For some easy winter hiking, choose Bear Creek Regional Park West in Colorado Springs, which features an isolated feel among the urban area.
PARK: Bear Creek Regional Park-West, El Paso County Parks
BEST TIMES TO VISIT: Year-round
TRAILS: Bear Creek Regional, Creekbottom Loop
LENGTH: About a two-mile loop hike with roughly 500 feet elevation gain
NOTES: From late fall through early spring snow and ice are possible, so bring along microspikes. The Nature Center features a small Pollinator Garden and the building is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m, Tuesday to Saturday. For a downloadable pdf file of the park and trails, visit communityservices.elpasoco.com/parks-and-recreation/bear-creek-regional-park.
From the intersection of 26th Street/Bear Creek Road and Lower Gold Camp Road, drive south a few hundred yards to the park entrance on the left/east side. This hiking route follows a wide loop around the park periphery.
The south part of the loop hike rises to some nice views of the mountains. Note the deer browse line on the large juniper.
From the parking area, begin hiking on the west side of the lot at the “Regional Trail” sign. Swing north then east, looping around the Bear Creek Nature Center, then continue east along Bear Creek. The riparian corridor with shrubby growth and large cottonwoods is a great birding area, especially during spring and fall migration.
The Bear Creek riparian corridor with shrubby growth and large cottonwoods is a great birding area, especially during spring and fall …….