The Fountain Creek Regional Trail is an eight-mile trail connecting Colorado Springs’ premiere urban trail, the Pikes Peak Greenway, to Fountain Creek Regional Park south of the city. Fountain Creek is one of the area’s premiere wildlife-watching areas and it’s home to great blue herons that nest in the towering cottonwoods.
What Makes It Great
The park includes trails, Willow Springs Ponds, Hanson Nature Park and the Fountain Creek Nature Center. Great-horned owls make their home along the creek here as well, along with deer, beavers, red foxes, bull snakes and turtles. Canada geese patrol this trail, and swallows build their nests in the rafters of park structures.
The regional trail itself is open to bikes; those who want to explore the Fountain Creek nature trail must be on foot. That side trip is worth the effort – cattails are favorite perches for red-winged blackbirds and the small ponds are often resting grounds for white pelicans and snowy egrets. And the beauty of the natural landscape is also worth mentioning. Pikes Peak can be seen from many points in the park, and the wetlands are lush and green, especially during the summer months.
There are numerous trailheads for this regional path – Willow Springs Road is one of the easiest. The park lies east of I-25 and the massive Fort Carson military base is to the west. Someday, this trail will be part of an ambitious Front Range Trail, a system linking trails from north to south Colorado that’s being supervised by Colorado Parks & Wildlife. Today, there are nearly 300 miles of this ambitious route completed; when it is done, it will stretch nearly 900 miles from the border with Wyoming to the border with New Mexico.
Who is Going to Love It
This trail is perfect for riders who want to explore their town by bicycle. It links to the Pikes Peak Greenway at its north end and the Greenway (which heads up the center of Colorado Springs) then links to the New Santa Fe Trail (which goes through the Air Force Academy). Cyclists could get on in Fountain and ride all the way to Palmer Lake and back.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
The park is located at 2010 Duckwood Road in Fountain. From Colorado Springs, take I-25 south; take Exit 132A; go east on Highway 16 for .5 miles; take the Security exit to Highway 85 south .5 miles to Duckwood Road.
The park is open 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. The Fountain Creek Nature Center is open Wednesdays through Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and it features a short nature trail loop.
It’s important to remember that the nature center trail is not open to bikes or dogs in order to protect the wildlife that can be found there.