This trail reroutes the previous ‘convenience’ trail that followed the utility fence line around Gold Camp reservoir and then descended the utility service road. This was an un-inspiring and mundane connection between two great parks.
The new 1.2 mile trail runs in an elevated position above Gold Camp reservoir. It uses the available topography to connect intimate old growth ponderosa groves with open hillsides that provide expansive views of Cheyenne Canyon and the City. Tight scrub oak slopes open to surprise vistas of emerald water and soaring cliffs as it sweeps around three sides of the reservoir. The trail provides an exciting connection between Cheyenne Canyon and the Stratton Open Space, giving visitors new options and panoramas.
The project was over two years in the making, from initial investigation of trail alignment, through discussions with the Colorado Springs Parks department and receiving support from the local parks friends groups; Friends of Cheyenne Canyon and Friends of Stratton Commons.
Once an acceptable alignment was agreed and approved by the City Parks Board, a cost estimate from contractor Tony Boone was obtained and a date set to begin work. A biological study was then necessary to ensure that the work would not cause undue impact, and the final go ahead was obtained.
With the design and approvals complete, Medicine Wheel volunteers along with groups from SoCo Velo and Pro Cycling undertook six evening work sessions (139 man hours) to clear the trail corridor of trees and shrubs. This allowed Tony Boone to bring in his trail dozer, and in six days a rough trail was cut. The following weekend a large group day was organized to finish the trail. Sixty volunteers, from local residents, hikers, bikers and AFA cadets came and completed a mile of the trail. The following weekend the last of the trail was completed with a smaller group from SoCo Velo, for a total of 267 man hours of trail finishing.
Medicine Wheel Trail Advocates worked with the cities parks department, friends groups, a local trail construction contractor, financial supporters, and local volunteers and bike groups to add this much needed and sustainable trail connection to the great network that is part of our city’s soul. Without the support of these partners, this would have proved impossible.