Topics of Interest

Manitou Springs Parks, Open Space, and Trails Planning (July 2015)
Manitou Springs is working on the master plan for their parks, open space, and trails.  Friends of the Peak, Trails and Open Space Coalition, and other interested groups are hosting a meeting where you can provide input:
Monday, August 10, 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm,
Manitou Springs city hall council chambers, 606 Manitou Ave. 
(no meeting August 4)
More details on the master planning process are on Manitou Springs' web site.

Ute Pass Trail Planning (July 2015)
El Paso County Parks released its draft master plan for the Ute Pass Trail.  They'll accept public comments to Friday, August 7, with the next public meeting in mid-August.  The draft plan and additional information is available on El Paso County's Ute Pass Trail web page.

Bear Creek (July 2015)
The draft decision for the Bear Creek watershed is out.  The documents, map, and other information are available on the Forest Service web site Bear Creek page.

Manitou Springs Parks, Open Space, and Trails Planning (July 2015)
Manitou Springs is working on the master plan for their parks, open space, and trails.  Friends of the Peak, Trails and Open Space Coalition, and other interested groups, are hosting 2 meetings, if interest warrants, where you can provide input:
Tuesday, August 4, 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm, TOSC's upstairs meeting room, 1040 S. 8th St., Colorado Springs
Monday, August 10, 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm, Manitou Springs city hall council chambers, 606 Manitou Ave.
If possible, please let us know if you plan to attend by July 27.  If enough people are interested, we'll hold both meetings.  You're still welcome to attend whether you reply or not.  Please respond to info@fotp.com
More details on the master planning process on Manitou Springs' web site.

Giving Beer (July 2015)
Friends of the Peak is the beneficiary for the Giving Beer at Trinity Brewing Company, 1466 Garden of the Gods Road, on Monday, July 20, 5:30 to 7:30.  $1 for every Trinity beer goes to Friends of the Peak.  Tell your friends and come have a beer for a good cause.

June 28 Devil's Playground Closure (June 2015)
The Devil's Playground trail (route to the summit of Pikes Peak from the Crags) will be closed Sunday, June 28, from Devil's Playground to the summit, for the Pikes Peak Hill Climb.  Barr Trail will be open, with access to the Summit House, but access west of the Summit House will be restricted to race personnel.

20th Anniversary Celebration (June 2015)
Friends of the Peak is celebrating 20 years of caring for Pikes Peak.  Join us.  We're having a dinner with program and music at 4 p.m. at the pavilions behind the Starsmore Center in North Cheyenne Canyon.  Please RSVP by Tuesday.

Manitou Springs Parks, Open Space, and Trails Planning (May 2015)
Manitou Springs is working on their master plan for their parks, open space, and trails.  They have many ways for people to provide input, with public meetings Aug 27, Sept 24, Nov 19, and Jan 21, meetings-in-a-box, and resource surveys.  Check the details.

Ute Pass Trail Planning (May 2015)
El Paso County Parks is developing the master plan for the Ute Pass Trail and working to fill the gap between the segment from Ruxton and the segment at Ute Pass Elementary School.  At the May 20 public meeting, they presented 5 possible routes.  The Ute Pass Trail web page should have information from the meeting.  They are taking comments until June 3.  Send comments to Julie or Jason.  El Paso County has information on the planning process.

Barr Trail Mountain Race  (May 2015)
Sunday, July 19.  You can race or volunteer.

Manitou Shuttle  (May 2015)
The free shuttle in Manitou Springs is back for 2015, May 17 to Sept 12.  It has two routes, 333 on Manitou Avenue and 33, the Incline/Cog shuttle, from Old Mans Trail (near the free parking lot behind Tajine Alami) up Ruxton Ave to Iron Spring Chateau.  The Incline/Cog shuttle runs 6 a.m. to 8:15 p.m. every 20 minutes, and every 10 minutes on Saturdays and Sundays  after 10 a.m.  Colorado Springs transit has details.

