South Chamberlain Trail

Along the new, mile-plus stretch of the Chamberlain Trail, nearby chimes of the Will Rogers Shrine rang to the tune of “Tomorrow.” For the fiercest opponents of Colorado Springs’ land swap with The Broadmoor, the sun may never come out over the issue of Strawberry Fields. But the city has tried to reconcile with this trail.

Funded by The Broadmoor and built by trusted hands at Singletrack Trails, the South Chamberlain trailhead and a 20-vehicle parking lot opened in late May. With a ribbon cutting, the city announced a return to Strawberry Fields. That’s not exactly the case, though, as the path contours a hillside above that meadow, an upper bypass.

Still, people should be pleased by the views and long-term vision for Chamberlain. This represents a step toward an envisioned 26-mile trail system that would cover the foothills between Blodgett Peak and Cheyenne Mountain.

Outdoor enthusiasts continue to gather in the Springs, “and the more opportunities we can provide them, the better,” said David Deitemeyer, senior landscape architect with city parks.

The opportunities are seen in the map posted at South Chamberlain’s parking lot. Facing the trailhead, go right, crossing the street to a split; rather than continue straight, catch the trail bending uphill to the left.

The craggy faces of North Cheyenne Cañon greet you over Strawberry Fields. While openness defines the first half of the trail, the rest of the trip is through a thick forest. Stay straight until you come to a steep washout; see the clear path continuing flat to the right.

The trail switchbacks higher to glimpses of downtown, the plains and Garden of the Gods. It ends unceremoniously at a spot along Old Stage Road. In the future, the idea is to continue the trail system nearby with easements from landowners including the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Deitemeyer said.

Trip log: 2.8 miles (out and back), 1,094 feet total elevation gain, 6,802 feet max

Difficulty: Easy-moderate

Getting there: Directly across from the Starsmore Discovery Center, turn onto Evans Road, then right onto Mesa Avenue. The parking lot will be to your right.

FYI: Multi-use, nonmotorized trail. Dogs on leash.

SETH BOSTER, THE GAZETTE

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