On Black Friday, swap the sterile shopping centers for the colorful outdoors. And while you’re at it, shed some of that turkey and stuffing.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife will once again celebrate Fresh Air Friday the morning after Thanksgiving. Entry to the 41 state parks will be free. Many will host guided hikes to raise your nature gratitude, including preserves in the Pikes Peak region.
A 5-mile trip on Cheyenne Mountain State Park’s Talon Trail will start at 11 a.m., with a 1-mile hike catered to kids at 9:30 a.m.
In Teller County, all are invited to explore Mueller State Park’s Outlook Ridge, boasting sweeping vistas of the Continental Divide. The 3½-mile venture is set for 9:15 a.m.
Farther west through Lake George is Eleven Mile State Park, more famous for boating and fishing in the summer. But the mountain-framed reservoir is no less beautiful in winter. Trails tour pine-scented woods and intriguing rock outcrops.
Another hidden oasis lies northeast of Colorado Springs: Castlewood Canyon State Park, the surprising, river-cut enclave on the plains. Starting at 9 a.m., a guide will lead a group through the rugged cliffs.