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Trail difficulty
Green
Elevation Gain
1,120.00 ft (341.38 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
16.90 mi (27.20 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Following portions of the abandoned Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad Line, the New Santa Fe Regional Trail provides an easy and scenic view of the Front Range. At 17 miles in length, this trail starts at Palmer Lake outside Monument, Colorado, and travels to the northern part of Colorado Springs, where it connects with the 11-mile Pikes Peak Greenway Trail.

A great place to mountain bike, this trail is popular with trail runners and hikers as well. Along the way, you’ll be greeted with historic markers and interpretive signs that describe the days of the railroad long gone, and explain the vast array of wildlife and unique plants of the area. Keep an eye out for snakes during wamer months as they are sometimes spotted on the trail warming themselves in the sun. There are several distinct segments to the New Santa Fe Regional Trail on the north end, so you can easily break up the trail into smaller sections for easier hikes, runs, or rides. This is a multi-use trail, so be prepared to see fellow hikers, bikers, and trail runners on your travels.

A unique and new feature of the trail is its route through the U.S. Air Force Academy. At one time, the only permitted access was allowed through this section of trail on the base. However, more recently, the parks commission has come to an agreement with the Air Force to let people pass through while still maintaining base security. While traveling through this area, you’ll get close-up views of the Cadet Chapel, the Falcon stadium, and numerous military aircraft taking off from the base daily. The rest of the trail is a mix of scenic pastures and forests, interspersed with rides through the urban areas of Monument and Colorado Springs. This ride is great for all ages and abilities and is also pet-friendly.

The Colorado Springs area is full of outdoor adventure. In addition tot he New Santa Fe Regional Trail, try a nearby adventure on the Grandview TrailVindicator ValleyRed Rock Canyon Open Space, or Cheyenne Mountain State Park.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

17 miles of scenic trail. Multi-use.

Pets allowed

Allowed

Trailhead Elevation

6,199.00 ft (1,889.46 m)

Highest point

7,237.00 ft (2,205.84 m)

Net Elevation Gain

1,120.00 ft (341.38 m)

Features

Family friendly
Near lake or river
Historically significant
Wildlife
Big vistas
Wildflowers
Bird watching

Typically multi-day

No

Suitable for

Hiking

Route Characteristics

Trail

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Comments

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Visit Colorado Springs

Unplug and reconnect in the endless beauty of Colorado Springs. Soak up spacious blue skies as you hike refreshing waterfalls, national forests and natural landmarks. From sweeping vistas to rare rock formations, the region is full of reinvigorating experiences.

Trade in screen time for mountain time to discover unforgettable adventures. Ditch your to-do list for your bucket list. Play alongside towering sandstone formations in Garden of the Gods Park. Navigate the twists and turns up Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain and the roaring white waters of the Arkansas River.

With more than 60 inspired things to see and do, the only lines you’ll find here are the ones you cast in a sparkling reservoir. Where the nightlife involves stargazing in the wilderness and turning up means making it to the top of the Manitou Springs Incline.

Escape to the cool Rocky Mountains of Colorado Springs, explorers are always welcome.

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