Topics of Interest

Jones Park (August 2014)
At its meeting August 20, the CS Utilities board voted 5-3 to recommend that city council donate the CS Utilities' holdings in Jones Park to the U.S. Forest Service through the National Forest Foundation.  After extensive investigation into the options, CS Utilities staff recommended this option.  City council is scheduled to hear the matter at its meeting on September 9.

Incline Closure (August 2014)
The Manitou Incline closed Monday, August 18, for repairs.  Projected opening date is December 1.  CS Parks and Rec has more information.

Incline Closure (August 2014)
The Manitou Incline is scheduled to close Monday, August 18, for repairs.  When planning your last climb up the Incline before it closes, please remember that the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon are August 16 and 17.  CS Parks and Rec has more information.

Sunday, July 20, South Slope Project Cancelled (July 2014)
The volunteers on Saturday, July 19, finished the work planned for South Slope, so we don't need to continue Sunday, July 20.  Thanks for volunteering.  Spread the word.

Barr Trail Mountain Race (July 2014)
Congratulations to the runners for a race well run and to the organizers for a race well run.  Thanks to the runners and the race for their support for Friends of the Peak.

Bear Creek Trails Reopen (June 2014)
The trails in the Bear Creek area that were closed after the September storms reopened on June 20.  Camping and motorized use are still restricted.   Reopened trails are 665, 666, 667, 668, 701, 720, and 720A, which include Jones Park, Bear Creek, Pipeline, and others.  The Captain Jacks loop is also open to hikers and mountain bikers.  Here is the current trail map.
Information about Forest Service's long-term proposal for the Bear Creek watershed is available on the Forest Service web site Bear Creek page.

5th Annual Ring the Peak Fun Run (June 2014)
Congratulations to the 5 runners who completed the 2014 Ring the Peak Fun Run, about 100 kilometers around Pikes Peak on the Ring the Peak trail.  These intrepid souls set out to run the entire Ring in a day, improvising where needed.  Runners completing the Ring this year are: Harsha Nagaraj, Scott Jaime, Rick Hessek, Steve Bremner, and Julian Smith.  Rick and Steve have completed the Ring the Peak Fun Run all 5 years.

Thank You, Cog Railway! (June 2014)
Thank you to the Pikes Peak Cog Railway for taking 10 volunteers plus tools up and down on the Cog so that they could maintain Barr Trail near Barr Camp with Friends of the Peak on May 31.  Because of the long hike in, the area is difficult to reach, and really needed some work. The Cog saved space on two trains on a Saturday to get the volunteers up to the Mountain View station and back down, and also arranged to take the tools up and down.  The volunteers were able to improve water drainage off the trail and reduce erosion in about a mile-long stretch of the trail above Barr Camp.  Thank you, Cog Railway!

Bear Creek Forum (June 2014)
Rep. Doug Lamborn's public forum on closures in the Bear Creek area on June 2 was well attended.  Agency representatives present were Doug Krieger from Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Kurt Schroeder from CS Parks and Rec, Mark Shea from CS Utilities, and Oscar Martinez from U.S. Forest Service.  A lively crowd expressed a strong desire to have the trails that were closed for safety reasons open again and enthusiastic eagerness to help repair any storm damage that might exist.  Motorized trail users, mountain bikers, and hikers were all represented and all ready and willing to help.

Utilities Considering Jones Park Donation (June 2014)
The Cheyenne Edition reports that Colorado Springs Utilities has informally agreed to donate Jones Park to the Forest Service.  Read their story here.

Palmer Red Rock Loop Is Open (May 2014)
Colorado Springs Parks and Rec has opened the Palmer Trail and the portion of High Drive from the Palmer Trail to the caretaker's cottage.  So the entire Palmer Red Rock Loop is now open.  Check out the updated map.  The lower section of High Drive is open for nonmotorized use only, and the rest of High Drive remains closed from damage in the September 2013 storms.  Trails in and near the Bear Creek watershed damaged in the storm  in Pike National Forest, 665, 666, 667, 668, 701, and 720, remain closed (order and map).
Information about Forest Service's long-term proposal for the Bear Creek watershed is available on the Forest Service web site Bear Creek page.

