16.0 miles, Full day
One day, this trail will stretch all the way through Colorado from Wyoming to New Mexico. When that happens, it will be called the Colorado Front Range Trail. It will be epic. For now, though, enjoy a beautiful stretch of the trail through Colorado Springs as it wends its way past parks, college campuses, trail junctions, ponds, golf courses, and historic towns.
For over 30 miles of trail each way, you can start your journey in the town of Palmer Lake, Colorado and ride the Santa Fe New Regional Trail (guide available). That trail will take you through a couple small towns then through the beautifully forested grounds of the Air Force Academy. Just north of Colorado Springs, the New Santa Fe Trail will conjoin with the Pikes Peak Greenway trail for a great long distance trail.
If however, you are satisfied to "just" ride 32 miles worth of awesome trail, then you will not be disappointed in the Pikes Peak Greenway. A good place to start the trail is at the Woodmen Road Park-N-Ride just west of highway 25 on the north end of Colorado Springs. Although it's a good idea to pack plenty of emergency provisions, you won't have to worry too much about forgetting something because the first portion of the trail has restaurants, hotels, and a well-stocked bicycle store.
Another unique and positive aspect of this trail is all of the side paths that branch off of it. Even if you've ridden/walked this trail before, you won't lack for side excursions to keep the experience fresh and exciting. You can explore the old pioneer town of Colorado City, wildflower gardens in the park, a beautiful college campus, and even a streetcar rail museum.
- Inline skaters be aware that there are a couple brief sections of this trail that are unpaved.
- Stop at the Criterium bike shop to stock up on trail bars and bike equipment.
- If you decide to combine the Pikes Peak Greenway with the New Santa Fe Regional Trail, make sure you stay on the trail while going through the Air Force Academy.