Whether you're training for a race (like the runBlossom 5K on May 6th) or just looking for a great loop to hike, bike, or run, we've put together a few of our favorite 3-mile loops in the area. From flat to heart-pumping hilly, these courses will offer great terrain and gorgeous views.
Shown above: View from the Riverwalk Trail at the top of Reynolds Hill.
Start at the Sells Avenue Trailhead of the Riverwalk (just past the surgery center), and start out with a nice, easy flat run. You'll pass the ropes course, the pond, and duck under the Reynolds Bridge. For a grand finale, head up Reynolds Hill! You'll catch amazing views of Pikes Peak, the Arkansas, and Fremont Peak from the viewpoint and benches at the top of the hill. Head back down for a smooth run back to the trailhead. Take the Bluff Trail to change it up a little bit on the way back!
Tunnel Drive is an historic and scenic route that is easily accessible from town. Just head out on Hwy. 50 and turn L onto Tunnel Drive road. You'll find the trailhead at the end of the road (please observe the posted speed limit as this is a residential area!), and you can start your adventure from the parking lot. Walk up the hill or start your run at the bottom. Tunnel Drive continues for about 2 mile to the end, so turn around before that point if you are shooting for a 3 mile run. After the hill, the trail is wide and flat - enjoy the views of Grape Creek, the Royal Gorge, and (possibly) some wildlife!
When you're ready to graduate from flat terrain to some rolling hills, the Hogbacks is a great place to train! Head out from Floral Avenue Trailhead on Greenhorn - a wide, gravel path that heads north. You can return on the same trail, or cut over to Graneros by taking a left onto the Old Skyline trail and another left onto Graneros. It's singletrack, so be aware of cactus and some exposure. There's plenty of up-and-down to keep you busy while getting a great workout and super views!
Love a good run that ends on a nice, sustained downhill? You'll love this up-up-down-down route that takes you from Eagle Wing Trailhead, up Mutton Bustin', and through Ecology Park before returning to the trailhead. You'll encounter plenty of other users on this trail system, so be aware of your surroundings, and enjoy the beautiful views along Schepp Ridge, among others! This route is about 3.4 miles.
Ready for a challenge? Made in the Shade is a great 3.1-mile loop at the Royal Gorge Trails system. You can run either direction (clockwise or counter-clockwise), but be sure to stop and enjoy the views. You'll encounter some great downhill and reciprocating uphill, so be ready for a heart-pumping run. There is some exposure (dropoffs) on this trail, so be careful - especially if on your bicycle. This is a true loop and ends where it starts - a great route!