d recommend starting at the Nature Center, as the parking lot tends to only have a few cars.

Fountain Creek Regional Park Loop

We found a nice, flat 1/2 mile loop at the Fountain Creek Regional Park.  We were there on a beautiful spring day and we saw more geese than people. But if the trail happens to be crowded when you arrive, there is plenty of open space to spread out in the middle of the park.  Great option if you’re looking for a place to walk with a stroller, teach your son to hopscotch, or fly a kite (activities of the few people we saw during our walk).

Garden of the Gods – Little known trail into GOG

While The “Central Garden” may be too crowded to allow “social distancing”, this little known trail provides views and solitude. Explore the Niobrara Trail on the Southeast side of the park. 

Homestead Trail and high chaparral Open Space

This moderate 3 mile trek takes you out on the Homestead Trail and shows you an access point for a loop in High Chaparral Open Space. High Chaparral Open Space has a small parking lot which provides convenient access for both the Homestead Trail and the Open Space. So, you have great options for taking a hike or a walk.


This portion of the Homestead Trail has access points from surrounding neighborhoods. There are no designated places for vehicles to park, making this a true neighborhood gem! People you encounter on this trail are either from a surrounding neighborhood or are on a longer hike from somewhere else on the Homestead Trail . A great option for an early morning walk or a bike ride.


La Foret Trail starts at Mary Kyler Park and meanders through  beautifully landscaped neighborhoods. Neighborhood parks offer fun places to stop and explore, such as sand pits and ponds, making this a great family-friendly walk. 

Memorial to Memorial Walk

Most people use the trail around Prospect lake for their outdoor exercise. But if you’re looking for a quieter more reflective 2+ mile activity, consider our Memorial to Memorial walk. We start at the fire fighter Memorial in the north west corner of the park and make our way to the Peace Officers’ and Veterans’ Memorials. If you haven’t had an opportunity to spend time at these three memorials in one of our most popular parks, we urge you to do so! 

Monument Valley Park Loop

There is a paved parking lot on Mesa Road.  The 1 mile loop starts with a walk through the Demonstration Garden and continues onto the wide dirt trail heading north.  You will walk by a small pond and a rose  garden highlighted by a huge American Elm tree.  You will connect back to the sidewalk and head north to Uintah.  You will turn east on Uintah and walk along the bridge.  At the end of the bridge, you take a right back onto the trail and head south past Colorado College until you hit Mesa Road. From this point, you will finish by going over the Mesa Road Bridge back to the parking lot.  This walk is perfect for families, stroller walks, jogging, dog walking and more. 

Nancy Lewis Park

The perfect park for a leisurely afternoon stroll, a family picnic, or some duck watching!  The park’s most popular and unique feature is the pond, which is home to a variety of ducks and geese. Be sure to check it out!

northern stetson hill open space loop

This northeastern open space, near Peterson and Dublin, is the  perfect place for a quick 20 minute walk or jog.  There is a large dirt parking lot for public use next to the Fire Station.  The first half of the loop is on the wide natural surface Sand Creek trail.  The second half of the loop is a 4 foot wide natural surface trail that sneaks through a meadow along Sand Creek.  This open space has a great view of the Front Range and is great for wildlife and wildflowers.

Palmer Lake Loop

Easy, short walk for families. Three parking lots provide plenty of space for cars. Access the loop from Highway 105 or County line Rd. You might see fishermen and kayaks/paddleboards enjoying this pretty little spring-fed lake.

Parks of Old Colorado City Loop

Old Colorado City is an excellent place to walk.  With three historic parks and plenty of street-side art, there is plenty to take in for everyone.  This walk starts at Bancroft Park and goes down Colorado Ave before cutting south to Vermijo Park.  After walking through the massive tree lined green space, the loop goes back to Colorado Ave before making a turn south to Blunt Park.  This little park has a basketball court and large trees.  The loop ends with coming back to Bancroft Park.

Pinion Valley Park Stroll

This gem of a neighborhood park is located behind Ute Valley Park in the Pinion Valley neighborhood. It has easy access and ample on-street parking located around 3 sides and has multiple ADA pedestrian ramps. The sidewalk paths make a wonderful and kiddo-friendly figure 8 of 1.6 miles in length and there are multiple benches located along for resting and taking in the wonderful views. A bonus is access to Ute Valley Park just up Pinion Park Drive that allows a short walk up to the overlook that has a beautiful view of the park and out to the east.

Pioneer Park Wandering

Pioneer Park is a hidden gem and is tucked into the neighborhood along Mesa Road. There are a few access points, but the easiest neighborhood parking is along Panorama Drive. The park is nestled into the neighborhood and has a paved trail around 3 of it’s sides with a natural surface section needed to complete the loop. The grassy area is not expansive, but large enough to allow for spread-out family activities and picnics. While compact, there is ample space to let children wander and be on the lookout for the resident family of squirrels in the treeline along the western edge and the many birds that call it home. One of the most notable features is the very well-done monument to the early pioneers that called the Colorado Springs and Pikes Peak region home, be sure to spend a few minutes enjoying the stonework and see if you recognize any of the names engraved into the granite.

Rampart Park 
Large parking lot, dog park and walking paths, this neighborhood park has it all. Wide concrete trail through scrub oak Meadows.  Options for longer walks. Recommended for walking, strollers, dogs and jogging.

