On Colorado Springs’ north side, a craggy, pointy peak serves as a totem, calling all nature worshippers. That’s Blodgett Peak, surrounded by open space first set aside in 2001.

On weekends, the parking lot fills. Meanwhile, a newer portion of the preserve waits to be realized.

In 2018, the open space was expanded to the south, a short distance away from the main trailhead — similarly easy access to a much different landscape. These 64 acres cover a hilly mosaic recovering from the 2012 Waldo Canyon fire. Oak thickets and proud evergreens remain, lending a wild feel.

The new acreage offers the Springs’ signature outdoor experience: a sense of adventure close to urban development. On this trip, we found trail signs ripped from their posts — a common sight at the city’s parks and open spaces. So this was that common, refreshing sort of trip: feeling lost but knowing we’d easily find our way back.

From the parking lot, go north and then west on the West Woodmen Valley Trail. Follow the wide path through a gate blocking motorists and crest at a breathtaking panorama. Blodgett looms in humbling view. The foothills roll south to Cheyenne Mountain, its foot spilling toward downtown. The plains stretch east, along with Black Forest’s green boundary.

We continued straight toward the mountains, coming to our first unmarked post. We veered right, in the direction of Blodgett. The trail thins in the burn area, zig-zagging and swooping along hillsides. At the next unsigned post, we continued downward rather than straight.

The singletrack connects with the open space’s existing network to the north, allowing longer mileage for more ambitious runners and cyclists. We made a short loop of it, staying straight on our trail back to the parking lot.

Trip log: 2 miles round trip, 443 feet elevation gain

Difficulty: Easy

Getting there: South Blodgett Open Space trailhead about a mile south of main parking lot at 3786 W. Woodmen Road. Off Woodmen Road, see trailhead sign at turn for Blodgett Ranch Trail.

FYI: Open dawn to dusk. Dogs on leash. Icy in winter; bring traction.

SETH BOSTER, THE GAZETTE

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