Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Riding the Midland Trail

On Saturday June 30th., we decided to check out the progress they have made on the new Bike/Ped. Island and under the street path at Ridge Rd. and Colorado Ave. on the Midland Trail.  We loaded up the van with the trikes and parked/staged at America The Beautiful Park in down town Colorado Springs, CO. It was sunny and cool at only 60F but it felt good after several days of 90F+ lately! We weren't sure we'd find a parking space as they were having a "Art and Music Festival" we didn't know about and the park was already getting packed! The Midland Trail goes from down town Co. Spgs. to just east of the town of Manitou Springs. It's all concrete till you get past the Manitou Swimming Pool Park, turns into hard packed dirt, then ends at the back roadway into down town Manitou Springs.

They've been redoing the connection between the Pikes Peak Greenway Trail and the Midland Trail just outside ATB park for the last few months but it's finished and you can access the Midland Trail just outside the park and head west. Some of the trail is in a semi-urban area but a lot just follows a small creek and has some nice woods and lot's of little bridges criss-crossing  the creek. The trail ends at 21st. and you have to take the detour on back streets to 25th. Street where the concrete bike trail starts up again and goes to 31st. Street that has a VERY BUSY intersection crossing with CO. Hwy. 24, watch traffic as you cross over to continue on the trail!!!  The next section heads to Ridge Road and Colorado Ave. where they are working hard to redo the whole intersection to create a Bike/Ped Pavilion Area and they will be taking the trail "under" Colorado/Manitou Ave. to make for a much safer crossing of this very busy street! LOL, right now it's a mess, with a hard to use soft dirt and DEEP gravel path, leading to the road where you can detour up 36th. Street to Pikes Peak Ave, then turn left and follow the old Manitou Road past the really cool, Buffalo Bicycle Lodge (a great place to stay!), then follow the road to the Skateboard Park and you pick up the Creekside Trail thru the park and on to the Swimming Pool Park and the current end of the concrete trail. From there it's a hardpacked dirt trail till it runs out and you continue on back streets to the park across from the Manitou Springs Visitor Center, then take "Lovers Lane", the back way into down town Manitou Springs which is a great little tourist trap! :)  Head back the same way or stay on Pikes Peak Ave. back into Colorado Springs.
The Julie Penrose Fountain at America The Beautiful Park, down town Co. Springs, CO.

The new "connection" bridge between the Pikes Peak Greenway Trail and the Midland Trail heading west.

Heading west on the Midland Trail after crossing the busy intersection at 8th. Street and CO. Hwy. 24

Artsy rock rest stop on the Midland Trail

One of the many little bridges criss-crossing the creek along most of the trail, see the animal mural on the retaining wall?

Just short of the currently being reconstructed intersection of Ridge Road and Colorado Ave. Soon it will have the trail go "Under Colorado/Manitou Ave.", to make a MUCH safer way for bikes/Peds. to get across where the Midland Trail and the Manitou Springs, Creekside Trail", combine to take you into Manitou Springs!

Creekside Trail in the Skateboard Park in Manitou Springs

Where you see the car coming out of is the entryway to the Garden of The Gods Park, which has a great "Bike Lane" thru the whole park but it's VERY hilly riding!! JoLynn is climbing the hill to head to the Manitou Springs Swimming Pool Park and our rest/lunch stop.

Parked and grabbed a bench seat to have LUNCH, there's a Subway's Sandwich Shop just outside the park, YUM! :)

Heading back east into Colorado Springs just before the connection to the Pikes Peak Greenway Trail and America The Beautiful Park.

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