By Audrey Andrews | August 31st, 2020
Black Forest, Colorado
Out & Back with Loop:
774 feet elevation gain
Colorado is quite the gem in regards to incorporating outdoor spaces into residential and business areas. Black Forest Regional Park is just northeast of Colorado Springs, Colorado and accessible from most of the city in a thirty minute (or less) drive. The park is home to both trails and recreational facilities, like tennis courts. There are a variety of trail options throughout the park which connect to surrounding trails in residential areas.
The trail along the perimeter of the park is excellent for running, walking and cycling. The parking lot immediately north of the intersection of Shoup Road and Milam Road typically offers plenty of parking spaces and easy trailhead access. Please note there are no restroom facilities at this trailhead.
The route features over 700 feet of elevation gain due to the rolling hills in the landscape. Of course, these get a bit tiring if you are not acclimated to the elevation. As of 2020, the first two miles traverse areas rendered open by a previous fire. While there are a few groves of trees, most of the area is filled with brushes and grasses.
Exiting the Black Forest Regional Park, stick to the outside path. The trail traverses amongst McMansions, which are beginning to overrun Colorado Springs along with much of the American west. Beware the rabidly spoiled McMansion dog, which may nip ankles as you run by; I have encountered two. Other than that, a few deer and cows are the only animals I’ve seen, although bears are reportedly not uncommon.
Black Forest Regional Park offers awesome views of Pike’s Peak and the larger mountain range. Compared to hikes in the nearby Rockies, this is a relatively easy jaunt and a good way to acclimate to the area. The route is also a Fastest Known Time, which makes it all the more fun if you’d like to compete while exploring. For Colorado Springs residents, this is a popular before and after work route. For visitors, it’s views and relative ease appeal.