Karma Night (May 2015)
Bristol Brewing Karma Night on Tuesday, May 26, is for Friends of the Peak, 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., 1604 S. Cascade.  $1 for each pint goes to Friends of the Peak.  Come have a beer for a good cause.

South Slope Trails (May 2015)
Registration for South Slope is open.  Want to check out the trails?  Use Google Earth to tour the area!  Just use this link to download the GPX file, then open it in Earth or your favorite GPS track viewer.  A screen shot of the Google Maps topo is here.  View the same map on Google Maps here.

Tool Cleaning (April 2015)
Saturday, May 2, 10:00 a.m., we plan to clean and refurbish the tools blackened in the fire at the storage unit.  If you'd like to help, please e-mail us.

Project Schedule (April 2015)
The project schedule for 2015 is up and ready.  Check out the Projects page for the schedule and to register.  More information for projects is available with the links on the right side of the Projects page. 

Crew Leader Training (March 2015)
Fri - Sun, April 17-19
Bear Creek Nature Center
register with CS Parks and Rec
Crew leaders are essential for trail projects.  If you've worked on trail projects, maybe you'd like to become a crew leader.  You'll learn more about trail construction and maintenance and how to lead a crew safely.  TOSC has more information, but registration is with CS Parks and Rec.

South Slope Trails (March 2015)
Are you curious about the new trails on the South Slope of Pikes Peak, but don't want to wait until May 23?  Use Google Earth to tour the area!  Just use this link to download the GPX file, then open it in Earth or your favorite GPS track viewer.  A screen shot of the Google Maps topo is here

Leave No Trace and Tread Lightly for Crew Leaders (March 2015)
A semi-formal class for crew leaders on Leave No Trace principles for responsible management of volunteers on trail projects. 
When: 6 pm - 8 pm, Thursday, March 26
Where: TOSC offices, 1040 S. 8th St, in the small conference room upstairs
Please e-mail Susan if you plan to attend.

Ute Pass Trail Planning (March 2015)
El Paso County Parks is developing the master plan for the Ute Pass Trail and working to fill the gap between the segment from Ruxton and the segment at Ute Pass Elementary School.  Additional public meetings are planned for early May and late June.  El Paso County has information on the planning process.  Watch for additional information there.

Ute Pass Trail Planning (February 2015)
El Paso County Parks is developing the master plan for the Ute Pass Trail.  They are accepting public comments until March 10 on filling the gap between the segment from Ruxton and the segment at Ute Pass Elementary School.  You can send comments on possible trail alignments, possible trailheads, and any other suggestions or concerns to Julie or Jason.  El Paso County has information on the planning process.  Watch for additional information there.

Storage Unit Fire (February 2015)
The storage unit where we store our tools and other materials burned, one of about 10 units at the facility affected.  It looks like most of the tools survived, although they're blackened -- at least now distinguishing our tools will be easy.  Plastic items melted, as did synthetic fabric, like t-shirts and tool bags.  (No one ever points out that advantage of cotton-- some old cotton t-shirts were fine, whereas the newer wicking synthetic t-shirts melted.)  Although plastic bins melted or warped, many of the items inside were o.k., once we cut through the bin with a power saw.  The survivors moved to a new storage unit.

Ute Pass Trail Planning Meeting (February 2015)
El Paso County Parks is developing the master plan for the Ute Pass Trail.  A meeting for information and public input on trail alignments and trailheads for the incomplete 5 miles of the trail is scheduled for 6:00 p.m., Tuesday, February 24, at Ute Pass Elementary School, 9230 Chipita Park Road, Cascade, CO.

Storage Unit Fire (February 2015)
The storage unit where we store our tools and other materials burned, one of about 10 units at the facility affected.  We're still assessing the damage.

Thank You, Ascent Cycling (January 2015)
Thank you to Ascent Cycling for the donation for Friends of the Peak, and also for taking the initiative to have a fundraiser to support 6 local Friends groups that support the trails that we all love.

Jones Park (January 2015)
At the January 13 meeting, Colorado Springs city council voted 7-2 to give Jones Park to El Paso County.

Jones Park (December 2014)
Colorado Springs city council postponed consideration of Jones Park until the council meeting on January 12.

