Outdoors

Outdoors

Colorado Springs Santa Fe Trail

Starting at the Palmer Lake Recreation area, the 14-mile New Santa Fe Regional Trail is popular with Colorado Springs outdoor lovers of all stripes. The north-south trail is rated easy and follows the abandoned Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroad right-of-way for the first 6.5 miles, then winds through the U.S. Air Force Academy for another 6.9 miles. Along the way you’ll meet folks on foot, bikes and horseback, and discover informative signs, interesting geological features and wildlife. Some of the more common animals found along the trail are deer, gophers and an occasional snake. The trail bisects two distinct ecosystems—high desert and riparian (along a riverbank)—which affords the opportunity to view a great variety of wildflowers. There are also some fantastic viewpoints, including one of Pikes Peak.

Views From Colorado Springs Santa Fe Trail

The New Santa Fe Regional Trail is part of the American Discovery Trail system and has a 1,200 foot drop in elevation from north to south. It passes through the town of Monument, where you’ll find some shops and restaurants and then crosses the Air Force Academy campus, taking you past the stadium, chapel and north entrance gate. Be sure to heed the warnings about staying on the trail as you traverse the Academy campus. The trail officially ends at Woodman Road, where it becomes part of the Pikes Peak Greenway.

Although the gravel trail is labelled dog-friendly, there are some clearly marked portions where dogs are prohibited. Bicyclists must wear helmets. Trail hours are dawn to dusk and the phone number is (719) 520-7529.

You can access the trail at several different spots:

  • Palmer Lake Recreation Area: Take I-25 to Exit 161; head northwest on Route 105 for about 5 miles then east on County Line Road to the park entrance
  • Third Street in Monument
  • North Gate Rd. (north entrance of the Air Force Academy)
  • Baptist Rd.
  • Ice Lake trailhead at the Air Force Academy
  • Two areas at E. Woodman Rd.: westbound on Woodman, parking is north of the road; eastbound on Woodman, turn south on Corporate Drive then west on Mark Dabling Blvd. and make an immediate right into the lot.
Colorado Springs Homes & Lifestyle, Paint Mines

Looking for a new place to take your out of town guests? After you tire of Garden of the Gods, try the little know Paint Mines outside of Calhan, CO. The Paint Mines are a county owned and maintained park complete with trails and interpretive signs. There is even a restroom in the parking lot.

The 750 acre park opened in 2005 and is full of unique and colorful geologic spires and hoodoo formations. It is easy to see why the Native Americans favored this area to collect clays for their pottery and wares.

For more information check out the county's YouTube video.

The "Manitou Incline" has been a local secret here in the Pikes Peak region since the early 1990s. Now that a hike up the incline is actually legal, the site seems to be gaining in notoriety.

The incline recently made 303 magazine's list of "The seven most amazing outdoor gems in Colorado". The incline placed number three, right behind the popular Bishops Castle.

The incline is actually the remnants of an old cable car track. The track was originally built in order to service water tanks which provided a gravity fed water system for both managed to and Colorado Springs. The railway was closed in 1990 but the remaining railroad ties have become a popular fitness challenge.

Old Colorado City Walking Tour AppOld Colorado City is one of the most historic areas in the entire Pikes Peak region. Started as a supply hub for the gold mines of Cripple Creek in the late 1850s this area retains much of its original charm.

A visit to this area is a must on every tourists agenda. Unfortunately, much of the historical significance gets lost in the shuffle of a visit to this hamlet.

Don't worry though, modern technology and the Old Colorado City Associates (merchant association) have come up with an app for that!

The "Old Colorado City, Walking Tour App" is available for download from the iTunes store. This app is:

"Your perfect companion for learning the rich history of Old Colorado City. This GPS-enabled app includes a tour having 14 points of interest, with each having interesting historical facts and photos - all provided by the Old Colorado City Historical Society, which was founded in 1976 by a group of citizens who recognized the historical significance and unique culture of Old Colorado City."

So, if you are planning a visit to Old Colorado City, this app should certainly make it even more interesting. You Can get the app in the iTunes store for Free: Click Here to Download

 

After an extensive 6 month, $57 million renovation the Broadmoor West will reopening. This renovation has added 31 rooms, 2 new restaurants and brought this vintage 70's facility into stylistic line with the rest of the campus.

We will have to wait a while for Ristorante del Lago, an authentic Italian restaurant and bar designed by New York firm Tihany Design, this replaces Charles Court and should be open by May 19. Additionally, the hotel is adding, Natural Epicurean a casual,  organic and natural restaurant will offer fresh and fit options with produce and herbs grown in its own gardens. Read More

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Colorado Springs Homes & Lifestyle

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