If you’re the sort that likes nothing more than to do a bit of fancy footwork on some rugged, yet scenic, trail, then does Colorado Springs, Colorado, ever have something for you. To wit: miles of rugged, yet scenic, trail. All you need to do is supply the footwork.
Not surprisingly, one of the most recognizable natural landmarks around is also one of the choicest spots close to Colorado Springs, Colorado, to give your legs a stretch. We’re talking about Pikes Peak of course, and even if you don’t choose to join in popular annual festivities like the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb or the infamous Pikes Peak Marathon you’ll still want to hike a few miles at least of the 12.6 mile Barr Trail as meanders 7,300 feet up from Manitou Springs.
Another fine option is to wander some of the 15 miles of trail in the Garden of the Gods Park. Also a well-known natural landmark, the Garden of the Gods boasts a number of relatively moderate trails including a fully accessible short paved loop, as well as great views of odd rock formations and Pikes Peak.
Waterfalls on the brain? You can join the tourist throngs quick-stepping up the stairs to view the cascades at Seven Falls, but then leave some time free to take a 2-mile hike out to Inspiration Point and back. For a less crowded glimpse of glittering falls close to Colorado Springs, consider instead a trip to North Cheyenne Cañon, a 1,600 acre city park with its own bevy of burbling creeks and home to a variety of wild creatures.
In addition to the fine selection of trails on offer between local parks, peaks and national forest, it would be remiss to neglect entirely the urban walks in the area. Besides the respectable list of possibilities like the Pikes Peak Greenway and the Fountain Creek Regional Trail around Colorado Springs, you’ll definitely want to make space in your schedule for a breezy walk across the Royal Gorge Bridge, about an hour’s drive away from town. It might not be rugged but it does offer some stunning scenery to make up for lack of trail. Hit the road already, will you?