Reflection Pond Near Chapel Hills and Research

One of the few neighborhood parks with a pond, a great park with a .3 mile walking path with ample benches.  This park is perfect for wildlife viewing, forest bathing, easy walking, stroller walking and photography.


We like this section of Rock Island trail because it’s got a little something for everyone. It’s paved, making it perfect for bikes and strollers. It also has a dirt path that runs parallel, perfect for solo runners. There’s sone railroad history and some cool rocks to explore.  The trail intersects with some bridal trails, so you might even see some horses.


History is the focus of this walk at the Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site. This park just south of Garden of the Gods features farm animals, historic buildings and, during the summer, guides provide demonstrations of life on the farm during the 1800’s. Great for kids. 


Where the paved portion of the Northern Sand Creek trail begins.  Take a right out of the parking lot and take a half mile walk on a dirt trail or take a left and connect to the paved Sand Creek Trail.  Slight uphill walk following the Sand Creek.

Sand Creek East Fork Trail
This is a mostly flat .9 mile natural surface loop trail that goes around the Sand Creek Disc Golf Course near Constitution Ave and Hwy  24. Highlights of the walk are dry grassland and drainage crossings. This is a good trail for dog walking and a quick walk or jog.  There is parking in the Sand Creek Disc Golf Course at 2210 Steambank Drive.

Sand Creek Trail from Stetson Park

Stetson Park is a great place to access the Sand Creek Trail. There are a variety of routes you can take, and you can make your walk as long or as short as you need. You can simply do a half mile loop around the park. Or you can access the Sand Creek Trail and do a 1 mile loop to the duckpond and back. Or you can extend your walk north towards Dublin. Great option for families.


Easy 1.5 mile walk on hard packed dirt. Great for biking, running, stroller or dog walk. You can continue south on trail for a longer adventure.  Easy to access for the AFA North Gate parking lot, which has about 25 spots. Parking lot was empty when we were there, but we have seen days when it’s full. Have a back-up plan in case it’s too crowded when you arrive.

Santa Fe Stroll

Looking for something short and scenic? The Santa Fe Trail Stroll might be a good fit. Trailhead along Old Denver Highway south of 2nd. Community art, interpretive signs, a growing orchard plus benches and tables. Enjoy!

Shooks Run from Good Neighbors Meeting House

As with many urban trails, sections of Shooks Run can get congested during peak times. We recommend checking out this walk in the morning. You will be rewarded with a whimsical walk through a warm and welcoming neighborhood, where most users practice responsible physical distancing practices.


Great options for a quick 20 minute walk (up to the pond and back) or for a longer 3.5 mile family walk. Trail is paved and crosses only 2 small streets. Slight uphill on way out with great views, but all downhill on the way back! Easy access from parking lot with tons of parking.

Skyline Trail
The Skyline trail cuts across northern Colorado Springs.  This regional trail is about 4 miles in total length and connects to the Briargate trail and the Cottonwood Creek trail.  There are plenty of places to get onto the Skyline trail including Rampart Park, Lulu Pollard Park and High Plains Elementary.  This trail traverses rolling hills and has nearly 900 feet of total elevation gain.

Templeton Gap Trail and Portal Park
A parking lot is located by the Portal Park Pool off of Hancock and Pirate Way.  This is a figure 8 route that follows both the sidewalk and crushed asphalt surface trails of the Templeton Gap trail for roughly .5 miles and then comes back to Portal Park.  The park has a large grass field.  This route is perfect for a quick 20 minute walk or for a longer adventure like training for a 5k. 

Walkin with Willow 

Mild 4 mile walk on Homestead and Cottonwood Creek Trails. These are paved trails that run along side some lovely creeks. Walk starts at Fred McKown Park, street parking available. There are no restroom facilities along this route; trash cans are available sporadically.

Neighborhood Parks

Audubon Park
A small neighborhood park with plentiful parking on Bennett just off of Circle Drive.  There is a .5 mile sidewalk route you can take around the park and the nearby school for a good workout.  The park has large trees for shade and a large field to explore. 

Candleflower/Meadow Ridge Loop – Via Briargate Trail
This loop highlights regional connections and neighborhood parks in the Briargate area of northern Colorado Springs.  This route starts at Candleflower Park, with street parking on Contrails. The route takes you on the sidewalk walking path in Candleflower Park which connects to the large 8 foot wide Briargate trail.  We followed this trail until we hit the road crossing at Meadow Ridge Drive.  We took a right turn and followed the sidewalk along the road until it hit the Meadow Ridge trail.  This section of trail is a greenway that cuts through the neighborhood with a nice 5 foot wide sidewalk trail.  This leads of Meadow Ridge Park.  We took a right turn from the park, which has a playground, ball courts and large field, and headed back toward Candleflower Park.  This loop route is perfect for an easy bike ride, walk (for all abilities) or a jog. 

Cimarron Eastridge Park Loop
Eastridge Park is the main park in Cimarron Hills.  There are is a large dog park with areas for small and large dogs.  There is a playground, ball courts and playing fields.  Another attraction are the walking trails around the west side of the park.  A longer regional trail branches off to the north and south of this park with plentiful neighborhood connections.  The loop for this hike utilizes the 6 foot wide natural surface trail and a wide 8 foot natural surface trail in the park.  This area is perfect for families (large wheel strollers), bikes, jogging and particularly dog walking.  This park is located at the corner of Shawnee Drive and Constitution Ave. 

