Shorter right field kicks off trail project

       Visible work began occurring this week on the new segment of the Midland Trail.
       A Pioneer Construction backhoe was clearing a roughly 12-foot-wide swath through what had been deepest right field for the baseball diamond off Beckers Lane.

Along a recently designated right of way in front of the Manitou Springs High School baseball field's former right-field fence, a front-end loader begins carving out the corridor for a new segment of the trail between downtown Colorado Springs and downtown Manitou Springs. The photo looks east from Beckers Lane.
Westside Pioneer photo

       Technically, it's the Manitou Springs Creekwalk Trail at that point, because it's still inside that city. But as the work continues east into the Garden of the Gods Campground (where the Colorado Springs city limits are) and up to Columbia Road, it will take on the Colorado Springs name - the Midland Trail.
       Names aside, Manitou and Colorado Springs governments are partnering in the construction of part of the Columbia-to-Beckers portion of paved/gravel pathway which, when it's done, will provide a continuous, 10-mile, pedestrian/ bicycle route between the two communities' downtowns.
       Both have received state or federal grants for the bulk of their design and construction costs, and Colorado Springs also is using Trails, Open Space and Parks (TOPS) funds.
       Work got started about two weeks ago with some preparatory tasks involving irrigation and electrical connections, according to Sarah Bryarly, who is managing the project for Colorado Springs City Parks. Forms should start being set next week, with concrete poured into them the week after, she said.
       On the west side of Beckers Lane, south of the skate park, about 50 feet of trail will also be laid. The trail will connect at that point with the existing Creekwalk that follows Fountain Creek west along a segment built last year that goes under Highway 24 to Schryver Park.
       Completion of the trail from the field to Columbia will require a separate contract, Bryarly said.
       According to Manitou planner Dan Folke, the city already owned a right of way through deep right field at the ballpark (which is used primarily by the Manitou High baseball team). Trail plans were worked out with the high school, which agreed to a shorter right-field “porch” but asked for a higher fence (16 feet).

Westside Pioneer article