Columns » Hiking Bob

Reynolds Park is a Hidden Gem; Florissant Fossil Beds 15 for 50 contest

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I have a few methods of finding trails to hike and write about: I may spot an online reference, either in detail or just in passing, to a trail, or someone tells me about a trail they've done, or I search maps for squiggly lines that look interesting. The last method is how I found this week's subject, Reynolds Park in Jefferson County. North of Buffalo Creek and west of Conifer, Reynolds Park is an out-of-the-way, not-on-the-way to anyplace beauty of a park, with a nice trail system, great views, and on my recent visit in mid-July, it was full of wildflowers. I selected few trails in the park to make a nice loop hike.  See slideshow below for details.

To Get There: Take US 24 to Colorado Hwy 67 in Woodland Park. Go north on Hwy 67 to County Road 126 in Deckers then go west for about 15 miles, and just past Buffalo Creek, turn right on to County Road 96. Your GPS map will show the road as Southwest Platte River Road, but the sign at the intersection will say County Road 96. Go north about 4.75 miles to South Foxton Road and turn left.  Take South Foxton Road for about 3 miles to the Reynolds Park trailhead and parking lot, on the left side of the road.

What You Need to Know: While there is plenty of shade on this hike, on my visit, it was a hot summer day, and even with shade, the heat was oppressive. There is no potable water available, so bring plenty of your own.  Bathrooms (pit-toilets) are available at the trailhead. This loop can be done either clockwise or counter-clockwise, and while both directions can be strenuous, clockwise is a little easier. Dogs are allowed, but must be leashed.  Motorized vehicles are not permitted on any trails, and bicycles are not allowed on the Elkhorn and Oxen Draw Trails. Cell phone service is very limited in the general vicinity of the park and on the trail. The round-trip distance for this hike is approximately 4.25 miles.

Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, which is celebrating it's 50th anniversary this year, is having a hiking contest to go along with it's year-long celebration. The 15-for-50 contest awards a prize to anyone who hikes all 15 miles of trails at the National Park Service site, west of Colorado Springs. With the trails there being generally easy to do, a motivated hiker can do them all in one day, if desired. Entry forms and additional information is available at the visitors center.

Be Good. Do Good Things.

Bob Falcone is a retired firefighter, photographer, hiker, business owner and author of Hiking Bob's Tips, Tricks and Trails, available via his website. He has lived in Colorado Springs for  almost 28 years. Follow him on Twitter (@hikingbob), Facebook (@hikingguide), Instagram (@HikingBob_CO) or visit his website (Hikingbob.com). E-mail questions, comments, suggestions, etc to Bob: info@hikingbob.com.

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