As the weather heats up, we're wanting to enjoy the outdoors more and more, but we also need to maintain social distancing guidelines and avoid piling up at popular parks.
This week on Nature's Neighborhood, Susan Davies of the Trails and Open Space Coalition shares a place to relax near a pond and a space to see horseback riding skills in person.
The areas are included in the organization's initiative, Get Out Spread Out, which encourages people to avoid overcrowding parks by offering more than 100 locations to explore across the region.
Monument Preserve is one of my favorite places to hike and mountain bike. There's a small pond for your dog, your horse or your kids to splash around in. It is part of Pike National Forest, which means your dog is allowed to be off-leash. There are miles of trails that wind through rocks, mature ponderosa pines, and some wetlands. You're going to see a lot of birds. There are even remnants of an old stone cabin you can explore.
It's good for my soul to see a pond. It just makes me happy. It has it all, between a very distinctive rock, the cool pond and then miles and miles of trail where you can get away from everything.
If the trailhead on the corner of Mt. Herman Road and Nursery Road is crowded, you can drive further to the south where there's more parking available.
Bear Creek Regional Park
The park is run by the county, and the Nature Center is now open with reduced capacity following social distancing guidelines. Most people know about the dog park and the community garden, but there are miles of trails between the Nature Center and 21st Street to check out.
If you park at park headquarters on the east side of 21st Street, you'll find plenty of parking, creek access and a trail leading to the equestrian skills course on the northeast corner of the park. The equestrian skills course was all built by volunteers. People bring their horses and practice going over logs, through water--it's fun to watch.