Take in the fresh air and beautiful views with a mountain backdrop as you explore Colorado Springs' city parks.  There are a number of diverse terrains to explore—from hiking along unique rock formations to chilling out at a grassy neighborhood park.  Once you get acclimated to the 6,000+ feet altitude, you’ll be surprised how much ground you can cover.

Garden of the Gods
The Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs is the perfect place for a stroll with a view © Dan Buettner/Getty Images

Garden of the Gods Park

Best park for inspiring awe

Stunning views of unique red sandstone rock formations stand tall in the Garden of the Gods Park.  Easily accessible from the city, it’s a must-see for a first-time visit to Colorado Springs.  It’s free to cruise through the park by car or set out on foot on a variety of trails, which offer options for all ages and ability levels.  The popular Perkins Central Garden Trail leads you on an easy 1.5 mile roundtrip weaving in and around the formations, while the Siamese twins trail takes you to a unique view of Pikes Peak framed by a window of rock. Book a tour and explore the park by trolley, segway, ebike, jeep, or rock climbing. Be sure to pick up a map at the Visitor & Nature Center before you enter the park. 

Pikes Peak through the Rock Formation
The Siamese twins trail takes you to a unique view of Pikes Peak framed by a window of rock © Ronda Kimbrow Photography/Getty Images

America the Beautiful Park

Best park for kids

On the western edge of downtown, sing along to the lyrics of “America the Beautiful,” a song that inspired the name of this park. Stretching along the foothills and the busy I-25 highway, America the Beautiful offers a true city escape.  Enjoy walking paths and access to trails on one end and a Fantasy Playground for kiddos on the other.  The colorful jungle gym-style artworks, called Quirks, were designed by local students.  The centerpiece of the park is the Julie Penrose Fountain called Continuum— a giant open-loop shape that slowly rotates as water falls into a reflecting pool, where kids love to splash around on a summer day.  For a great view, take the stairs or the elevator to the top of the Park Union pedestrian bridge, which directly connects to the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum.

Memorial Park

Best park for athletes

You’ll find recreation for athletes of all kinds at Memorial Park in downtown Colorado Springs.  There’s an ice skating center, multiple baseball fields, tennis courts, basketball courts, sports fields, sand volleyball and bicycle velodrome.  Walk, jog or bike 1.25 miles around Prospect Lake on the fitness trail.  Or, put your toes in the sand at the Beach House which reopened this summer after a 1.4 million dollar renovation.  Memorial Park is home to Colorado’s second-largest skate park so you can stand on the sidelines to watch inline skaters, skateboarders, BMX bikers throw tricks, or, if it's your thing, join them.  Take time to honor fallen soldiers at the Veterans Memorial, the Peace Officers Memorial, the Hearth Fighters Memorial and the Firefighters Memorial.  Memorial Park is also known for the annual Colorado Springs Labor Day Lift Off hot air balloon event.

Palmer Park

Best park for mountain views

At the northeast edge of town, wind through the twists and turns of Paseo Road by car and pull over at a number of trailheads and scenic overlooks.  Wander along trails through tall grasslands, yucca and wildflowers, with interesting sandstone rock formations along the way.  From the top of the Mesa and Yucca Trails, you’ll be rewarded with dramatic views of the Front Range mountains and Pikes Peak with the city below, especially enjoyable at sunset.  There are over 25 miles of trails to explore whether on foot, by bike or on horseback. Families will enjoy the big playground, sports fields and volleyball courts in The Meadows at Palmer Park.

Colorado Springs, CO, Pikes Peak Train
The Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway climbs to one of the best views in Colorado Springs at Pikes Peak @ Walter Bibikow / Getty Images

North Cheyenne Cañon Park

Best park for hiking

On the southwest side of Colorado Springs, North Cheyenne Cañon Park offers plenty of beautiful trails in its canyon.  You’ll feel the magnitude of nature as you look up toward 1.5 billion-year-old granite rock walls.  Beginners can grab a map and ease in with a short stroll around the Starsmore Visitor and Nature Center, or drive up through the canyon to the Visitor Center for easy and free access to Helen Hunt Falls.  Trek up the mountain for a short but steep .3 mile hike on Silver Cascade Falls Trail for a view of the waterfall from above.

Bear Creek Park

Best park for dogs

In the foothills of Bear Creek Park, there's an impressive 545-acres for outdoor enthusiasts to explore. Lace-up your hiking shoes for the are 10 miles of multi-purpose trails.  The dog park is a local favorite, and there are 25 acres of fully-fenced-in terrain.  There's also a specialty area dedicated to small dog owners 25lbs and under. Wade in the creek or check out the agility training area.  Bear Creek Terrace features sports fields, basketball and volleyball courts, picnic pavilions and a horseshoe pit. It also has a children's playground.  The South Terrace features tennis and pickleball courts, as well as an archery range where you'll need to bring your oqn equipment.

John Venezia Community Park

John Venezia park in the suburban Briargate neighborhood on the north end of the Springs is a favorite for families.  The park, which was designed with a ranch homestead theme in mind, has a large sports fields and courts, playground, picnic areas and splash park.  There's also a 2.2 mile loop walking trail to get active. 


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