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The new Lion Trail at Red Rock Canyon Open Space runs along the formation known as the Hogback in the popular park. The singletrack figures to be popular among mountain bikers. Photo courtesy Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services 

A new trail aims to become a go-to in one of Colorado Springs' go-to parks.

While finishing touches of a nearly $53,000 job were still on the way approaching the new year, the city of Colorado Springs opened the Lion Trail and other freshly built connector paths in Red Rock Canyon Open Space.

The project accounted for 8,200 linear feet of new and converted singletrack for hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians. That includes Lion Trail's 2,500 feet, which figures to cater in particular to cyclists, who have been in talks with the city about the trail design for three years. That was since previous portions of Lion Trail were officially closed due to environmental conditions and conflicts with other users.

The product is a "success" to Cory Sutela, executive director of Medicine Wheel Trail Advocates. The group oversaw some of the construction by Singletrack Trails, the reputed contractor behind several mountain bike destinations in the state.

Lion will "be a great alternative descent to Codell," Sutela said, referring to another prized segment situated along the rock formation known by park regulars as the Hogback. "It'll also be a great climb to loop down Codell."

David Deitemeyer, the city's senior landscape architect, said the blue-rated trail "provides a lot more of an engaging experience" compared with lower, wider paths running north and south on this side of the open space. "It offers a little bit more of a challenge and sense of discovery."

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