Colorado Springs parks officials in 2023 expect to take a closer look at the possibilities for an open space addition by the city's northwest foothills. That's the addition referred to as the Pikeview Frontage, a rolling swath beneath the quarry of the same name. The land was acquired in 2021, growing Blodgett Open Space again after growth in 2018.

Now comes the time for a "holistic" master plan, officials say. Surveying and public meetings are expected on the year. It's as good a time as any to imagine the possibilities for the open space's latest trails.

They're reached from the South Blodgett trailhead — the gateway that opened after the 2018 addition. This is just south of the parking lot well known among people seeking Blodgett Peak's craggy tip and the woods below.

South Blodgett offers a different, refreshing view, which includes the grassy Pikeview Frontage. It also includes a close-up look at the quarry, that recognizable scar which parks officials would like to see transformed into a mountain bike park one day.

From the South Blodgett parking lot, we started on the south end for the Oak Valley Trail. The path wraps gently around the shrubby hillside before harshly ascending to a high, flat top with a buffet of views: the sentinel Blodgett, Cheyenne Mountain to the south, Black Forest to the north and east and the city sprawling between.

The trail comes to a junction. We went left to start the South Blodgett Loop. The loop continues right at the next junction; the short trail system is well-marked.

The route swoops down and around trees burned by the 2012 Waldo Canyon fire and evergreens miraculously spared. The trail trends east back to the parking lot.

Trip log: 2 miles round trip (loop), 454 feet elevation gain

Getting there: South Blodgett trailhead about a mile south of Blodgett Open Space's main parking lot at 3786 W. Woodmen Road. Off Woodmen Road, see trailhead sign at turn for Blodgett Ranch Trail.

FYI: Open 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Hiking, biking, horseback riding. Dogs on leash. Icy in winter; bring traction.

SETH BOSTER, THE GAZETTE

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