If you’re lucky enough to be in the mountains, you’re lucky enough!

Friday, October 3, 2008

We hit the Jackpot!

...Well, not that kind of jackpot - we hit the new trails lottery! We have been wanting to find a fresh stash of trails locally so we could get a little more variety in our trail diet. We had heard from several people that the 'new' state park on the south end of town was nice but we had just never tried it. Cheyenne Mountain State Park opened in the Fall of 2006 but has been a work in progress. Definite kudos to the park officials and the trail designers as this is a top notch facility.
There are currently 20 miles of trails finished in the park and more coming. All of the trails are color coded on the park map and the trail markers, which is pretty cool. The trail surface ranges from buff, crushed granite to embedded boulders and all things in between. Sounds like fun running!
Color coordinated trail markers - collect the whole set!!!
Cheyenne Mountain is home to Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station and, more notably, NORAD - the Aerospace Defense command post that is 2000' underground inside the mountain seen above. Don't get any funny ideas about strolling up in your trail running garb and knocking on the 'front door' or you may not be home in time for dinner!!!
Steve is running on the Cougar's Shadow trail, which is a nice forested section above the Blackmer Loop. Since we have a lot of cougar in our mountains, I would have probably chosen a better name for a remote trail but they did not ask!
Kathleen is cruising a buffed section on the Blackmer Loop. It is a good climb from the base up onto Blackmer and then the loop rolls along in one of the more alpine sections of the park.
A cooperative boulder lent a helping hand to get a shot of both of us running a little farther up Blackmer. This park is immaculate and we are very surprised it has not had more use.
Kathleen coming through a 'rock garden' near the intersection of Zook and Blackmer trails. We call these babyheads, no offense to our friends out there with children!!!
A gnarled old tree makes a nice arch to run through on the Sundance trail. Sundance bridges the terrain between the alpine level, the scrub oaks, and the prairie dog colony in the open fields at the base. With a great variety of foliage and trail surface, and plenty of trails already established, this park is for sure going to become part of our regular trail regimen.
We linked together about 9.5 miles today and had an absolute blast! With the southern exposure of most of the trail areas and the position on the south end of town, this is sure to be a nice haven in the winter when our higher trails are snowpacked and icy. Happy Trails!
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