PLACES TO PLAY
El Pomar Youth Sports Complex
2212 Executive Circle, 630-0168 | csyouthsports.org
Managed by the nonprofit Colorado Springs Youth Sports Inc., this facility boasts nine baseball/softball fields, nine soccer fields, batting cages, an inline hockey rink, and a trailhead to the Pikes Peak Greenway. Play during the day or under the lights; budget cuts won't sully these 57 acres.
Four Diamonds Sports Complex
5025 N. Nevada Ave.
Play softball, football, baseball or soccer, or relive your childhood at the playground beneath the picturesque beauty of Pulpit Rock. You can take the shuttle to and from Four Diamonds to the UCCS campus.
Richard 'Goose' Gossage Youth Sports Complex
3225 Mark Dabling Blvd.
Named after Colorado Springs' favorite "local boy done good," this park has more than just a Hall of Fame name. The park offers baseball, softball, soccer and even skateboarding all under the lights.
Sky View Adult Softball Complex
2890 Resnick Drive
Slow-pitch or fast-pitch, it doesn't matter. Get your beer-drinking buddies together and smack around some softballs. Sky View has two wheelchair-accessible softball fields, as well as a restaurant and lounge.
Leon Young Youth Sports Complex
1335 S. Chelton Road
This local complex named after Colorado Springs' only African-American mayor offers eight baseball/softball fields and a playground. The park is only one of many products of Young's devotion to local youth.
Hiking & biking
Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region abound with trails of all difficulty levels and personalities. What follows is a rundown of the largest and most popular places to stroll or pedal. For the purposes of this guide, we've lumped hiking and biking trails together, because so many destinations offer both, and many trails are multi-use — also allowing horses.
Note that for more detailed information, many of the Web sites mentioned below include mileage, GPS coordinates, trailhead information and nearly switchback-by-switchback trail descriptions.
Firstly, one of the most ambitious and convenient trails around is actually three trails: the Fountain Creek Regional, Pikes Peak Greenway and New Santa Fe Regional stretches. Together, these can take a rider or hiker from Fountain to Palmer Lake, a full 35 miles. They largely parallel Interstate 25, with accesses virtually everywhere, easy jogging options downtown, and great biking from the Air Force Academy north up the pass.
If you're wanting to explore the Academy more, you can drive in (as long as you bring ID) and unload for a tour on the Falcon Trail.
Springs city parks are highly popular areas that teem with hikers and bikers virtually year-round. (Hey, nothin' beats a snow walk.) Garden of the Gods offers some 23 miles of trails off the tourist sidewalks, and Palmer Park sports around 25 miles' worth. As far as biking goes, both are pretty technical.
North Cheyenne Cañon Park links up with Stratton Open Space on the southwest side of town, with hikes to scenic ridges, waterfalls and gorgeous aspen groves and challenging and exhilarating bike paths including Captain Jack's and the Chutes.
For easier and shorter options, look to more urban areas like Red Rock Canyon Open Space, Bear Creek and Fountain Creek regional parks, and Ute Valley Park. For more on these and other city properties, you can visit springsgov.com or 385-5940 (Colorado Springs Parks and Recreation).
In Manitou Springs, several paths lead toward the Pikes Peak National Forest for longer, day-hike options. Brave the Barr Trail's elevation gain to summit Pikes Peak, or hike the ever-popular Manitou Incline, an exhausting, 2,200-foot glorified Stairmaster with a view at the top. Less aggressive jaunts include Waldo and Williams canyons, Red Mountain, Section 16/Palmer Trail and the Paul Intemann Memorial Nature Trail.
Further up Ute Pass, the steep Catamount Falls Trail departs from Green Mountain Falls and passes through the enchanting Garden of Eden. Via Woodland Park, hook up with Rampart Road to bike a fun loop around Rampart Reservoir.
In the State Parks category, you can find lovely quiet paths (and some endurance-challenging biking) through Cheyenne Mountain State Park and Mueller State Park (parks.state.co.us). Just be aware that $6 day passes or $60 annual passes are required.
Since this rundown is certainly west- and central-centric — like the mountains and hills themselves — it should be noted that the main popular draw east of town is Paint Mines Interpretive Park (adm.elpasoco.com/parks), which features highly photogenic rock structures.
