Explore the best trails for hiking in Colorado with the Happy Trails series. 

In Colorado Springs and the colorful state beyond, opportunities for adventure are endless. And we here at The Gazette want to help you on your way.

This continuing Gazette series that explores the best of what the Colorado outdoors has to offer. Check back every week for new trails. 

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Of the summits from North Cheyenne Cañon Park, mounts Cutler and Muscoco are most popular.  Lesser known is Mays Peak, with a trailhead reached by foot or bike. The summit is less than a mile away, but the views are nothing short of marvelous.

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Manitou Springs is famous for being the gateway to America's Mountain. From town, people walk to Barr Trail and embark on the 13.1-mile hike to Pikes Peak. Lesser known are the trailheads of lower-profile mountains. They, too, are found in town, hiding in neighborhoods. And anyone who seeks them is guaranteed solitude and views.

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Palmer Park is the rugged, wild escape that Gen. William Jackson Palmer intended for Colorado Springs residents when he donated the property. Templeton Trail can be difficult to follow. But it's central to the bizarre beauty of Palmer Park, where one never really gets lost among the bluffs and hoodoos close to the city's center.

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After hikers and mountain bikers debate how to spend their mornings and afternoons in North Cheyenne Cañon, they often decide on a loop trail that crosses Mount Buckhorn. The single track skirts a ridge from where the area's signature mountains are in clear view: Pikes Peak is joined by the likes of Cheyenne Mountain and Mount Rosa. This quick escape deserves the hype.

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A weekend drive to Boulder's Chautauqua Park entails a sometimes-lengthy search for a parking spot. And the hike to the Royal Arch sometimes means stopping for hikers coming through narrow passages - on our recent trip we thought a traffic light might be appropriate. But always, we're left breathless by the rock bending high in the woods at a stunning overlook. The relentless ascent also takes the breath away. 

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Colorado is full of surprises. Trails and roads lead to all sorts of geological wonders in unexpected places. Outside Woodland Park, a U.S. Forest Service campground is called Red Rocks Group, but at the parking lot you won't find any sign directing you to the awe-inspiring namesake. It hides, bizarrely, in the woods a short distance away.

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Blodgett Peak requires considerable skill and fitness. If in doubt, opt for the open space's many peaceful trails into stream-fed places of Douglas fir and ponderosa pine. Otherwise, strap on your sturdy boots and grab your hiking poles for this serious adventure up the prominent point in northwest Colorado Springs. 

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Teller County's higher country is graced with big groves of aspen, making the forest just west of Colorado Springs a prime hiking destination as the tree leaves glow gold. You can't go wrong on the backside of Pikes Peak with the Crags Trail or the Lovell Gulch Trail we recently spotlighted in this space. Here, we propose an adventure that leads to a unique sight.

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See for yourself what makes this one of the area's best places for a quick, serene escape, a favorite especially for families with young kids. The trail is largely what brings bunches of city dwellers to the otherwise quiet hamlet of Palmer Lake, between Colorado Springs and Denver.

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