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On Walkabout At: Colorado Springs’ Bear Creek Regional Park

Basic Information

Narrative

Like I have often described on this site, Colorado Springs is filled with many great parks. One of the larger parks in the city is Bear Creek Regional Park located on Colorado Springs’ west side.  The park is a huge 575 acres that includes nearly 3 miles of Bear Creek that flows out of the nearby foothills of Pikes Peak.  The park also has a very large developed recreation area with many picnic sites, playgrounds, and sports facilities:

Picture from Bear Creek Park

I occasionally bring my family here on the weekends and one of the favorite things my daughter likes to do is fly her kite:

Picture from Bear Creek Park

One of the more unusual sites to see at the developed recreation area of the park is the Pauper’s Cemetery:

Picture from Pauper's Cemetery

I have no idea why these graves are here because there was no marker to explain them.  The only thing I can think of is that these graves were put in place long before the city expanded this far to the west and no one remembers who they are for:

Picture from Pauper's Cemetery

From the developed recreation area there are trails that can be walked to access other areas of the park.  Bear Creek Park is so large that a walk here could range from anything to a short excursion to a full day adventure if combined with a hike into the nearby mountains such as the Section 16 Palmer Red Rock Loop Trail I previously posted about:

Picture from Bear Creek Park

At the developed recreation area of the park there are many shorter trails that traverse the scrub land at the base of the foothills:

Picture from Bear Creek Park

The terrain here is mostly grass, bushes, and small pinon pine trees since it does not receive the same level of precipitation as the nearby mountains that are covered with large trees.  Besides checking out the plants life, a walk on these short trails provides a nice view of downtown Colorado Springs which is located just below the park:

Picture from Bear Creek Park

Here is a look at the neighborhood that is bordered by Bear Creek Park on one side and the foothills on the other:

Picture from Bear Creek Park

There is even a view of the most famous park in the city, the Garden of the Gods way out in the distance:

Picture from Bear Creek Park

The Bear Creek Nature Center is best place to begin a hike into the nearby foothills or just to learn more about the wilderness around the park:

Picture from Bear Creek Park

The Nature Center is located in the far northwestern section of the park where Bear Creek exits Bear Creek Canyon.  This section of the park is heavily forested and quite beautiful.  Inside the Nature Center there are a number of displays that explains the various plant and animal life that can be seen in the park:

Picture from Bear Creek Park

Some of these animals such as bears and mountain lions can seen inside the center:

Picture from Bear Creek Park

Picture from Bear Creek Park

For those that do not feel like venturing out into the foothills, just outside of the Nature Center there are a number of shorter walks:

Picture from Bear Creek Park

Most of the trails are made of dirt, but the Songbird Trail section is paved and easily accessible for those with mobility issues:

Picture from Bear Creek Park

Most of the trails near the Nature Center are surrounded by lush forests since Bear Creek flows through this area:

Picture from Bear Creek Park

Depending on the season many flowers can be seen around the trails as well:

Picture from Bear Creek Park

If you are really lucky you may even spot some of the wildlife that live around the Nature Center such as deer:

Picture from Bear Creek Park

I even spotted a snake the last time I visited there:

Picture from Bear Creek Park

While walking along the trails views of the adjacent foothills can be seen:

Picture from Bear Creek Park

Some of the rock walls from the nearby Red Rock Canyon Open Space are also visible from the Nature Center’s trails:

Picture from Bear Creek Park

Conclusion

Bear Creek Regional Park is not some place that is going to blow you away with scenery like the Garden of the Gods does.  It is just a really nice place for locals to take their families to as well as use its trail system for activities such as hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking.  So if you live in Colorado Springs it is well worth loading up the family, bring a picnic lunch, and spend some time enjoying this great park.

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