Dublin Park

Dublin Park is a quiet neighborhood park that offers wide open spaces and a quick connection to Cottonwood Creek Trail. A great place to let the kids explore and play in the trees. A paved trail goes around the perimeter of the park making a nice half mile loop.


Take a walk with Willow to Eugene McCleary Park. This small neighborhood park has sports courts, playground, grass fields, and a walking path. There is on street parking or you could park at Freedom Elementary School. 

Explorer Park and the Briargate Trail

Explorer Park is located near Rangewood and Austin Bluffs.  There is street parking by Explorer Elementary. Explorer Park has a great figure 8 loop through the park and has a large grass field and wild undeveloped area with dry chaparral habitat.  There is a connecting path to the longer regional Briargate trail.  This route goes down the wide dirt portion of this trail until Research before coming back to the park.

George Fellows Park

Delightful neighborhood park ideal for spreading out. Enjoy a mild .5 mile walking trail surrounded by wide open grass fields. Conveniently located behind East Library, this park has lots of easy access points. It is a great place for yoga, walking the dog, flying a kite or just spending some time in the sunshine. It also has a playground, sculpture and gardens. 

Giberson Park

Giberson Park is a small neighborhood park located near Jetwing and Hancock.  The highlights of this park include a large field that would be perfect for picnics, kite flying, throwing a ball around or nature journaling.  There is street parking on Wylie Lane.

Henry Park
A small neighborhood park off of Lehmberg near Palmer Park Blvd.  There is  plenty of street parking on Lehmberg for this park that features a large open field that is perfect for playing fetch with your dog or flying kites. A winding .4 mile loop walking path cuts through the park.  There are great views of Pikes Peak and nearby Rustic Hills. 

A visit to John Metcalf Memorial Park in Fountain can be chock-full of adventure as there are multiple options for families on foot. A great grass expanse is perfect for a picnic or family game and the trail that runs around the park can take you south to the bridge linking this park to the Adams Open Space and a crawdad-catching experience for the young ones in the beautiful and very accessible creek way. While mostly natural surface trails are around the exterior, there is a nice paved loop that takes you in and around the large pavilion and would be stroller friendly for families and the walks can be from short loops to a longer 1.5+ tour. 

Keller Park

A quiet neighborhood park with lots of space to spread out.  Flat fields for playing with a ball or flying a kite, three playgrounds, softball field, and hills for sledding.

Laura Gilpin Park
This Stetson Hills neighborhood park is good for a quick walk or jog.  On Kettle Drum Street, there is a parking lot for about 10 cars.  Then there is a sidewalk that goes around a large grass field.  The highlight of this park is a large undeveloped field that the pathway goes around.  This would be perfect for walking dogs through or letting children hunt for grasshoppers.  Large boulders are placed around the field so dogs and kids have place to climb and explore.  The park also features a skate park, basketball courts and a playground.  There are neighborhood regional trails that lead out form the park.  

Mary Kyer Park/La Foret Trail

Located near the intersection of Voyager and Middle Creek Parkway.  This is a hidden gem with a nice pond at Mary Kyer Park along with a nice wide cement walking path, large athletic field and basketball courts.  Near the school, along the walking path, there are different work out stations that involve touching no equipment.  The path transitions to the 8 ft wide concrete La Foret trail.  This trail is an out and back 2.1 mile trail that passes several ponds and nice natural areas.

Meadowlark Park

Meadowlark Park has street parking on Dickens Drive near Chelton and Hancock.  This is a long a narrow park with an excellent .4 mile walking path looping around the park.  There is nice big grass field and a basketball court.

Mountain Shadows Park Loop
Located off of Flying W Road in northwestern Colorado Springs, this neighborhood park has a nice .4 walking loop.  The highlight of the park is the Waldo Canyon Memorial along with a nice large grass field.  The view of the mountains is captivating and the rebirth of the forest and the neighborhood after one of the worst wildfires in Colorado history is inspiring.  

Oak Valley Ranch Park

Oak Valley Ranch Park is a quiet neighborhood park at the base of Waldo Canyon. There’s a well-maintained quarter-mile paved trail around the park perfect for a short run or a kids bike ride. The park itself offers wide open spaces that are perfect for kids and dogs (ok, and adults) to run and play.  Great views to admire and lush grass on which to relax!


A small neighborhood park perfect for an afternoon stroll. There is a 1/4 mile paved path that runs the perimeter of the park. The park is adjacent to a small open space with short, dirt trails -perfect for smaller kids to explore!

Penrose Park

Penrose Park is a beautiful neighborhood park with spaces for everything you want to do. Large flat fields for kicking the ball, pills for the kids to run up and down, and a nice meandering paved path for a short walk.

Quail Lake Park

A 1 mile loop on a hard packed trail. The park has two parking lots: one by the boat launch and one by the playground. They are small lots, so if they are crowded, please consider coming on another day! This is a great trail for runners trying to get a few miles in or a family going for a 20 minute walk. Lots to see. We saw a bunny, some fish, so many different birds, a bird’s nest, some art, ducks,and two fishermen (practicing social distancing)…all in a mile!

