indoor & outdoor recreation

A series of workshops this month looks to discuss the future of bicycling in Colorado Springs.  KRCC’s Dana Cronin reports.

The forums will help update the Colorado Springs Bike Master Plan, which lays out a ten-year strategy for the improvement of bicycling conditions in the city.

Brian Shevock is the Bicycle Coordinator for the city. He says his biggest challenge is the spread out nature of Colorado Springs.


A bill to require background checks for volunteers and employees of youth sports clubs failed to pass the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Opponents said the measure had too many gaps in it. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

In Colorado, roughly 6 million children play in youth sports clubs, ranging from soccer and baseball to swimming and basketball.  Supporters say these sports clubs attract sexual predators because of lax standards.

El Paso County is undergoing a master plan process to get public input for the new Falcon Regional Park. 

The 215-acre park site is east of the Meridian Ranch Development near Falcon High School. A survey is the next step in the planning process, and it asked residents which amenities, like picnic pavilions, baseball fields and trails are the most important to include.

Elaine Kleckner is the Planning Manager for El Paso County. She says the park is not only important to the community of Falcon, but the surrounding areas as well.

Colorado Springs

It’s only for two weekends before closing for the season, but the South Slope Recreation Area on Pikes Peak is now open to the public.  The watershed is home to bighorn sheep, cutthroat trout, and several reservoirs built more than a century ago.  It’s been closed to the public since 1913.

Colorado Springs Utilities CEO Jerry Forte says the ecological character of the place meant they had to tread lightly when considering opening the area to the public.

Andrea Chalfin / KRCC

The Manitou Incline will close in mid August for trail maintenance. As KRCC’s Tucker Hampson reports, the heavily traveled path is showing the effects of use and Mother Nature.

The work will include repairing damaged retaining walls, unclogging culverts, and rerouting the connecting trail between the Incline and the Barr Trail.

Sarah Bryarly is a landscape architect for the City of Colorado Springs Parks Department and the Project Manager for the Incline reconstruction. She says the repairs are focused on protecting the incline from runoff.

The city of Colorado Springs is accepting public comments on their new Park System Master Plan.  KRCC’s Tucker Hampson reports.

The plan looks to address the most important issues for the upcoming decade. The Executive Director of the Trails and Open Space Coalition is participating in the blueprint process, and TOSC Advocacy Director Bill Koerner says one of the issues in the draft is the need for more open space.

This year has seen a spike in Colorado waterway fatalities. But, as KRCC’s Dana Cronin reports, those in the rafting industry continue to predict a good season overall.

Four deaths have occurred during commercial rafting trips in Colorado this year, including two on the Arkansas River. This comes after several years without incident.           

David Costlow, director of the Colorado River Outfitters Association, says it’s still unclear whether there are any trends among the fatalities.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife

A two-mile stretch of the Arkansas River near Salida has reopened to boaters.  It closed at the beginning of June due high waters that caused a hazard at a recently constructed boat chute.  The portage trail used to bypass the chute had also become impassable.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife

A two-mile stretch of the Arkansas River near Salida continues to remain restricted due to dangerous conditions. KRCC’s Tucker Hampson reports.

Recent high waters and a new diversion structure in the river have raised safety concerns near Silver Bullet Boat Chute near Johnson Village. The diversion structure is creating unusually strong currents, and the reentry point on the portage trail that’s used to allow boaters to go around the chute is currently impassable due to high water levels. The area is restricted to only whitewater kayaks and canoes.

U.S. Forest Service

Forest Service land closed due to the Waldo Canyon Fire will remain restricted for some time. KRCC’s Tucker Hampson reports.

The US Forest Service has extended closure orders, saying the canyon requires more maintenance and time to re-grow. The area to remain closed includes the Waldo Canyon Trail along Highway 24. Work there is expected to continue through the summer. There is a maximum 5,000 dollar fine in place for trespassing in the closed areas.

Parks Master Planning Underway in Colorado Springs

Apr 29, 2014
Michelle Mercer / KRCC

Approximately every ten years, Colorado Springs undertakes a Master Planning process for the parks system. As KRCC’s Michelle Mercer reports, this time around, the economic downturn and recent natural disasters are affecting the planning process.

The public comment period on a U.S. Forest Service proposal that could close or reroute several trails in the Pikes Peak region is drawing to a close tomorrow. KRCC’s Eliza Densmore reports.

Some trails in Bear Creek Park could be closed to help protect what the U.S. Forest Service calls the last known habitat of Colorado’s endangered native greenback cutthroat trout.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife Senior Aquatic Biologist Doug Krieger says Bear Creek is home to between 500 and 700 greenback cutthroat trout that have adapted to this particular stream.

Recent budgetary shortfalls have forced Colorado Parks and Wildlife to end the Big Game Access Program. KRCC’s Rachel Gonchar reports.

The Big Game Access Program, or BGAP, was intended to evaluate the potential of landowners leasing properties in southeastern Colorado to allow for big game hunting.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman Abbie Walls says she’s unsure of what the budget shortfall means to the future of BGAP.

Two Incidents, Two Avalanche Related Deaths

Feb 11, 2014

Two are dead in separate avalanches in Colorado this week.  KRCC’s Elaina Formby reports.

One avalanche caught two snowmobilers, killing one near Kebler Pass, west of Crested Butte.  Another avalanche by the North Fork Swan River, south of Keystone Ski Resort, caught two skiers. One escaped, the other, a man in his 40s from the Front Range, was found dead at 11:30 this morning.

As heavy snow continues to fall across the Rockies, the risk of avalanches has prompted  warnings from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.  Forecaster Dr. John Snook says natural and human triggered slides in Colorado’s backcountry are likely, and says we're nearing "the most extreme we've seen so far this winter."