Incline Closure (May 2014)
The Manitou Incline will be closed for much needed repairs August through November 2014.  Anticipated repairs include repairing retaining walls, cleaning up rebar and debris, adding drainage structures, stabilizing ties, and stabilizing surrounding slopes.  Having trail users on the Incline during construction simply isn't safe.  CS Parks and Rec has more information.

Bear Creek Forum (May 2014)
Rep. Doug Lamborn is hosting a public forum on closures in the Bear Creek area, Monday, June 2, 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., El Paso County Commission Chambers, Centennial Hall, 200 S. Cascade, Colorado Springs.  Representatives from US Forest Service, CS Utilities, CS Parks and Rec and Colorado Parks and Wildlife should be available to answer questions.

Colorado Springs Parks Master Plan Public Meeting (April 2014)
Colorado Springs Parks and Rec is updating the master plan for parks, recreation, trails, and open space.  The master plan provides long-term goals and policies and is updated every 10 years.  A chance for you to give your input is at the public meeting, Wed, April 30, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at City Auditorium, 221 E. Kiowa St.  See the city web site for more information.

Manitou Springs Shuttle (April 2014)
The free shuttle is back for this summer, May 18 to September 13.  One route, Incline/Cog, runs 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. from the Tajine Alami parking lot on Old Man's Trail at the east side of Memorial Park to just below the Cog station.  Another route, East End/Downtown, runs 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. from the Ruxton roundabout to Becker's Lane.  (map and info)
The parking lot behind Tajine Alami is available for public parking from May 1 to September 30.

New Board Member (April 2014)
Longtime volunteer Bob Bunch has joined our board.  Welcome, Bob!

Barr Boulder (March 2014)
U.S. Forest Service routed Barr Trail above the large boulder (before: downhill side, uphill side; after: downhill side, uphill side) that slid down onto the trail in the mid September storms.

Bear Creek Watershed Comment Period (March 2014)
The public open house is over, but you can still provide comments on the proposal for trails and access in the Bear Creek watershed by sending e-mail to bcc@fs.fed.us.  All comments must be received by March 27, 2014.  Information about the proposal is available on the Forest Service web site Bear Creek page.  Some of their links were broken, so here are the documents on the proposal:
Scoping letter
Description of Proposed Alternatives
Maps of Current Trails and Preferred Changes (Alternative B)
Maps of Current Trails and Alternative C

Crew Leader Training (March 2014)
Registration for regional crew leader training is open.   The training is Friday to Sunday, April 25 to 27, and is sponsored by CS Parks and Rec and local nonprofits, including Friends of the Peak.  It's free.  Crew leaders are essential for trail and environmental projects to succeed.  Please consider registering.

Bear Creek Watershed Open House (February 2014)
The public open house on the proposal for trails and access in the Bear Creek watershed is scheduled for Tuesday, February 25, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Pikes Peak room at Colorado Springs Utilities' Leon Young Service Center, 1521 Hancock Expressway, Colorado Springs, 80903.  You can learn about the proposal and provide feedback.  Information about the proposal is available on the Forest Service web site Bear Creek page.

Bear Creek Watershed Trail Closures (January 2014)
U.S. Forest Service has closed all trails in the Bear Creek watershed to all use.  Closed trails are 665, 666, 667, 668, 701, and 720.  The order and map are on the Forest Service web site.  The emergency closure is due to damage from flooding and the safety risks there.  The order is dated January 7, 2014.

Bear Creek Watershed Update (November 2013)
U.S. Forest Service is assessing trails and access in the Bear Creek watershed to protect the greenback cutthroat trout.  Proposals for routes for the new connector trails and reroutes of trails were posted in November.
The assessment, proposal, maps, etc. are available on the USFS web site
Bear Creek page.
Links for the documents and maps are at the bottom of that page.

