“To walk in nature is to witness a thousand miracles.”– Mary Davis
I have found that the best hiking areas tend to be those that we either stumble upon or those recommended by friends. They aren’t on the trendy list nor tend to be highly trafficked – and maybe those who know about it want to keep it that way. But if you’re reading this, I am going to share my experience with Catamount Ranch Open Space – a magnificent, tucked away area just outside of Woodland Park, in Teller County. On a crisp fall day last year, my husband and I loaded the dogs up in the car to check it out. The 40 minute drive took us to the trail head nestled among groves of aspen trees, and we started on the Elder-Fehn trail. It was nothing short of magnificent. Views of pikes peak, brilliant colors of leaves changing and falling, winding trails, deep pine forests and the air that made you want to stop and savor. This magical place was originally part of a YMCA camp and closed to the public until 2006, when Teller county negotiated access to the 1,300 acre park. The Elder-Fehn trail follows a 5 mile loop, but links to other trails with access to adjoining public park lands. It’s suitable for a shorter out-and-back hike or a full day of exploring – and won’t disappoint. Can you spot my dogs in the picture? Happy trails (and tails!)
- US-24 West to through and past Woodland Park, turn left on Edlowe Road and follow until the gravel parking lot trail head.
CALL TO ACTION:
- Catamount Open Space and other local, popular outdoor recreation areas including Ute Valley, Bear Creek, Red Rock Canyon, and Stratton Open Space (among many others), are permanently protected by Palmer Land Trust. You can support Palmer Land Trust and local businesses in a farm to table dinner this summer or fall – including food, music, education and a ranch tour! For dates and tickets, visit: https://www.palmerlandtrust.org/events
- For the 5 mile loop, follow the Elder-Fehn Trail.
- Please note the marked trail maps to stay on public land and off surrounding private land.