Summer is here. Stretch your horizons

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It's June.  The kids are out of school, the weather has finally decided to act appropriately for the season — summer officially starts on Monday —  the wildflowers are starting to bloom, vacations are being planned and everyone wants to get out and enjoy the outdoors.  It's natural, and it's perfect.

With the weather so far acting fairly normal for the Pikes Peak region, with no record rain, at least, this summer would be a perfect time for you to stretch your horizons and try someplace new to hike or camp. Instead of defaulting to the same trails in the same parks that you normally do, find a new place to visit.  Check out a state park you've never been to, visit a trail in our many national forests that you've kept on the back-burner, and don't forget that this is year is the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.  What better time to visit and hike in one of Colorado's many National Parks properties.  

Maybe you've never gone backpacking or camping — now is the perfect time to give it a try. Visit one of the many great local outdoors recreation suppliers for advice on what to buy and where to go. 

If you've never done a 14'er, give it a try this summer.

Want to go somewhere new to look at wildflowers? Find some of my favorite places here.

The key here is to try something new. Stretch your horizons. Push your personal envelope. Make this the summer you don't settle for the outdoor status quo.

Note some closures in the area: North Cheyenne Cañon Park will be closed from 6 a.m. Monday, June 20th until 8 p.m. Saturday, June 25th for paving and Tussock Moth spraying. Columbine, Mt Cutler, Mt Muscoco and Spring Creek Trails will be closed. Helen Hunt Falls and Silver Cascade Falls will also be closed.

Gold Camp Road will be open, with access to Captain Jacks, Mt Buckhorn, Seven Bridges and St Mary's Falls trails.

Bob Falcone is a retired firefighter, photographer, hiker, college instructor, business owner and author of Hiking Bob's Tips, Tricks and Trails, available via his website. He has lived in Colorado Springs for over 24 years. Follow him on Twitter (@hikingbob), Facebook (Hiking Bob), Instagram (@HikingBob_CO) or visit his website (Hikingbob.com). E-mail questions, comments, suggestions, etc to Bob: info@hikingbob.com.

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