It also should be noted that more on biking trails can be found at ridedog.com, singletracks.com or dirtworld.com. And that cospringstrails.com, localhikes.com and farrunner.com are full of hiking info.
Bear Creek Regional Dog Park
21st and Rio Grande streets
This fully functional "off-leash" dog park boasts eight bag dispensers and nine trash cans, plus a donated ball dispenser and several trails that span 25 fenced-in acres. The park also has a separate area for small dogs, so if your Chihuahua doesn't play well with the big doggies, he'll have a place to prance.
Palmer Park Dog Park
Academy Boulevard and Maizeland Road
Located at an old baseball field, this fenced-in, off-leash dog park has a water fountain with owner and canine drinking spouts. Just be sure not to leave your dog unattended as you go hiking on the Yucca Flats trail. This upsets other dog owners.
Rampart Park Dog Park
8270 Lexington Drive
Ample shade and water spigots make this a good spot for summertime dog-walking. The dog park is fenced in, but be sure to do your duty and bring your own bags.
Red Rock Canyon Off-Leash Dog Area
Ridge Road off U.S. Highway 24
Red Rock Canyon offers two off-leash loops through its scenic open space. The moderate hiking gives both owner and canine a good dose of exercise.
SPORTS TO PLAY
Pikes Peak Badminton Club
207 N. Nevada Ave.
Gather at the downtown YMCA to send some shuttlecocks a-soarin'. The club meets during the super secret hours of 5 to 8 p.m. on Saturdays. Contact Jim Stabler for information on how you too, can achieve badminton nirvana (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Colorado Springs Bowling
Even if you don't roll on Shabbos, you can find people to bowl with every other day of the week. At csbowling.com, you can find all the information you could possibly need to locate fellow bowlers in and around Colorado Springs. So shine up your favorite Brunswick and hit the lanes.
Deep down inside, don't you feel like you could float like a butterfly and sting like a bee? Both BFS Boxing Club and the Old School Boxing Gym can help make your heavyweight dreams a reality. If you strive to replicate the roundhouse kicks of Jean-Claude Van Damme (and there's no shame in that, really), BFS' trainers also train for kickboxing. You won't find any kickboxing at Old School, but one of its boxing trainers has appeared on MTV's Made.
BFS Boxing Club
4335 N. Academy Blvd., 264-8484 | boxe.tripod.com
Old School Boxing Gym
2112 E. Platte Ave., 632-1892 | oldschoolboxing.org
Golf is expensive, but locally, disc golf is free. Hit the links at either of the Springs' two 18-hole disc golf courses. Both Cottonwood Creek Park and Widefield offer shaded areas and pleasant views of the mountains. Visit ppfdc.com or coloradodisc.com for tourneys and league info.
Cottonwood Creek Park
Montarbor Drive, adjacent to the soccer fields
Near intersection of Fontaine Boulevard and Drury Lane | adm.elpasoco.com
For a full list of golf courses in the area, visit golfcolorado.com
The Broadmoor Golf Club
1 Lake Ave., 577-5790 | broadmoor.com/luxury-golf-resorts.php
Perhaps it was the heavenly green fairways at The Broadmoor that inspired George W. Bush to go sober. (His last bender, somewhat famously, came during his 40th birthday celebration at the hotel.) The East Course (one of three on-site) will host the 2011 U.S. Women's Open, and you can play the same holes — as long as you're a hotel guest, a member, or a friend of a member, and have some cash ($100 to $230) to burn.
Patty Jewett Golf Course
900 E. Española St., 385-6934 | springsgov.com/Page.aspx?NavID=2115
Play 18 ($28-$30) or cut it short at nine ($14.50-$15.50). This gift from William "Patty" Jewett to our city is an old local favorite and features a driving range, bar and grill and marvelous views of Pikes Peak from the heart of Colorado Springs' historic north end.
Valley Hi Golf Course
610 S. Chelton Road, 385-6911 | valleyhigolfcourse.com
This challenging, city-owned course features a driving range, and nine- ($14.50-$15.50) and 18-hole ($28-$30) options. And, as at Patty Jewett, its golf pros offer affordable lessons: If you're new to the sport, try the "Learn to Golf" one; if your swing is a bit rusty, consider a private session.
