Picture grasslands carpeted with wildflowers, the cool shade of creek side cottonwoods, the play of sun and clouds across the foothills, the smell of a pine forest after a thunderstorm, rock formations stretching to the sky, and hillsides covered in fall colors. These are examples of the natural beauty to be found within our City's Open Space areas.
Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services cares for approximately 1,200 acres of diverse open space. Abundant opportunities for recreation and observing nature are preserved for your enjoyment today and for future generations tomorrow.
Follow the Leave No Trace Seven Principles
The City of Colorado Springs Regional Parks, Trails & Open Space (RPTOS) division is dedicated to promoting and teaching Leave No Trace outdoor ethics to all park visitors. Colorado Springs’ population continues to grow at a rapid pace, along with the community’s passion for outdoor recreation. It is vital that all park users know how to leave as little an impact as possible and encourage those they share the parks with to do the same. Part of RPTOS’ mission is to steward the City’s world class natural resources. This mission goes hand in hand with the Leave No Trace Seven Principles and setting park visitors up for success when they visit or research a property. Providing Leave No Trace stewardship information at trailheads and signage, property websites, and on social media emphasizes the importance of this mission and shows visitors the division’s commitment to sustaining the park system through education. Additionally, interpretive programming and partnerships allow park staff to reach out to youth across the community to get them excited about stewardship and connect them to the natural areas they have the power to protect.
|Plan ahead and prepare. A little preparation goes a long way! Checking the forecast, planning your route, and reviewing the Rules and Regulations will help prepare you for your Regional Parks, Trails & Open Space adventure.|
|Travel on durable surfaces. Stay on designated trails to minimize soil erosion and preserve vegetation. Muddy trails? Hike right through them or stick to the urban trail system during heavy mud conditions.|
|Dispose of waste properly. Please pack out all trash, including bagged dog waste and food items, or place it into trash cans before leaving the park. This keeps our park system healthy and litter free!|
|Leave what you find. Our plains to peaks community is home to a variety of natural and cultural resources. Remember to take pictures of these fun finds and leave them where they are for other park users to discover.|
|Be careful with fire. A little spark can go a long way. Smoking, open fires, and charcoal grills are prohibited in our Regional Parks, Trails & Open Spaces. Help us protect these natural areas from wildfires.|
|Respect wildlife. Observe wildlife from a distance and never approach, feed, or follow them. Human food is unhealthy for all wildlife and feeding them starts bad habits. Keep our critters safe by keeping your snacks to yourself!|
|Be considerate of others. Practice recreational empathy! Be sure the fun you have outdoors does not bother others. Be considerate when passing others on the trail. Keep your pet on a leash to protect it, others visitors, and wildlife.|
© 1999 by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics: www.LNT.org.