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Adventures with Alan connects with wildlife at the Fountain Creek Nature Center

Fountain Creek Nature Center
Posted at 6:20 PM, Apr 04, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-04 21:07:39-04

FOUNTAIN — In our exclusive series Adventures with Alan, we'll travel across Southern Colorado week-by-week to show you thrills and chills, hidden gems and well-known spots.

Thanks to warmer weather, hiking season is back!

But hiking in the spring can be a challenge, because well, it's mud season here in Southern Colorado.

Lucky for us, our latest hike at the Fountain Creek Nature Center comes during a dry stretch of weather.

Fountain Creek Nature Center

About 15 minutes south of Colorado Springs, the Fountain Creek Nature Center and Trail is located off the Mesa Ridge Parkway exit, between I-25 and N. Santa Fe Avenue.

At 460-acres, the regional park that's home to the nature center offers plenty to do and see.

Before our hike, we take a peek inside.

"The nature center is a great place for families, especially young kiddos to come in and get a glimpse into the wetland environment that we have here. We like to call it the 'Oasis on the Plains'," said Victoria Dinkel, Interpretive Director at the Fountain Creek Nature Center.

For first time visitors like myself, the nature center serves as a great introduction to the marshy wetlands found here.

Fountain Creek Nature Trail

"There is a point seven mile loop that goes just around this pond here at the nature center, and it's part of the Cattail Marsh Wildlife Area," said Dinkel.

After tackling some pretty big hikes over the years, the trail nearby the nature center is more of a stroll than a hike.

It's a popular spot for bird-watchers, families, and anyone else looking to spend time outdoors.

But leave your pups at home. Dogs are not allowed on the nature trail. They are allowed however on the regional trail that stretches for around 3 miles from the north end of the park to the south end.

Within the nature loop, Dinkel says to keep an eye out for deer, as well as lots of bird residents, bobcats, turtles, butterflies, even turkeys.

"It's pretty common to see white-tail deer down in the woods. They've kind of gotten used to the people around, and know that we don't bug 'em. They'll usually hang out pretty close to the trail." said Dinkel.

With stunning views of the Front Range and Pikes Peak, we're lucky to hike on a dry day.

You know it's spring because there's green grass beginning to show up alongside the trail.

On top of the creeks, ponds and wildfire, we run across a gorgeous cottonwood tree on our hike.

A sign at the base of the tree says that it's 150 years old, and that it measures 20 feet around its trunk and stands five stories tall.

The wetlands are home to hundreds of different species of plants and animals.

"You never know what you're gonna find. It really depends on the day," said Dinkel.

Whether out on a leisurely stroll or wanting to connect with nature, this is perfect place to do it.

Best of all, they're open year-round.

"We are free to come visit, open Tuesday through Saturday, so come on down and learn about our environment a little bit and explore the trails," said Dinkel.

Fountain Creek Nature Center and Trail adventure rating

When it comes to difficulty, it's flat, it's less than a mile and it's great for families. We'll give this 1 out of 5.

For scenery...wonderful views of the Front Range and Pikes Peaks make this an easy one. 4 out of 5.

For fun level...I had a great time! 4 out of 5.

Now for my final score...let's rate this 4 stars out of 5.

Fountain Creek Nature Trail rating
Here's how Alan rates his experience at the Fountain Creek Nature Center and Trail

Final Thoughts

This place is wonderful for all ages, and offers a variety of programs throughout the year. They also cater to local schools in the area, something I'm told is a big hit with the elementary school kids.

For more information, you can visit their website here: Fountain Creek Nature Center.


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