blodgett peak open space

Olivia Brandt, 19, and Tristan Brandt, 15, hike the Dry Creek Trail with their dog, Pim, on Monday while exploring Blodgett Open Space. The City Council is considering buying 64 more acres to enlarge the popular site on the city’s northwest side.

Colorado Springs’ northernmost open space, with a notoriously difficult mountain climb, might grow by more than a third.

The City Council is considering a $778,500 purchase of about 64 acres that would expand Blodgett Open Space to the south and east. The open space is northwest of West Woodmen Road, and its trailheads access Blodgett Peak, elevation 9,426 feet.

Money to expand the 167-acre Blodgett would come from the city’s Trails, Open Space and Parks program, which collects sales tax revenue. The council will vote Aug. 28 and Sept. 11 whether to appropriate the money from TOPS’ coffers, said TOPS Manager Britt Haley.

The purchase also would be made possible through the Trust for Public Land, a national nonprofit that negotiated with T. Slattery, an Englewood-based organization that owns the three parcels up for sale, said Justin Spring, the trust’s Colorado director of land protection.

The parcels are adjacent to Blodgett’s southeast portion and back up to Pike National Forest on the west.

“If you look out toward the east, there is a panoramic view across the city, and it is just stunning,” Haley said. “The view is really the thing that will just take your breath away. And if you look down to the south, you can see all the way to Cheyenne Cañon.”

Council President Richard Skorman, one of TOPS’ founders, praised the deal and its pricetag. “At one point, (the property) was slated for development, and that was a whole different story,” Skorman said.

Expanding Blodgett makes sense because it affords northern residents more opportunities to head into the mountains, as so many on the city’s southwest side enjoy, he said.

Councilman Dave Geislinger said he supports the purchase but asked Haley other parts of town might see similar purchases.

Haley said many such projects are being eyed, but when they’ll be brought before the council is difficult to predict.

“It’s just a matter of having a willing landowner and a timeline and circumstances aligning so we can bring a transaction forward,” she said.

Haley said an adjacent homeowners association maintains the trails and other aspects of the open space.

Blodgett Open Space isn’t the only open space being eyed for expansion. The council unanimously agreed in July to buy 85 acres at Corral Bluffs Open Space for $580,000.

Another purchase at that site — more than 200 acres for about $1 million — also is in the works.

conrad.swanson@gazette.com @conrad_swanson

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