Over a year after being shut down by military officials due to security concerns, the New Santa Fe Regional Trail section that traverses through the US Air Force Academy was re-opened to the public today.
A popular trail that connects Palmer Lake and Colorado Springs, the closing has been a point of contention between the outdoors community — especially cyclists — and the AFA. The El Paso County Parks Department worked with Air Force officials to re-open the trail.
In an emailed announcement from El Paso County Parks Department head Tim Wolken, the opening comes attached to an agreement between the county Parks Department and the USAFA that a New Santa Fe Regional Trail Watch Group would be established by the county. The watch group will be additional eyes and ears for AFA security forces, addressing some of the security concerns that had kept the trail closed.
Wolken included the watch group's "guidelines":
1. Do not confront a suspicious person.
2. Report any suspicious activity to the Air Force Academy Security Office – 719-333-2000.
3. When contacting the Air Force Academy Security Office, please be prepared to report the description, current location, and direction of travel of the suspicious person.
4. In case of emergency, call 911.
People interested in participating in the watch group can contact Wolken at firstname.lastname@example.org