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Hiking in the Monument Preserve 

click to enlarge BOB FALCONE
  • Bob Falcone
I’ve spent the last few weeks writing about awesome hikes to picturesque places that all required taking a bit of a road trip to get to. There are more of those to come, but this week I’ll stay a bit closer to home and write about a trail-rich area that many people pass by on the way to more popular places.

The Monument Preserve is a section of historic Pike National Forest land near the base of Mt Herman. The Preserve is home to the Pike Hot Shots, an elite wildland firefighting team, and also to a memorial to U.S. Forest Service employees who were killed in the line of duty.
click to enlarge Once through the gate at Schilling Ave and Lindberg Road, go down the dirt road for about .1 miles, where the 715 trail cuts off to the left. - BOB FALCONE
  • Bob Falcone
  • Once through the gate at Schilling Ave and Lindberg Road, go down the dirt road for about .1 miles, where the 715 trail cuts off to the left.
There are a number of trails that start at the main trailhead for the preserve, at Mt Herman Road and Nursery Road, but my favorite and probably the least-known trail is the 715 trail that starts a little further away at Schilling Ave and Lindberg Road. A small parking area is on the left and the trail starts behind the gate that is across Lindberg Road from the parking area.

715 climbs along the eastern and southern aspects of Mt Herman until it meets with Mt Herman Road. The first few miles of the trail are through short scrub oak, the remnants of a wildfire that tore through the area in the late 80's. Exiting the scrub oak, the trail continues across the road and becomes what is popularly known as the Limbaugh Canyon Trail. You can continue across to do Limbaugh Canyon, or walk a few hundred feet down the road to the Mt. Herman Trail head, or just turn back from here.

click to enlarge The 715 trail is about 7.5 miles round trip if you turn around here, where it comes out on Mt. Herman Road. You can also opt to go across the road and continue on 715 into Limbaugh Canyon, or turn right onto Mt Herman Road  and go to the Mt Herman Trail head, a few hundred feet away. - BOB FALCONE
  • Bob Falcone
  • The 715 trail is about 7.5 miles round trip if you turn around here, where it comes out on Mt. Herman Road. You can also opt to go across the road and continue on 715 into Limbaugh Canyon, or turn right onto Mt Herman Road and go to the Mt Herman Trail head, a few hundred feet away.

To get there: Take I-25 north from the Springs to exit 161. Go west on Hwy 105 until it crosses I-25 and then continue west on second Street. Take second Street through town until it ends at Mitchell Ave. Turn left on Mitchell Ave. and then turn right on to Mt Herman Road. Take Mt Herman Road to Nursery Road and turn left. Many of the trails start at the parking lot here. If you want to try the 715 trail, continue down Nursery Road until it turns into Schilling Ave. and bear right. Take Schilling Ave. to the end where it meets Lindberg Road.

Happy Trails!

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 more than 26 years. Follow him on Twitter (@hikingbob), Facebook (Hiking Bob), Instagram (@HikingBob_CO) or visit his website (Hikingbob.com). E-mail questions, comments, suggestions, etc to Bob: info@hikingbob.com.

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