Sondermann Park on the west side of Colorado Springs is a 97-acre natural park tucked into a shallow valley. The park offers seven easy hiking trails, Mesa Valley Trail, a creek tumbling through a valley, good birdwatching, and plenty of wildlife. It’s a great family getaway for a quick hike on a summer evening or after a winter snowfall. There is a playground by the parking area, restrooms, benches along trails, and picnic tables. The Catamont Institute, located at Biedleman Environmental Center at the park entrance, offers educational programs. Dogs are allowed but must be leashed. There is no camping or fires and the park closes at dark.
- Sondermann Park is located at 740 West Caramillo Street in Colorado Springs. It’s easily accessible from Interstate 25. Take Exit 144 onto Fontanero Street and go west to a four-way stop with Chestnut Street. Go left or south on Chestnut and drive to West Caramillo. Turn right or west and drive straight to the Sondermann parking lot.
- Sondermann Park is a perfect place to take kids hiking. The short trails near the parking lot—0.1-mile Lilac Trail, 0.1-mile Westfork Trail, 0.1-mile Middlefork Trail, and 0.15-mile Creekside Trail—explore the shaded Mesa Creek corridor. Energetic hikers can climb up 0.15-mile Bluestem Trail for good views to the city’s downtown, or walk the Western Loop Trail and the South Loop Trail in the foothills ecosystem.
- The 2.15-mile Mesa Valley Trail, a Colorado Springs urban trail, begins in the park and heads northwest up a shallow valley until bending south past Holmes Junior High School and joining the Palmer-Mesa Trail.
- Sondermann Park has a lot of wildlife for a small urban parkland. The park tucks against the eastern edge of The Mesa, a high gravel escarpment above Monument Creek Valley, forming a quiet enclave for animals. Commonly seen mammals include mule deer, raccoons, coyotes, and red foxes. The park is well known for its foothill bird species, including juncos, magpies, ravens, grosbecks, and hummingbirds.
Recommended season(s): Year-round.
—Stewart M. Green