In the dense, timeless forest, one can imagine a time long ago.

Amid the ponderosa pines famously encompassing the Black Forest of the Pikes Peak region, one can imagine native tribes that roamed for thousands of years. They found water here. From these towering guardians, they found protection. And from a nearby ridge, hunters could look out to the great mountain and the valley below, teeming with bison.

Now here at Fox Run Regional Park, we look to urbanization.

We recently accessed the 400-plus acre spread by exiting Interstate 25 for Baptist Road and driving east past the shopping center south of Monument. Farther up the road, we passed one neighborhood after another, until the houses gave way to unbroken woods.

It’s likely some of these trees watched the past century of development (we observed one beside a sign marking it 173 years old). It’s likely they saw settlers approach, seeking change after the Civil War, and more seeking gold later, harboring the “Pikes Peak or bust” mindset. Some trees were spared from logging, others from a major fire in the 1950s, after electricity came to the area and fox farms served the local economy.

Fox Run Regional Park was dedicated in 1986. Modern amenities have come since then: a playground, a dog park, a wedding gazebo, picnic pavilions. Our latest approach was from the Roller Coaster Road trailhead, from which we found only the simple spoils of nature.

About 5 miles of flat paths loop through the forest. Snow clung to the pines and glistened in the sun. But for the jubilant sound of a family in a snowball fight, it was perfect winter silence.

Fox Run Regional Park

Difficulty: Easy

Getting there: Various access points. Roller Coaster Road trailhead reached by driving east on Baptist Road in Monument to intersection at stop sign. Turn right to parking lot.

FYI: Park open daily 5 a.m.-11 p.m. Hiking, biking, horseback riding and ski touring. Dogs on leash. No camping or shooting. Don’t leave valuables in car. Trails slick in winter; bring traction.

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We are driven by our deep respect for our environment, and our passionate commitment to sustainable tourism and conservation. We believe in the right for everyone - from all backgrounds and cultures - to enjoy our natural world, and we believe that we must all do so responsibly. Learn More