Soaring Eagles Park

Near Hancock and Powers, this Southeast neighborhood park has a .3 mile sidewalk path around the park.  Along with a big grass field and a sports court, there are plenty of ways to use this park.  Large boulders are near the baseball backstop, perfect for nature play.  There is street parking on Tory Ridge Drive.

Tom Kelly Big Lawn

Located in the Cordera Neighborhood in northeastern Colorado Springs, this small park features a fun walking path that connects to longer regional options.  Along the walking path is a demonstration garden, secret garden, medium sized grass field and art easels.  This .5 walking path is perfect for quick walks, jogs and the starting point for longer bike rides.

Vista Park in Banning Lewis Ranch

A quiet neighborhood park with impressive amenities. Dog park, large playground, music playground, wide walking paths (natural surface for jogging available), flat fields, pickleball courts and large parking lot.  There is access to a larger network of natural surface trails through neighborhood open space from this park.

Wasson Park 
A small neighborhood park at the corner of Constitution and Circle, there is abundant street parking on Patrician off of Circle on the north side of the park.  This park has a .5 mile sidewalk route you walk or jog around.  There are basketball courts and large open field fields to use. This park is across Constitution from the Rock Island trail and is along a bus route. 

Widefield Community Park
Widefield Community Park is a quiet park located in Southern Colorado Springs just south of the airport. The outer trail makes a nice, flat 1 mile family walk, with the option to connect to some longer trails. This park is also a disc golf course, so just beware of rogue frisbees!

Wild Rumpus Park 
Wild Rumpus Park is a located in the Cordera Neighborhood on Cordera Crest Avenue.  There is a small parking lot with various easy walking paths and natural surface trails branching out.  This is a themed park based on the children’s book, Where the Wild Things Are, with sculptures and a great playground.  This park is perfect for jogging, walking, bike riding and enjoying nature.  


Wildflower Park is located in the heart of Southeast Colorado Springs. There is a network of paved paths throughout the park.  The exterior trails make a nice 1 mile loop with an option to connect to the Sand Creek Trail.  Lots of open space for kids to run and play, along with great mountain views!

Windmill Mesa Park

Windmill Mesa Park is a Widefield Parks and Recreation park located on Fencer Road near the intersection of Bradley and Grinnell. This neighborhood park has a nice sidewalk that loops around the park, a large grass field, pickleball courts and a basketball court. This park is nice for walking and jogging (3 laps equal 1 mile).

Wolf Lake Walk
An easy walk on 6 ft wide concrete path around a small lake in extreme northeastern Colorado Springs.  Street parking on Wolf Lake Drive, this park is perfect for a quick family Walk, an easy job or a bike ride. The Wolf Lake trail branches off from the Wolf Lake Loop and goes about 1 mile south to Research Parkway.  This loop has great views of grassland, Black Forest and Pikes Peak. Fishing is allowed according to signage. 

Bike Rides

Bluestem Prairie Open Space

Bluestem has a small parking lot off Goldfield Dr. There are no services, so please follow Leave No Trace practices and plan ahead. Bluestem Prairie Open Space is 650 acres of prairie land and is home to a variety of wildlife, including: pronghorn, black-tailed prairie dogs, snakes and birds like the red-tailed hawk, burrowing owl and migratory shorebirds. Due to abundant wildlife, dogs are not allowed. Big Johnson Reservoir is a key feature to this thriving open space (not accessible). Bluestem has 8+ miles of trail, it is an excellent place for beginner mountain bikers to get a taste of dirt single-track. Hiking and birding are best done in the first 2 miles near the reservoir. This area is very exposed, so avoid visiting during the heat of the day and be sure to bring water.


The Crews Gulch Trail is a beautiful 5.2 mile round trip, easily accessed from the lightly used John Ceresa Memorial Park, located right along the Fountain Creek Regional Trail. This neighborhood trail climbs gently up and takes you to the Widefield Community Park which has a wonderful disc golf course, multiple smooth trail options and access to the creekway flowing through the center. The trail ends (turnaround point) at Fontaine Blvd and Fountain Mesa and the Blue Stem Prairie Open Space is just down the road about .5 miles.

This 6 mile route provides a wonderful way to incorporate a fully-paved off-street bike ride option for individuals and families in the Briargate area. The start location is at John Stone Park next to the Briargate YMCA. The off-street trail and wide sidewalks provide a connection to the Cordera neighborhood and a tour of 4 different local parks and 1 wetland open space properties. This is a fun tour with just a little bit of climbing and is suited for youth that can ride independently, just exercise caution at the main signalized crossings.

Early dinner run to Good Neighbors

The Shooks Run Trail provides beautiful connectivity to many historic neighborhoods along the east side of downtown Colorado Springs and makes up nearly half of the Legacy Loop. It is easy to access along multiple points and is conveniently across the street from the offices of the Trails and Open Space Coalition in the Middle Shooks Run neighborhood. By taking this trail north only 1.0 mile, staff can bike in mere minutes to the Good Neighbors Meeting House, a wonderful neighborhood eatery and market, grabbing a quick bite to eat and provisions for the workday. There are a few street crossings along the route so please exercise caution, but the trail itself is paved and the shoulders and grassy areas adjacent to it allow for social distancing along the way.

