The UCCS campus trails system can be enjoyed by anyone - the campus community and public. Over 7 miles of useable trails are available for those traveling by foot or bike on natural terrain of varying difficulty throughout the campus open space. Several trail segments connect to neighboring City of Colorado Spring’s Open Space trails and commuter routes. The UCCS trail system, currently in development, will provide opportunities for recreation, fitness, transportation, volunteerism and education. Campus Recreation's goal is to provide access to all 13 miles of current trails on campus by the end of all construction and improvement projects.
The first on-campus trail was developed in 1986 by the Army ROTC program, which ran along the bluffs ridgeline and included several fitness stations. Multiple social trails began forming as this trail was not maintained. In 2011, a geography honor’s student researched the existing conditions of the campus trails system for his honor’s thesis, while several other students assisted Professor Tom Huber in a soil erosion study on the bluffs and identified trails that were contributing to soil loss. The results were clear; high use has high impact on undesignated trails.
The student-supported increase in the student recreation fee in 2012 partially funded the Trails Program, and the formation of the Recreational Trails Advisory Committee positioned trails as an important component of the 2012 UCCS Campus Master Plan, integrating natural resource preservation with the campus experience. Trails will ultimately, to quote the Campus Master Plan, “preserve a sense of place and develop the campus in a responsible and sustainable way.” The Trails Program continues to reach for this primary objective; integrate education, wellness, recreation and natural resource preservation within the UCCS experience.
The 2012 UCCS Campus Master Plan included a diverse number of strategic objectives, one to "preserve a sense of place and develop the campus in a responsible and sustainable way". The Trails Program will indeed do just that - integrate education, wellness, recreation and natural resource preservation with the campus experience. As a result the Trails Micro Master Plan was created, which outlined future development of the UCCS Campus Trail System.
In 2013 the Recreation Trails Advisory Committee hired consultants Tapis Associates to assist in the creation of a Trails Micro Master Plan (MMP), resulting in the creation of a long-term vision for the trail system in the campus open space, as well as identifying trail areas in need of closure and restoration. The Trails MMP was completed in April 2014 and available for download here:
Download here: Trails Micro Master Plan
The UCCS trail system continues to evolve, with Campus Recreation working on the following projects between July 2016 and May 2017:
1) Trail mapping - utilizing CAD to map all usable trails on campus and release to UCCS students, faculty/staff, UCCS constituents and Colorado Springs community. Approximate completion date TBA
2) Trail naming - following the results of a student survey, name all usable trails on campus and release to UCCS students, faculty/staff, UCCS constituents and Colorado Springs community. Approximate completion date TBA
3) Sherpa Trail construction - This construction and improvement project started in late October 2016 shortly following the release of Sherpa Trail 100 % design documents. For the most recent construction updates and developments, see the "Construction Updates" section of this Trails web page.
For more information, questions or comments about the Trails Program, contact S.O.L.E, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719.255.7517.