Trails in Bear Creek Watershed Closed (October 1, 2013)
U.S. Forest Service closed most trails in the Bear Creek watershed to all use.  Closed trails are 665, 667, 668, 701, and 720 from 701 to 668.  The order and map are on the Forest Service web site.  The emergency closure is due to damage from flooding and the safety risks there.  The order is dated September 30, 2013.

Storm Damage (September 2013)
Barr Trail has a large boulder (downhill side, uphill side) blocking the trail above the 13th switchback.  Forest Service is considering what to do.  Barr Trail has other damage as well.  The Incline also suffered damage. 
TOSC is trying to maintain a list of closures on their web site.  Please respect all area and trail closures.  Even open trails have varying degrees of damage.   TOSC will list volunteer projects of the various CS Parks Friends groups on its open space volunteers site.

Update on Bear Creek Watershed (September 2013)
U.S. Forest Service is assessing trails and access in the Bear Creek watershed. The proposal is in response to the issues surrounding the greenback cutthroat trout in Bear Creek.  The trails are currently open to non-motorized use, hikers, bicycles, horses, but most of the trails in the watershed are closed to motorized use.  The final Bear Creek watershed assessment, from August 2013, is available.  The formal comment period for the environmental assessment will likely be in late 2013, with plans for a final decision in early 2014.
The assessment, proposal, maps, etc. are available on the USFS web site:
http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/psicc/home/?cid=STELPRDB5397304
Links for the documents and maps are at the bottom of that page.  You can read our comments.

Manitou Springs Shuttle (Septemer 2013)
The free shuttle ended for this year on September 7, but should be back next summer.

Manitou Springs Shuttle (May 2013)
Parking is always an issue in Manitou Springs.  This summer, Manitou has a free shuttle, running from May 19 to September 7.  You can park free in the lot behind Tajine Alami, off Old Man's Trail, just east of Memorial Park, then take the shuttle to the Iron Springs Chateau.  The shuttle also has stops in between.  It runs 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., every 20 minutes from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., then every 30 minutes.

Crew Leader Training (April 2013)
Colorado Springs Parks and Rec offered crew leader training in April.  Several organizations, including Friends of the Peak, helped.  34 new crew leaders graduated to help lead crews on projects in the Pikes Peak region.

Comments on Bear Creek Watershed Proposal (March 2013)
U.S. Forest Service has proposed changes in the Bear Creek watershed, and is assessing trails and access. The proposal is in response to the issues surrounding the greenback cutthroat trout in Bear Creek.  The assessment, proposal, maps, etc. are available on the USFS web site:
http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/psicc/home/?cid=STELPRDB5397304
Links for the documents and maps are at the bottom of that page.  The public comment period ended April 30.  You can still check the USFS web page for information.  Read Friends of the Peak's comments.

Manitou Incline (February 2013)
It's Legal!  As of Friday morning February 1, 2013, it is legal to hike the Manitou Incline.  See a timeline of the Incline's history.

Bear Creek Trails Closed to Motorized Vehicles (December 2012)
The U.S. Forest Service has reached an agreement with the Center for Biological Diversity, settling a lawsuit about protection for the greenback cutthroat trout population in a 4-mile stretch of Bear Creek, to close to motorized vehicles the Bear Creek Trail and parts of the Buckhorn, Forester and Nelson's Camp Trails.   See the complete story in the Gazette 11/22/2012 and Judge rejects plan, Gazette 11/28/2012.  The Forest Service order has a link to the  full order and a map.

Ski Resort on Harvey Carter Property (December 2012)
The plans to build a ski resort on the Harvey Carter property at the end of the Crags road on the west side of Pikes Peak is still alive.  See the complete story in the Gazette 11/22/2012.

South Slope Watershed
Toward the goal of opening South Slope to the public, FOTP has joined other organizations in designing and building new sustainable trails along McReynolds Reservoir and to Mason Reservoir.

Ring the Peak
From the inception of the concept of a perimeter trail, FOTP has provided the vision, design and construction of a trail system that circumnavigates Pikes Peak.  This project is approximately 80% complete.

FOTP Volunteer Opportunity
The Board is looking for a person with marketing skills to help us make our voice heard.  If you are interested, please contact our president.


 

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