The South Slope Watershed lands consist of approximately 9,000 acres located on the south slopes of Pikes Peak, at elevations ranging from 10,500 feet to over 12,000 feet. This incredible property has been closed to public access for over 100 years. Recently, Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) and the City have created a plan to allow for public access.
There are several new recreation projects being built on the South Slope, and Medicine Wheel Trail Advocates has been chosen by the City Parks Department and CSU to be the lead partner on building a new trail that will connect Barr Trail to Jones Park and Cheyenne Canon. We’re calling it the Lake Moraine – Missing Link trail , (until it’s formally named by the city).
What is The Lake Moraine – Missing Link trail?
The Lake Moraine – Missing Link is a new, non-motorized, singletrack trail that connects Barr Trail with Lake Moraine, Jones Park, and Cheyenne Canon. The newly built trail will be approximately 5 miles long between existing trails. Major users are expected to include hikers, runners, and mountain bikers. It will be built using the latest sustainable design principles and overall grades will be moderate, not to exceed 8-10%.
What Are the Benefits?
The Lake Moraine – Missing Link Trail, when complete, will provide many new recreational opportunities, including:
- An alternate route to the summit of Pikes Peak and Barr Camp – Users will be able to begin in Cheyenne Canon or Frosty’s Park and travel to Barr Trail, then to the top of the Peak (or vice versa).
- Another piece of the Ring the Peak Trail – The original Ring the Peak trail plan included the missing link as one of the “spoke” trails.
- Creates a new 20 mile plus loop – Starting in Manitou Springs, to Barr Camp, across Missing Link to Lake Moraine, down Jones Park to Cheyenne or Bear Creek Canon, then back to Manitou on the Intemann Trail. Can be done in either direction.
- Users can take the train to Mount View station and hike down to Cheyenne Canon.
- Will (eventually) connect the other new South Slope recreation facilities and parking areas with Cheyenne Canon and Barr Trail.
The trail is extremely remote. Drive time to the work area is well over an hour and there are no developed facilities on-site. For that reason, and because of the length of the new trail, MWTA has decided to hire a contractor to do the majority of the trail building.
There will be volunteer build days. Pland have not been finalized, but MWTA will be holding several volunteer build days on the trail.
The final project cost has not yet been finalized, but it’s our goal to raise as much as we can to pay for speedy completion of the trail. We’ll be applying for grants from various sources, but any support will help a lot. We want this to be a grass roots effort!
Project Timeline: Volunteer work on the trail should start this summer, 2012. We are currently planning on opening the trail in late summer of 2013. The sooner we can raise the funds, the sooner we’ll get it open.
To stay up to date, sign up on the MWTA email list.
The two best ways to help right now are:
- Tell all your friends about the Lake Moraine – Missing Link trail
- Donate money (click here for Paypal)
Right now, those are the best ways to help get this amazing new trail done.