Congratulations to the Pikes Peak region for receiving a Grant for the Ring the Peak Trail Project
In December of 2016, the Trails and Open Space Coalition received a Great Outdoors Colorado Connect Initiative Trail Planning Grant for the Ring the Peak Trail Project. The $100,000 planning grant will allow TOSC and partners (Friends of the Peak and City of Colorado Springs Parks) to hire a project team and create a master plan for the roughly 8-mile “missing link” on the southwest side of Pikes Peak. This grant allows the Trail and Open Space Coalition to lead a great public process involving land owners, land managers, community leaders, residents and trail users. At the end of the process we will have a trail alignment plan that closes the southwest gap.
The Ring the Peak Trail has been envisioned for over 30 years, and 50 miles of the 62-mile loop around Pikes Peak have been completed. In 2015, TOSC nominated the Ring the Peak Trail, focusing on the 8-mile gap near Cripple Creek and Victor to be one of the “16 in 2016” trails. The State of Colorado chose Ring the Peak as one of the 16 most important trail projects in the state for the coming year as part of the Colorado Beautiful initiative. This designation brings the project into the public view, generating government and business support and improved funding opportunities for completing the trail. The Trails and Open Space Coalition is partnering with Friends of the Peak, El Paso County, the City of Colorado Springs, and other municipalities to close the gaps in the trail.
“We made real progress on another piece of the trail in 2015 when TOSC successfully advocated for El Paso County Commissioner approval for the master plan to complete the Ute Pass Regional Trail, a key 5-mile gap in the Ring the Peak system from Manitou Springs to Cascade”.
TOSC will continue to work with Friends of the Peak, the City of Colorado Springs, and land managers to determine trail routing options. TOSC is taking the lead on the advocacy work needed to enlist additional partners and secure necessary property owner approvals. As Ring the Peak takes final shape, we will help to construct trail, and implement trail management models for long term trail sustainability.