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Hiking in the Memorial Forest; Motorless Morning in the Garden of the Gods; Fire Restrictions 

click to enlarge BOB FALCONE
  • Bob Falcone
In the Pike National Forest, a bit north of the crossroads that make up Divide, Colorado is a section of the Pike National Forest designated as the "North Divide Trails," an area open to hiking, cycling, horseback riding and off highway vehicle (OHV) use. Hunting is also allowed in the area, and cows graze in it, too.

As a hiking destination, the trails are mostly gently rolling hills, with wildflowers in the summer and gold leafed aspens in the fall, making it a pleasant place for a casual hike. The main trail into the area is Forest Service Road 375, which branches off into trails 375A & B. There is another, unmarked trail about a quarter-mile from the trailhead. Colorado Parks and Wildlife's COTREX app shows the trails in the area, and one trail, 375B, is open to foot traffic past where the map shows the trail ending at it's west end for vehicle traffic.

The most interesting feature of this area is the sign at the trailhead, designating it as the "Memorial Forest, Colorado Federation of Business and Professional Womens Clubs, INC 1952".  There is no explanation of who or what this section of forest memorializes, and a web search didn't turn up anything. The forest service web page for these trails doesn't make any mention of a "Memorial Forest", and although I couldn't find the "Colorado Federation of Business and Professional Womens Clubs, INC" anywhere, attempts to contact any organization with a similar name was unanswered by this columns publication time. 

To Get There: From the traffic light on Highway 24 in Divide, turn right (north) on to Teller County Road 5. About a half-mile from US 24, at a left hand curve in the road, continue straight north on County Road 5 for 2 more miles to County Road 511, and turn left.  Take County Road 511 for just under 1 mile to the trailhead on the right. Be careful not to block the gate.

Things You Need to Know:
There are gates across the trails/roads that are used to contain cattle that graze in the area to specific locations. You can go through the gates, but pay attention to signs posted regarding whether to keep the gates open or closed. If you're not sure, once through a gate, leave it as you found it (either open or closed). Vehicle traffic is allowed in the area, but must stay on designated roads. Hunting is allowed in the area, so stay on designated trails/roads and wear bright colors. It's advisable to keep your dog on leash while hiking here.

click to enlarge motorlessmorning2019.jpg

The Sunday, October 6th, is a Motorless Morning in the Garden of the Gods Park, with no motorized vehicle traffic allowed from 6am to Noon. It's an excellent chance to enjoy the park from any roadway or trail without the traffic or noise of cars.

The U.S. Forest Service has issued Stage 1 fire restrictions in the Pike National Forest (map) and Stage 2 fire restrictions in the San Isabel National Forest (map). These restrictions are in effect starting October 4th and continue until the end of the year. Be safe out there, and stay out of trouble.

Be Good. Do Good Things.

Bob Falcone is a retired firefighter, photographer, hiker, business owner and author of Hiking Bob's Tips, Tricks and Trails, available via his website. He has lived in Colorado Springs for  almost 28 years. Follow him on Twitter (@hikingbob), Facebook (@hikingguide), Instagram (@HikingBob_CO) or visit his website (Hikingbob.com). E-mail questions, comments, suggestions, etc to Bob: info@hikingbob.com.

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