Hockey: adult & youth
Tour Inline Hockey Arena
3325 Meadow Ridge Drive, 597-1235 | sihahockey.com/tourarena.php
The arena is the home rink for the USA World Inline Hockey Team and hosts both adult and youth leagues. It's Colorado's only facility dedicated solely to inline hockey and boasts the amenities of the Penalty Box Bar, so you can really get that hockey temper fired up.
Colorado Springs Amateur Hockey Association
The CSAHA operates an abundance of leagues, teams and tournaments for your mite, squirt, bantam or midget. If you've got a little netminder in your family, sharpen up his or her skills at one of the goalie clinics, or if your peewee is starting to throw body checks with the big boys, get him into a checking clinic.
Cowboy up and take in the views of the Pikes Peak region from atop a faithful steed. Academy Riding Stables offers one- to two-hour rides around the Garden of the Gods, and enclosed pony rides for wranglers under 8 years old. Triple B has hourly rates for horseback riding, and if you're an experienced equestrian, it'll let you handle your own horse through its scenic mountain trails.
Historic Triple B Ranch
27640 N. State Hwy. 67, Woodland Park, 687-8899 | triplebranch.com
Academy Riding Stables
4 El Paso Blvd., 633-5667 | academyridingstables.com
Colorado Springs World Arena & Ice Hall
3185 Venetucci Blvd., 477-2121 | worldarena.com
Learn to skate on the same Olympic-sized rink as the Colorado College Tigers and Mickey Mouse. The World Arena's two sheets of ice host pickup hockey, drop-in speed skating and public skating sessions. You can also reserve ice time for birthdays, bar mitzvahs and corporate broomball showdowns.
Sertich Ice Center
1705 E. Pikes Peak Ave., 385-5983 | springsgov.com
Located in Memorial Park, the city-owned Sertich Ice Center provides learn-to-skate classes, hockey and figure skating on its NHL-sized ice. The bleachers seat 2,000, so you can bring all your friends.
Eleven Mile Reservoir
During the warmer months, take a day or overnight trip out of town and enjoy some time on the water. Eleven Mile State Park offers scenic backcountry camping accessible by kayak or canoe. You can rent a kayak at 11 Mile Sports by the hour or day.
Don't kid yourself — those little balls of gelatinous paint hurt like hell. But don't let that stop you from giving your buddies, boyfriends, girlfriends, mothers, sons, daughters or other deserving opponents the ol' Jackson Pollock treatment.
1813 Santa Fe Drive, Pueblo, 719/544-1560 | colorsplashpaintball.com
Dragon Man's Paintball
1200 Dragonman Drive, 683-2200 | dragonmans.com
3838 Maizeland Road, 638-7037 | dmcpaintball.biz
Dust off your old skates and show off your meanest moves from your roller disco days. All three Skate City locations offer birthday packages, so you can celebrate good times rolling around the rink.
1920 N. Academy Blvd., 597-6066 | 4575 Austin Bluffs Pkwy., 591-1016 | skatecitycolorado.com
Skate City Pueblo
615 Hunter Drive, Pueblo, 719/545-2222 | skatecitypueblo.com
Memorial Park Skate Park
101 El Paso Blvd.
Thrash your way around Colorado Springs' newest and "sickest" skate park. While there are other skate park options in this area, Memorial Park Skate Park's 40,000 square feet of concrete bowls, pools and street-style obstacles make for days upon days of ample shredding.
Visit springsgov.com for listings on seasonal outdoor pools, Prospect Lake and the Uncle Wilber fountain.
Aquatic & Fitness Center
280 S. Union Blvd., 385-5984 | springsgov.com/Page.aspx?NavID=2386
Swim the butterfly stroke in one of the three lap lanes or learn how to doggy paddle at this multi-faceted aquatics facility. Located in Memorial Park, the AFC has fun goodies ranging from a "bubble couch" and spiral water slide, to a current channel where you can train for your swim across the Atlantic Ocean.
Cottonwood Creek Recreation Center
3920 Dublin Blvd., 386-6508
Get your feet wet in the wave pool, current channel, vortex or the water slide. Land-lovers of all ages can learn how to swim here. CCRC even offers adult "boot camp" to whip you into shape.
