The scenic “viewshed” of the Greenland area consists of 17,000 preserved acres, including the 3,600 acres of Greenland Open Space open to the public. The trails wind through rolling grasslands and climbs into oak shrublands and groves of conifer forest. In the 1870s, Greenland was a bustling little railroad town and prominent shipping point for supplies.

Head north on I-25 and take Greenland Exit 167. Turn left and pass through a one-lane tunnel under the interstate. Continue on the dirt road east, and then south a short distance. Look for the mercantile store front at the parking area. A more detailed map of the various trails is posted at the trailhead. Head south across flat terrain on the Greenland Trail that closely parallels Old Territorial Road (closed to vehicles) and eventually merges with the road. If there is a lot of snow, walking the road may be a better option. West of the trail is Carpenter Creek and a nice view of Spruce Mountain.

After about 1 mile, a trail sign on the left marks the end of the Kipps Loop section and hikers will be returning to this point. Continue south, passing a large ridge that effectively blocks the sound of I-25.

After about 3 miles, hikers will hit a sign for Kipps Loop. Turn left and head east if you still have the time and energy. The route goes uphill about 500 feet, with some help from trail markers, but it can be difficult to follow in snow. However, this is the most remote and scenic section and the route is fairly simple. Head east for about 1 ½ miles, then swing northeast along the ridge top for about 2 miles. Then swing back west for about 1 mile to a prominent trail marker at Greenland Trail, and head north about 1 mile back to trailhead.

Joe LaFleur has lived in southern Colorado since 2016 and is a hiking enthusiast who hits the trails weekly. Contact Joe with questions or feedback at Hiking is great exercise, but can be hazardous. Always be sure to plan well, check the weather, bring a printed map, tell someone where and when you are going, and contact them when you return safely.

Load comments