New Bear Creek trail nearing completion

       Workdays have been continuing through the summer on a new trail whose connections include the heavily used Section 16 Trailhead on Gold Camp Road.

ABOVE: During a recent workday, Harry Hamill (left) of Medicine Wheel discusses a section with volunteers Rush Carter (center) and Chris Wallin. BELOW: Edited map shows approximation of the Zipline route (thin red line) between Section 16 trailhead and Bear Creek Trail.
Westside Pioneer photo


       With the approval of Colorado Springs Parks, the Zipline Trail project is being organized by Medicine Wheel, a volunteer trail-building group composed mainly of bicycle enthusiasts.
       According to an e-mail from Jim Schwerin of Medicine Wheel, “this new trail will provide users with a great way to connect a number of other trail systems in the area with little or no use of surface roads. It also eliminates the need for users to be on one of the narrowest parts of Gold Camp Road while transitioning between trails. Plus, the new trail has incredible views and some very interesting sandstone rock features.”
       He added that the trail construction area “lies at the junction of several critical trails: Bear Creek Canyon, the Section 16 trailhead, Bear Creek Park, the Chamberlain Trail, and Gold Camp Road. The basic idea is to tie all these elements together with a couple of miles of new multi-use trail, designed with mountain bikes, hikers, runners, and long-term sustainability in mind.”
       Work on the Zipline started at the end of May. Schwerin said he hopes the project can be completed by the end of summer.
       The work area is in a pocket of Bear Creek Regional Park owned by the city. Medicine Wheel was allowed to build the trail after showing on-site plans to City Parks staff and gaining approval at a Parks Advisory Board meeting, according to Jeff Haley, City Parks trails planner. Although built primarily to meet the needs of cyclists- who, unlike hikers, often like to use more than one trail on a given day - the Zipline will be a multiuse trail, Haley said.
       The new trail “creates a nice connection between existing trails,” he said.
       The Zipline is mostly laid in now, though it needs “finesse” in some places, he said.
       With volunteers doing the work when they can, Schwerin could only say, when asked for a completion date, “it's done when it's done.”
       For more information, or to volunteer, go to e-mail jim@medwheel.org.

Westside Pioneer/press release