Manitou Aquatics & Fitness Center
202 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, 685-9735 | manitoupool.com
This self-proclaimed (but quietly proclaimed) "best kept secret in Manitou Springs" can be the site of your next highly anticipated pool party. The Manitou Aquatics and Fitness Center offers lifeguard training and aquatic aerobics, as well as private and group lessons.
The Sand Pits at Oscar's East
5910 Omaha Blvd., 574-7447 | thesandpits.com
Almost 2,000 tons of sand were shipped in to create this unique beach volleyball experience, which includes league and open pit times. If volleyball isn't laid-back enough for you, grab a drink from the bar and kick it like you're in Cancún.
What could be more "Colorado" than fly-fishing? If you're trying to slay some cutthroats, browns or rainbows, plenty of outfitters can help you pick out some gear.
Angler's Covey (anglerscovey.com) is a well-stocked fly-fishing shop with knowledgeable employees. It sells Colorado fishing licenses and offers casting classes, fly-tying workshops and guided trips. Ghillies Fly Shop (ghilliesflyshop.com) is another Springs shop that provides all you need for nymphing, dry-casting and other suggestively named fishing activities. When you're headed west out of town, stop by Peak Fly Shop (thepeakflyshop.com) in Woodland Park.
Once you're geared up, cast for rainbow trout at Eleven Mile Canyon State Park in Lake George (parks.state.co.us/parks/elevenmile). A day pass costs $5 and lets you fish the renowned stream all day long.
You can also head out for a day to Deckers to fish other sections of the South Platte's famous trout water, then come back and tell everyone about the 16-inch brown you caught; they'll surely believe you.
If you want to make sure your child will never get lunch money taken away, have him or her try a martial art. (Or do it yourself and fight the kid's battles.) The Institute of Martial Arts (2304 E. Bijou St., 228-6528) teaches classes in traditional jiu-jitsu. Wolfpack Martial Arts (wolfpackma.com) has a number of kids' programs for wolfpups, cubs and alpha wolves. Their instructors specialize in a range of martial arts, from Tae Kwon Do to GoJu Ryu Karate.
The Japanese martial discipline of aikido focuses on harmonizing yourself with the universe, and the people at Pikes Peak Aikido (pikespeakaikido.com) can help you do just that. If you feel particularly inspired by the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Champions Mixed Martial Arts (championskempo.com) provides training in many different disciplines, including boxing, Kempo Karate and jiu-jitsu.
SPORTS TO WATCH
Colorado Springs Sky Sox
4385 Tutt Blvd., 597-1449 | skysox.com
You don't have to go all the way to Coors Field for great baseball. Take you and yours out to the ballgame for as little as $5. The Rockies' Triple-A affiliate opens its 2010 season at home April 16, and there's sure to be some serious future talent playing in our back yard this year.
Colorado College Varsity Athletics
14 E. Cache la Poudre St. 389-6607 (college activities) 576-2626 (hockey tickets) | coloradocollege.edu/athletics
United States Air Force Academy Athletics
2168 Field House Drive 800/666-8723 (tickets) | goairforcefalcons.com
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Varsity Athletics
262-3003 (information) | gomountainlions.com
Post Time Greyhound Park
3701 N. Nevada Ave., 632-1391
Kids under 18 get free admission with an adult, so set aside those worries about corrupting the little ones and bring them along to bet on some horses. It's not a live track anymore; instead it hosts simulcast wagering for races across the nation Wednesdays through Sundays.
Pikes Peak Roller Derby
Watch the Danger Dolls, Candy Snipers, Slamazons and All-Stars battle it out for domination. Since 2005, these local athletes have blocked, pivoted and jammed their way around the rink in what amounts to a highly entertaining, not-to-be-missed spectacle.
Aiken Audubon Society
Get together with the Aiken Audubon Society and you can check out everything from trumpeter swans to flammulated owls. There are flocks upon flocks of birds out there, so go look at them. It's better than shooting them, right?
Colorado Springs Chess Club
685-1984 | springschess.org
Both pawns and chess kings alike get together with the Springs' Chess Club in the game room of the Acacia Apartments building (104 E. Platte Ave.) to play at 8 p.m. on Tuesdays. Club members also gather on Wednesdays at the East Coast Restaurant & Deli.