Thank You, Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon (December 2014)
The runners of the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon have been long-time supporters of Friends of the Peak.  They continued their support this year with a sizable donation, and the board of directors also made a generous donation to Friends of the Peak.  Thank you to the runners and Pikes Peak Marathon.

Incline Is Open (December 2014)
The Manitou Incline opened on Friday, December 5 at a 10 a.m. ceremony.  CS Parks and Rec has more information.

Incline Set To Reopen (December 2014)
The Manitou Incline is scheduled to reopen on Friday, December 5 at 10 a.m.  CS Parks and Rec has more information.

South Slope Trails (December 2014)
Are you curious about the new trails on the South Slope of Pikes Peak, but don't want to wait until spring?  Use Google Earth to tour the area!  Just use this link to download the GPX file, then open it in Earth or your favorite GPS track viewer.
South Slope Trails Google Earth View

Jones Park (November 2014)
Colorado Springs city council received the results of the appraisal of the Jones Park land at the work session on November 24 and will likely consider the issue again at the council meeting on December 9.

New Board Member (October 2014)
Susan Jarvis-Weber is the newest board member for Friends of the Peak.  Welcome, Susan!

Giving Beer, Wed, Oct 29 (October 2014)
Friends of the Peak is the beneficiary of the Giving Beer at Trinity Brewing, 1466 Garden of the Gods Road, 5:30 - 7:30, Wed Oct 29.  $1 for every Trinity Beer sold goes to Friends of the Peak.  Come have a beer for a good cause.

Susan Davies, "Pikes Peak's Scenic South Slope" (October 2014)
Susan Davies, executive director for Trails and Open Space Coalition, will speak on Pikes Peak's Scenic South Slope as the program for the Pikes Peak Group of the Colorado Mountain Club, 7:30 p.m., Tues, Oct 21, All Souls Unitarian Church, 730 N. Tejon, Colorado Springs.  The program is free and open to the public.

Another Boulder on Barr Trail (October 2014)
A boulder slid down on Barr Trail because of the heavy rain October 9.  This one does not completely block the trail, but has a friend also, making passage tight there.  The boulder is not far above the fifth turn above the trailhead.

Oct 11 Incline project canceled (October 2014)
The Sat, Oct 11 project on the Incline is cancelled because of the rain.  The ground is too wet to truck the tools up Longs Ranch Road and too wet to work.  CS Parks and Rec hopes to reschedule.  Meanwhile, if you're still looking to volunteer, plenty of other projects need help.  Check TOSC's volunteer page.  Thanks for volunteering!

South Slope is Open! (October 2014)
Colorado Springs Parks and Rec announced on October 2 that South Slope will open.  The season is limited, so for 2014 it is open only 2 weekends.  Reservations are required, and as of October 3, reservations are full.  See the city web site for more information.

Jones Park (September 2014)
At the September 23 meeting, CS city council voted 5-3 to have an appraisal done, with results by the November 25 city council meeting, with the intent of donating Jones Park to El Paso County.

Manitou Springs Shuttle (September 2014)
The free shuttle service in Manitou Springs ended September 13.

Crew Leader Tread Lightly (September 2014)
A Leave No Trace course for crew leaders.  If you're a crew leader, member of a Friends group board, or engaged in planning or coordinating trail projects, you can learn how to have a softer impact on the environment.  The class is scheduled for Tues, Oct 7, 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the CS Parks and Rec offices at 1401 Recreation Way.

Jones Park (September 2014)
At the September 9 meeting, CS city council voted 5-4 against donating the CS Utilities' holdings in Jones Park to the U.S. Forest Service through the National Forest Foundation.  They will consider the issue again at the September 23 meeting.

Iron Mountain Trail is Complete (August 2014)
The Iron Mountain Trail, which connects the Intemann Trail, is open.  Hikers, bikers, and runners can now go through from Section 16 in Red Rock Canyon Open Space all the way to Ruxton Avenue in Manitou Springs.  Thank you to all the volunteers and organizations that worked so hard to make it happen.

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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