When Colorado Springs was in its infancy, Palmer Park was miles from downtown. Today, it is surrounded by city. It’s easy to access, but that doesn’t take away from its appeal. This is a popular hiking, trail running, and mountain biking destination for locals because of its expansive trail system and central location.
Rock outcroppings are fun for scrambling, and there are many great overlooks of the city. The pine forests and open meadows make for lots of great picnic spots, and the many intersecting trail segments allow for endless variations of routes. Dogs and bikes are welcome on all trails.
For mountain bikers, the trails tend to be very technical, steep, and rocky and are not good for beginners. There are several trails totaling about 12 miles to thrill and challenge even the best riders, and you can hook them together to get the mileage you want. Palmer Park is a collection of sandstone canyons, sprinkled with yucca and prickly pear cactus, and shaded by scrub oak and ponderosa pine. A particular favorite for mountain bikers looking for a challenge is the Templeton Trail, a 3.8-mile roller that rings the north mesa of the park, and offers boulders, ledges and steep climbs and drops.