Music got your body wanting to move? If you're seeking to learn how to slide more smoothly on a dance floor (without it being a late-night, sticky-beer, bump-and-grind kind of floor), you've got a few options.
First, there are studios that offer classes in traditional venues (think ballet barres and wall-to-wall mirrors) and classic forms such as ballet, tap, jazz and modern. Try the Ballet Society of Colorado Springs (danceinthesprings.com), the Dance Center (thedancecenter.net), Ormao Dance Company (ormaodance.org) or Derby Dance & Music Arts (derbydance.com).
If you're more interested in ballroom-type or Latin moves, Derby Dance offers some classes, as does Springs Salsa & Dance Fitness (springssalsa.com) and Come Dance With Us (comedancewithusco.com). And if you don't mind the club/bar/restaurant atmosphere, there's always country line-dance lessons at Cowboys (worldfamouscowboys.com) on Sunday nights for $5; free swing lessons at SouthSide Johnny's (southsidejohnnys.biz ) on Monday evenings; and beginning Argentinian tango for $5 on Tuesdays at Cucuru Gallery Café (cucurugallerycafe.com).
Avalokiteshvara Buddhist Center
High Plains Church, 1825 Dominion Way, 303/813-9551 | meditationincolorado.org/buddhist_center_colorado_springs.htm
Drop in for a $10, 90-minute class. The sessions are geared toward transforming your internal life.
Maharishi Enlightenment Center
1068 Elkton Drive, 532-0420 | coloradosprings.globalcountry.net
Based on the teachings of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, transcendental meditation requires minimal time and patience and yields greater focus, creativity and happiness. Sounds good, right? The Maharishi Enlightenment center offers a slew of programs to help you lead a more fulfilling life.
Rocky Mountain Insight
2525 W. Pikes Peak Ave., Suite A, 634-0566 | rockymountaininsight.org
Rocky Mountain Insight is a nonprofit "dedicated to educating people in the Dharma." It hosts open conversations about walking along the Noble Eightfold Path, as well as many different guided meditation sessions.
Springs Mountain Sangha
684-0210 | smszen.org
Meet in Shove Chapel on the Colorado College campus (1010 N. Nevada Ave.) to get together with a group of Zen practitioners for meditation and discussion of the practice.
Adventure Miniature Golf
6550 Corporate Drive, 528-5430 | adventuregolfandbattingcages.com
When the warm weather hits, get yourself a date and put on your best well-ventilated argyles. Adventure Miniature Golf is located right off I-25, so you won't embarrass yourself getting lost, and you'll need just $10 total to have a good time.
Hitt's Miniature Golf
3402 N. Academy Blvd., 591-1146
Hitt's offers prices that will make you think the '70s never ended. Two bucks gets you 18 holes on any of three courses. Seems crazy, but it's worked; Hitt's has been in the business of mini golf for 30 years, outlasting more expensive competitors across the city.
Pikes Peak Firearms Coalition
Learn about gun safety, firearm legislation, local shooting ranges and gun shows, among other things, with the PPFC. Become a member and join the seriously sizable community of Colorado Springs' arms-bearing enthusiasts. If you need some inspiration, the coalition's Web site features noteworthy quotes from George Washington and Mahatma Gandhi.
Accessible sports facilities
Given the city's budget troubles, it's hard to believe there's some good news related to parks in Colorado Springs. But sometime in May, the Parks & Rec department hopes to take advantage of the generosity of local businesses and foundations to complete the city's first universally accessible playground, within Memorial Park. Kids of all physical abilities will be able to play alongside each other on ramped play structures, harnessed swings, elevated sand tables and other pieces of special, brand-new equipment. There'll also be an accessible picnic area and family-style restrooms.
As for what already exists for people with physical disabilities: Also in Memorial Park, at Prospect Lake, there's a wheelchair-accessible fishing dock. Cottonwood Creek Recreation Center has wheelchair-accessible walking and running paths. The Pikes Peak Greenway Trail moseys along Monument Creek with great views of the mountains and is also wheelchair accessible. All the facilities at the Otis Park Community Center are designed with wheelchairs in mind, including the playground, multi-play court, running track and basketball court. If you're looking to play ball, Sky View Adult Softball Complex has two wheelchair-accessible softball fields. More about all of these locations can be found at springsgov.com.