Fountain Creek Regional Trail Ramble

While the facility is closed, there is ample parking along the street next to the El Pomar Youth Sports Park. From there you can access the Pikes Peak Greenway Trail and head south, where the trail quickly enters El Paso County and the name becomes the Foutain Creek Regional Trail. This beautiful trail is natural surface and quite wide, being appropriate for bikes with wider tires, but riders of all abilities as it has a gentle grade with very few short climbs. The 6.2 mile route takes you along the western side of Fountain Creek with abundant beautiful views and places to stop and experience the rich diversity of the riparian habitat. Turn around at the trailhead location just north of the Academy Boulevard underpass and return the same way you came, albeit slightly slower as you are pedaling upstream. There are no restrooms available along the trail through this area limited services.

Fountain Creek Regional Trail – John Ceresa Memorial Park

John Ceresa Memorial Park is the jumping-off point of this 6.2 mile ride along the Fountain Creek Regional Trail. This small park has parking that is less busy that the Willow Springs Ponds area just south of here and is a great place to access the trail. The route takes you through the Willow Springs Ponds and Fishing area, be mindful of good trail etiquette as it can be a popular spot for families and people fishing. Continuing south, you’ll reach the Fountain Creek Nature Center and access to Fountain Creek Regional Park where there are many smaller trails to explore, benches along the trail to rest and a number of nature viewing structures with information about the wildlife that call the park home. The turn-around spot is the trailhead at the southeastern edge of the park, which is also an alternate starting place for this ride, which would give you a downhill route on the return leg. One of the wonderful things about the Fountain Creek Regional Trail is the many different ways it can be enjoyed.  

Hibbard and Heritage Parks are both great single destinations for families in the Fountain area, but have the added benefit of being connected by a wonderful natural surface trail that allows for a fun walk exploring the greenway between. Additionally visitors can access the natural surface trail running along Jimmy Camp Creek to tour south and connect to John Metcalf Memorial Park to extend the experience, enjoying a fun creek crossing or two along the way that is nearly 5 miles in length. Hibbard Park has a great short paved loop and multiple neighborhood connections and is very stroller-friendly. 


High Chaparral is 52 acres of open space. The trail system is well marked and offers a few different loops, the largest outer loop is roughly 2 miles. There is a small parking lot off of Stetson Hills Blvd and on street parking in old farm neighborhood. 


Let’s explore some of our urban trails. Did you know you can get from Northeast COS to Downtown on trails? This route shows off the Homestead Trail which leads to the Rock Island Trail which connects to Shooks Run Trail. It starts at the small parking lot off Stetson Hills Blvd also used for access to High Chaparral Open Space. Homestead trail is not an easy ride, it has rolling hills and the trail ranges from dirt to concrete to eroding asphalt. But it has some great views, several neighborhood connections, and quite a few parks. Homestead trail terminates at Radiant Dr. To get to Rock Island Trail you have to travel about 0.8 mile on streets/sidewalks. Turn left at Radiant Dr to keep heading south. Turn right on Maizeland Rd. Cross over Academy Blvd, at this point you might be tempted to go visit Palmer Park. Or turn left on Academy and cruise down the wide sidewalk to Rock Island Trail; which is on the south side of Constitution Ave. The Rock Island Trail runs East/West, to get downtown turn right and head west towards Pikes Peak. Enjoy the downhill slop, it is all uphill on the way back. After about 3.5 miles the Rock Island Trail leads into Shooks Run Trail which runs North/South. Shooks Run has several street crossings, please follow the signs and cross safely at designated intersections. This journey ends just after Middle Shooks Run Park, but you could continue south on the trail for another 1.5 miles, or with a little more street riding you can hop on the Pikes Peak Greenway.


This mostly flat 9.5 mile route takes in the Pikes Peak Greenway and Shooks Run Trails making a loop around downtown Colorado Springs along the beautiful creekways, using the on-street connections on north and south to #LinkTheLoop

Monument Valley Park Loop

Monument Valley Park is a beautiful, historic and recreational park. The gardens, ponds, playgrounds, sports courts & fields, swimming pool, historic geological structures… this park has it all! Take a mild 5 mile loop all the way around this fantastic park. We think everyone should visit this park, that’s why it made the list for our 20|20 Parks Challenge. #tosc2020challenge



Great neighborhood park with on street parking and access to Homestead Trail. Take a steep 0.8 mile hike or ride up to the top of the ridge. It has an awesome view of the neighborhood and Pikes Peak. 

Pikes Peak Greenway to Cottonwood to Homestead Trail

Colorado Springs is lucky to have such an amazing trail system! From TOSC’s office it takes less than a mile to hop on the Pikes Peak Greenway / Front Range Trail. This is the best non motorized highway in town. It travels from Monument all the way to Fountain, with plans to one day travel all along the Front Range of Colorado. It traverses several parks and connects to many other trails allowing our city to commute on foot or on bike. Last year our city made a grand connection with the Cottonwood Creek Trail, finally linking NE COS to the Greenway. Cottonwood continues to expand to the East and will eventually link up with the Sand Creek Trail. This journey takes advantage of the link to the Homestead Trail. Enjoy.


