COLORADO SPRINGS — Seasons have changed, yet even with summer gone parking lots at Colorado parks and open spaces remain packed. "We're still seeing increased numbers of park users, throughout the system," said Colorado Springs Parks, Trails and Open Space Manger, Scott Abbott.
Park managers see newcomers from early-on in the pandemic, who now have transitioned to park regulars. "Get out of their homes and realize the importance of taking a hike or going for a ride,” said Abbott, “But, now that is kind of staying with them and they are continuing to use the parks.” The option of getting outside is one of the few things encouraged rather than restricted during the pandemic.
No-one is being critical, but there are a couple of cautions heading into the winter months. Trail conditions change quickly in the winter, causing more ways to get injured. A trail that is dry in sunny spots can be icy in the shade. Trails also need protection. Southern Colorado’s dramatic winter weather swings rapidly change trails from dry, to muddy, to icy. "It's a tendency to widen out those trails, because people like to go around." Proper trail etiquette is staying centered on the trail, even if it means walking through mud.