June 23, 2020 Slideshows » Columns

Pineries Open Space 

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Bob Falcone
Start of the trail, near the parking lot. The bathroom facility is shown in the background.
Bob Falcone
The trail starts at the parking lot, and runs north for about three-quarters of a mile before joining the loop. I suggest doing the loop clockwise to get the largest elevation gain, which isn't much, out of the way early.
Bob Falcone
The trail flows over gently rolling hills while going in and out of swaths of land damaged by the fire. The burned area is recovering with flowers and grasses growing back. The trees, however, will take several generations to recover to pre-fire condition
Bob Falcone
At the north-west corner of the open space, the trail goes by "North Pond"
Bob Falcone
The north side of the trail is mostly wide-open with nice views to the south and north
Bob Falcone
Near the north-east corner of the loop, the Grandview Overlook straddles the Palmer Divide, overlooking the open space. Interestingly, it's not the highest point in the open space, although it has the best views.
Bob Falcone
The east and south sides of the loop are home to a variety of wildlife, and on my visit there, we observed a herd of between 20 and 30 elk. Here, the trail crosses the "CCC Dam" near the south-east corner of the loop.
Bob Falcone
On the south side of the loop, the trail briefly runs along a powerline right-of-way. The trail turns right off of the right of way just before the nearest power pole visible in this photo.
Bob Falcone
After going by Frog Pond, the trail crosses this bridge, built by a Boy Scout as an Eagle Scout project, according to El Paso County Parks planner Ross Williams.
Bob Falcone
One of several places where the trail crosses private right-of-ways into the private land in the center of the parcel. Stay on the trail in these sections.
Bob Falcone
GPS track of the entire hike, starting and ending at the trailhead in the lower left corner.
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Bob Falcone
Start of the trail, near the parking lot. The bathroom facility is shown in the background.

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