Stetson Hills Open Space has a mild dirt single track trail that is roughly 1/2 mile long. There are several neighborhood access points along the way and it connects into Pring Ranch Park. Good park with open field, play ground, basketball court and swings. 


This section of the Sand Creek Trail in Southeast Colorado Springs is a wonderful family-friendly 3.6 mile bike ride (and walk) and is easily accessed by biking or walking in from Wildflower Park, a beautiful park itself. The wide paved trail takes you across a beautiful bridge and allows connection to Sagebrush Park a little over 1/2 mile north. Additional length can be had by continuing south on the trail beyond Fountain Blvd. There is a great pavilion and benches located along the trail and a permanent bathroom facility located on the north end of Wildflower Park.

We Are All in This Together

Did you know that 74% of Colorado Springs residents can access a park within a 10 minute walk from home? We want to encourage our community to be creative and have fun close to home! So, what’s in your neighborhood? Share your fun outdoor activities with us on Facebook. 



University Park Blvd, Colo Springs, 80918

Great option if you are looking for a quick 20 minute hike with the kids. Lots of places to stop and explore. This trail connects to a network of trails, so you can extend your hike. Easy to access from on street parking on University Park Blvd.


Parking for Sherpa Trail Colo Springs, 80918

There is a small paved parking lot for public use near the west end of Rockhurst Blvd and Marconi Heights.  This route is a moderate to challenging route that involves narrow single track trails, drop offs, plenty of cactus and the possibility of rattle snakes in the summer. The route follows paths that go around the Colorado Springs Utilities complex, UCCS owned land and an antennae farm.  Respect the no trespassing signs along the route.  A series of trails branch out, each taking you to a different overlook.  This trail is perfect for rock lovers, view seekers and hikers.


4800 Shoup Rd, Colo Springs, 80908

Black Forest Regional Park is on the corner of Shoup Rd. and Milam Rd. With 3 parking lots, this 385 acre park offers 8 miles of fairly wide rolling trails.  Wear sunscreen and bring water. Enjoy!

Cheyenne Mt State Park – Coyote Run Trail

410 JL Ranch Heights Rd, Colo Springs, 80926

Coyote Run trail is one of the easier loop trails in Cheyenne Mountain State Park.  With a $9 day use park pass, you can park in the picnic parking lot and hike the 1.6 mile trail that is usually quiet.  This trail passes through scrub oak, dry grass habitat and has amazing 360 degree views.  Birding and wildflowers are amazing along this trail and there are occasional wildlife sightings as well.  Be mindful of rattlesnakes in warm weather.


410 JL Ranch Heights Rd, Colo Springs, 80926

Cheyenne Mountain State Park has 20+ miles of well marked trails, good place for hiking, biking and trail running. This 6.5 mile route follows the Talon Trail to South Talon and loops back on North Talon. Please note that due to abundant wildlife in the area, dogs are not allowed on most of the trails in this park. State Parks Pass is required.  Link to Trail Map

CHeyenne Mt State Park – ZOOK TRAIL

410 JL Ranch Heights Rd, Colo Springs, 80926

Cheyenne mountain state parks the trail is perfect for a family hike. Zook Trail is one of many interconnected trails that give you many options from a quick .5 mile loop to a multi-trail longer hike. The trails are well marked, making it easy to navigate the network of trails. Perfect for users newer to hiking. Note: there is a $9 fee per vehicle to enter the park.

Falcon Regional Park

Eastonville Rd, Elbert, 80106

Located along Eastonville Road in Falcon, CO, Falcon Regional Park has several short trail options through grassland prairie.  The park is mostly flat with impressive 360 degree views of the plains.  A large parking lot located near the baseball fields is the starting point for your walk or jog.  There is a large dog park just north of the baseball fields. 


An El Paso County Open Space south of Fountain, CO off of I-25 near PPIR.  Easy hiking with a .8 mile loop trail through grassland and cottonwoods along Fountain Creek.  Opportunities for longer hikes exist using the marked Front Range trail.  Excellent covered picnic area with pit bathrooms.  Great family hike with large tire strollers, birding/wildlife/wildflower viewing.

Fox Run Ramble

15926 Roller Coaster Rd, Colo Springs, 80921

With 4 miles of system trails it’s easy to “Get Out and Spread Out” in Fox Run Regional Park. Parking is available off Roller Coaster, Stella Drive and along the interior driving loop. With two ponds, two dog parks and large sports fields; plenty of recreation to be had!

Garden of the Gods – Cabin Canon Trail

1087 Garden Dr, Colo Springs, 80919

This Garden of the Gods hike is an alternative to the busy Central Garden area.  This trail is .5 miles long and is easy/moderate in difficulty due to loose rocks, drop offs and slippery areas to navigate.  This trail is in the same area as the busier Siamese Twins trail, but goes off to the west of this famous rock formation.  The highlights of Cabin Canon include great rock formations, views of Pikes Peak and wide areas to spread out.  Parking is in the Siamese Twins Parking Lot. Trails Map for Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods – Ridge Trail
South Garden Parking Lot Colo Springs, 80904
This short Garden of the Gods trail starts near Parking Lot 10. Moderate because of rocky sections and dropoffs, this trail has some of the best views of Gateway Rock and the southern section of the park. The Ridge trail is wide enough in most places to spread out from other hikers. This hike is an alternative to the busy Central Garden and perfect for a quick hike (no biking).  Respect signage regarding staying on trail and stay alert for rattlesnakes during warm weather. Trails Map for Garden of the Gods

South Garden Parking Lot Colo Springs, 80904

Ute Trail can be accessed by Parking Lot 10 in Garden of the Gods (Map). We usually go in the late afternoon and this lot is generally not crowded. Ute Trail is approximately a 1 mile loop, but you can branch off an explore other trails for a longer hike.