The Colorado Springs Paralympic Sport Club (1315 E. Pikes Peak Ave., 385-6855) organizes leagues, tournaments and get-togethers for sports including basketball, adaptive skiing, softball and tennis, in addition to many more. Consult the CSPSC for information regarding facilities and leagues for those with physical and visual disabilities.
Garden supply & nurseries
Not all gardening supply stores are created equal. Below are several of the Springs' best garden supply stores and nurseries. So let these fine retailers help you get green and dirty.
Good Earth Garden Center
1330 N. Walnut St., 473-3399 | goodearthgardencenter.com
1006 S. Institute St., 520-9463 | hillsidegardens.net
4955 Austin Bluffs Pkwy., 574-8058 | phelangardens.com
Rick's Garden Center
1827 W. Uintah St., 632-8491 | ricksgarden.com
Best of 2009
Rick's Nursery & Landscape
600 N. 18th St., 636-3085 | ricksnursery.com
Best of 2009
Spencer's Lawn & Garden Center
1430 S. Tejon St., 632-2788 | 4720 Center Valley Drive, Fountain, 392-2726 | spencersgardens.com
Sustainable landscaping & Xeriscape information
City Forestry Office
1401 Recreation Way, 385-5942 | springsgov.com/Page.aspx?NavID=368
Learn about city regulations, diseased trees, how to get free mulch, and ways you can reduce water consumption in your home garden.
Colorado Springs Utilities
2855 Mesa Road, 448-4800 | csu.org/wa/xeri/xeriscape.jsp
Both the demonstration garden and online guide will help you learn how to grow beautiful dry-climate plants while using minimal water.
Gardening clubs & societies
They're like book clubs, except you grow things! Well, not exactly. If you've got a passion for horticulture, or if you're just plain confused by cucumbers, these clubs and societies are valuable resources.
Colorado Federation of Garden Clubs
Horticulture Arts Society of Colorado Springs
475-0250 | hasgardens.org
Pikes Peak Urban Gardens
651-3416 | ppugardens.org
CAN'T MISS EVENTS: RECREATION
June 12 | Begins and ends at Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center, 1805 N. 30th St. | trailsandopenspaces.org/starlight-spectacular
Bike a 14- or 22-mile route through the Garden, downtown and Old Colorado City, starting at midnight — with over a thousand other crazy cyclists. Then gather for an early-morning pancake breakfast.
Ride for the Brand Ranch Rodeo & Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo
July 3 & 14-17, respectively | Norris-Penrose Event Center, 1045 Lower Gold Camp Road., 635-1101 | coloradospringsrodeo.com
Ride for the Brand is a working ranch cowboy rodeo, featuring a downtown longhorn cattle drive and much more; PPB sets eyes on rodeo competitors on the way to a World Championship title.
2010 Rocky Mountain State Games
July 30-Aug. 1 | Multiple venues, 634-7333 | thesportscorp.org
This multi-sport festival for Colorado residents welcomes all athletic abilities and ages inside 34 sports. Take part in or watch events ranging from billiards tournaments to judo, rock climbing, table tennis and weightlifting.
Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
June 27 (race week events begin June 22) | Pikes Peak Highway | ppihc.com
More than 35,000 folks are expected to attend this year's race (at least 14 of whom are expected to be sober), in which 11 vehicle classes and nearly 200 drivers will dangerously race to the mountain's top.
Pikes Peak Ascent & Marathon
Aug. 21-22 | Downtown Manitou Springs, Barr Trail | pikespeakmarathon.org
Watch ascenters hoof it up the hill to the summit or marathoners do the same and run back down to Manitou Springs. With 7,815-feet of vertical gain, it's simply punishing (for them — not you).
Emma Crawford Festival, Coffin Race & Parade
Oct. 29-30 | Venues in Manitou Springs, 685-5089 | manitousprings.org
After attending a Victorian wake at the Miramont Castle Museum on Oct. 29, return at noon on the 30th to watch costumed teams race a coffin and stand-in Emma up Manitou Avenue.