Lake Moraine Trail - South Slope Pikes Peak

The local community has long sought a way to connect Barr Trail with trails located on the south slope of Pikes Peak. For decades, the South Slope Recreation Area was considered off-limits by Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU), the agency that manages the area's trails and reservoirs that supply the region with drinking water. However, in 2014 CSU relaxed the restrictions and seasonal visitation is now permitted.

Along with the opening of the Recreation Area, CSU is partnering with local organizations who for years have envisioned a trail that connects the Jones Park/Bear Creek/Cheyenne Canon area to the region's most popular trail -- Barr Trail. Foremost amongst those groups is the Medicine Wheel Trail Advocates, a mountain bike enthusiast group whose leaders gained the support of CSU and Pike National Forest officials for the construction of the "missing link" trail.

One route made possible by the connection is 20+ miles and 7,500 feet of descent of downhill mountain biking, starting above treeline at Elk Park Knoll and terminating at Bear Creek Regional Park. Unique trail characteristics include the crossing of the Cog Railway, aspen glades, large granite outcrops, and stunning views of Pikes Peak.

The construction of the Lake Moraine Trail (aka the "Missing Link") was initiated in 2016 but really began in earnest in spring of 2017. RMFI was proud to support the project by using our expertise in chainsaw operation to clear the 3.9-mile trail corridor of hazard trees, snags, and deadfall.

Project plans call for the trail tread to be installed in late summer of 2017. The trail is expected to be open to the public in fall of 2017 or spring of 2018.

PROJECT FUNDERS AND PARTNERS

  • Medicine Wheel Trail Advocates
  • U.S. Forest Service
  • Colorado Springs Utilities
  • Colorado State Trails Program