Homestead Ranch Park

16444 Gollihar Rd, Peyton, CO 80831

Homestead Ranch is the perfect place for families with kids. The park features several miles of easy-moderate hiking trails (not necessarily stroller friendly), a pond, picnic tables under pavilions, a playground, wide open fields for playing ball, and bathrooms.  The trails are loops, so you can customize the length of your hike.

16444 Gollihar Rd, Peyton, CO 80831

John Venezia Park

3555 Briargate Pkwy, Colo Springs, 80920

Looking for a short hike with dogs or kids? Check out John Venezia Park.  The park itself can become crowded, but you can access the trails from the southern side. We started our 1-mile hike from the Academy International Elementary School. In the spring you can see a wide variety of birds and flowers.

Lincoln Mtn Lower Loop

7333 Jones Rd, Larkspur, 80118

Lincoln Mountain Open Space is just over the Douglas County border near Highway 83. Big parking lot. The lower loop becomes a natural playground for your family with cool rocks and trees for scrambling and a small creek to play in. Hours a fun plus an open bathroom!


7333 Jones Rd, Larkspur, 80118

876 acres with meadows and rolling grasslands. This open space and its large parking lot is rarely crowded. Just inside Douglas County off Highway 83 on Jones Rd., there is an open bathroom and several trail options for all ages and abilities.

Monument Lake
Lake Parking, Monument, 80132
Monument Lake is located off of Mitchell Ave in Monument, Colorado.  There is large parking lot located right next to the water.  This lake is a popular paddle boat and fishing location.  Birders can also enjoy some of the marsh areas around the north end of the lake.  It is possible to do a .25 mile walk around the parking lot and the banks of the lake.  Visit early in the day or during the week to avoid the biggest crowds.  

Monument Rock – Long Loop

Mt Herman Rd, Monument, 80132

This could become your favorite hike. Lots of variety with a pond, cool rock, nice trees and challenging terrain. Dog can be off-leash because it’s USFS property. Park along Mt Herman Rd. past Sunburst Dr.


Mt Herman Rd, Monument, 80132

Just west of Monument on Mt Herman Road. Several parking options available. Short, medium and long hikes. Undulating terrain, a pond, rock, pine forest, wetlands, old cabin ruins –  Monument Preserve has it all!

Mt Herman Trailhead Colo Springs, 80921

This moderate to difficult hike takes you to the top of Mt Herman. Hiking poles and hiking boots recommended. Rough road to trailhead. Limited parking. But so worth it!

Woodland Park, CO 80863

Looking for a quiet place to hike with the family? Escape to the North Catamount Reservoir for some solitude and beautiful views. Note, there is a access fee, $5 per person (age 16 and older), and parking is limited. We went in the early afternoon, which we’ve been told is when you can expect it to be less crowded.  Easy trails with lots of places along the way for kids to stop, play and explore.


Old Farm Cir W, Colo Springs, 80917

This is a small neighborhood park that connects to the Homestead Trail. It makes a nice half mile in an out family or dog walk.  Or you can continue on or High Chaparral Open Space.  Paved (but bumpy!) trail with option to take a dirt trail to higher terrain.

PALMER PARK –  Mesa Trail

3650 Maizeland Rd, Colo Springs, 80909

Palmer Park has a dog park and an off leash area. The off leash area is located at Yucca Flats trailhead (turn off for Lazy Land). This is a favorite for a lot of people, so please recreate responsibly. We recommend visiting 6:00 – 8:00 AM or PM to help avoid crowding. Mesa trail is about 2.5 miles of doggie heaven. Well behaved dogs are welcome to play and explore off leash! Please note there are no fences. Trail Map of Palmer Park.

Brenner Pl, Colo Springs, 80917

A quiet area on the northeast side of Palmer Park.  Street parking on Brenner PL.  This .6 mile narrow natural surface route is moderate due to quick elevation gain and rocks to navigate.  Fantastic views and awesome rock formations highlight this urban wilderness.  Recommended for weekday early morning hikes. 


13201 Vollmer Rd, Colo Springs, 80908

El Paso County’s newest Open Space is 1000+ acres just northeast of the intersection of Vollmer and Shoup Rds. Shaped like a doughnut, it wraps around fenced private property. Non-motorized multi-use, the 9 mile trail is soft and narrow so watch for cyclists and horses. An “up and back” for most users. Not an easy trail for strollers.

