Bikes had a big moment during the COVID-19 pandemic, but mountain biking has been big in Colorado Springs for decades. Whether you have recently bought a bike or are dusting off your rig to sharpen your skills, Colorado Springs has amazing trails for riders of all abilities. Here are seven of the best mountain bike trails for beginners in and around the Springs.
Pikes Peak Greenway
If you’re looking for level terrain, this is as flat as it comes in the Pikes Peak region. This wide spine of pathway snakes the entire length of the city, connecting many urban trail spurs and singletrack networks. It alternates between hard-packed dirt and concrete, and it’s perfect for beginners, kids or families looking to pedal and perfect their two-wheel balance. Downtown, you can ride scenic, leafy loops around Monument Valley Park on both sides of Monument Creek between Bijou Street, Uintah Street and the PopCycle Bridge just north of Fontanero Street.
Santa Fe Regional Trail
Between Woodmen Road and the southern border of the U.S. Air Force Academy, the Pikes Peak Greenway officially changes to the New Santa Fe Regional Trail. The wide gravel path offers big scenery and gentle grades through the Academy and all the way to Palmer Lake. You can find trailhead access and parking lots at Woodmen Road, both Air Force Academy entrances (Academy and North Gate), Baptist Road, Colorado State Highway 105 and Palmer Lake. Ride it all or pick your entry point for out and back as far as you like.
Pineries Open Space
This new 9-mile loop in Black Forest is a beginner’s dream: smooth singletrack that gently rolls among pine trees and open meadows. Just remember there are no bailout points along the loop, so time your turnaround sooner if you don’t want to commit to the full mileage. Find out more in our trail guide here.
Cheyenne Mountain State Park
You won’t find a better-marked trail network than Cheyenne Mountain State Park’s. From the Limekiln Trailhead and parking lot, you’ll find a circuitous 27-mile collection of singletrack. Sundance Trail offers a beginner-friendly, 3.3-mile loop. Zook Loop is a gentle 1 mile. And you’ll find some short easy trails around the campground, including Acorn Alley and Bobcat Way. Note that an entrance fee is required to enter the state park, currently $9 per vehicle.
Bear Creek Park
The east side of this El Paso County park offers enough wide gravel pathway to make a 2 mile-loop, with a moderate hill climb and a shady roll along the creek. In Bear Creek Terrace, west of 21st Street/Cresta Road, is a collection of beginner-friendly singletrack. The trails nearest to the dog park are flatter. And you can find some new rollers, berms and rock rollovers for practicing skills along the Rattler Loop and Hummingbird Loop just uphill from the pavilions.
Stratton Open Space
The winding singletrack trails through Gambel oak and pine forests of Stratton are a great place to practice for more advanced Cheyenne Canon riding. The Ridgeway Trailhead gives good access to easy and intermediate trails, such as Ridge Trail, Upper Meadows Loop, Chamberlain Trail and the Reservoir Connector (a service road). Expect elevation gain (and loss) but with lots of meandering switchbacks. Recent trail reroutes have made the climbing more manageable and generally smoother.
Red Rock Rock Canyon Open Space
The popular Red Rock Canyon offers excellent mountain biking for riders of all levels. You should expect to climb, as everything generally goes up from the main Highway 24 and 26th Street trailheads. But the reward is coming down. Connecting Mesa Trail and Greenlee Trail makes for a fun and easy loop. And you can add more fun, green-rated mileage on the Red Rock Rim Trail and the Upper and Lower Hogback Trails. If you or the kids are feeling playful, test yourself on the skills park at the Highway 24 parking lot. Are you up for the teeter-totter?