Pineries Open Space Loop  – CREATED BY HIKING BOB

13201 Vollmer Rd, Colo Springs, 80908 

The only trail is a single 9-mile loop. While you can turn around at any time, if you follow the suggested clockwise route once you get to the Grandview Overlook, you are halfway around and might as well continue the rest of the way. There are no “bail-out” points, and you are exposed to the elements, especially the sun, during most of this hike. Bathroom facilities are available, but there is no water available. Bring plenty. The trail is easy to moderate in difficulty, mostly on soft surfaces and nothing rocky or technical. There is parking for autos and horse trailers. Dogs are permitted, but must be leashed. Watch for wildlife, especially herds of elk. The space is open to hikers, runners, cyclists and equestrians. Motorized vehicles are not permitted.  The hours for the site are April to October: 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. and November to March: 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Read more…

Rainbow Falls Historic Site

Serpentine Dr Manitou Springs, 80829

A couple of small parking lots are located near the gates of Rainbow Falls on Serpentine Drive in Manitou Springs.  This park is only open on Saturday and Sundays in the summer months and a donation is highly encouraged to enter the park.  There is an easy short trail leading from the front gates to the falls (.15 miles).  This park is known for the historic bridge over Fountain Creek, a medium sized waterfall and the ability to wade out into the creek on hot days.  No climbing is allowed in this park.  

Red Rocks Trail (Trail 708) 
Red Rocks Campground Rd, Woodland Park, 80863
This Pike National Forest trail is located 8 minutes north of Woodland Park off of Highway 67.  Near the Red Rock Campground on Forest Service Road 335, this area is perfect for outdoor users looking for a way to explore sandstone rock formations without large crowds.  There is an easy short trail (708 Trail) that links the parking lot to the rocks.  The trail continues off into the forest for longer adventures. 

Rockrimmon Open Space

72 Saddlemountain Rd Colo Springs, 80919

Looking for some solitude? You can easily lose yourself exploring Rockrimmon Open Space for an hour or more. Lots of wide open spaces and a variety of dirt footpaths throughout.

Sandstone Ranch Open Space

9604 S. Perry Park Rd Larkspur, 80118

Sandstone Ranch is Douglas County’s newest 2000 acre open space. From Palmer Lake head north on Highway 105 @7  miles north of the intersection of Spruce Rd and Highway 105 on your left. With 7 miles of multi-use, non-motorized trail it’s definitely worth exploring and a great winter destination.

Smith Creek Natural Area

Meadowgrass Dr, Colo Springs, 80921

Smith Creek Natural Area has a main trail with smaller single tracks that loop around the Natural area.  There is street parking on Meadowgrass Drive. The highlights of this area are great views, wildlife/wildflower viewing, photography opportunities and hiking.  Because this is a natural space, please stay on trails and respect wildlife’s space. 


740 W Caramillo St, Colo Springs 80907

Sondermann Park is a great option if you are looking for a 1/2 hour – 1 hour hike or a run. Bikes and horses are not allowed on the network of small trails throughout the park, so pedestrians, you’ve got the trails to yourselves! One of the quietest network of trails you can find. The park connects with the longer Mesa Valley Trail.

Southern Blodgett Open Space

South Blodgett Parking Colo Springs, 80919

Parking in small dirt lot off of Woodmen Road near Orchard Valley Road.  This hike is a very challenging .7 mile hike with both a steep uphill and downhill portion.  There are amazing 360 degree views, wildlife and wildflowers in the spring.  For this hike, I went up the South Blodgett trail and came down the Oak Valley trail (no signage present).


13415 S Spruce Mountain Rd, Larkspur, CO 80118

Spruce Mountain  open Space offers short and long hikes. Just 3 miles north of Palmer Lake on Spruce Mountain Rd. Dogs must be on a leash. Large parking lot.

Stratton Open Space

1504 Ridgeway Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80906

Stratton Open Space has a large network of small trails that are generally pretty quiet. The times we’ve been, trail users have been considerate and practiced good social distancing. Great trails for older kids to explore.


Flintridge Dr, Colo Springs, 80918

This is a 2.5 mile trail through the Sunset Mesa Open Space.  Easy to moderate hike with very little traffic.  Narrow dirt footpath that can get a bit muddy.  Stunning views and interesting rock formations. 

*Please note the main access point to this open space is on Flintridge. There is a well established social trail on private property, please do not use this trail. The official access point 100 feet to the north, it can be hard to find due to overgrowth. 

Ute Valley Park Hike

1705 Vindicator Dr, Colo Springs, 80919

Moderate 2.5 mile hike on dirt trails with awesome views of pikes peak, geological features and archaeological resources. Ute Valley Park is 538 acres with numerous multi-use trail options varying greatly in character and level of physical challenge. This park is popular for hiking, mountain biking, trail running and dog walking. 

Map of Ute Valley Park


Ute Valley Trailhead, Colo Springs, 80919

Ute Valley Park East Side. Much less crowded than west side. Access from I-25 Rockrimmon exit. Past Pro Rodeo Drive. Left on Ute Valley Trail. Trailhead just past roundabout.

Woodmen Valley Park and the Ridgeline Trail

W Woodmen Rd Colo Springs, 80919

Northwest Colorado Springs neighborhood Park with Fantastic short trails. Natural path trails (perfect for families with older children) with rock formations and amazing views.  The neighborhood park has a wide concrete sidewalk, picnic tables/benches, and large playing fields.  Parking along Woodmen Road. 

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