Outdoor recreation

Photo of Pikes PeakIn Colorado Springs, parks, trails, open spaces, and outdoor facilities are important recreational amenities supporting the community’s quality of life. Colorado Springs provides many opportunities for residents and visitors to enjoy time outdoors. City founder General William Jackson Palmer donated 1,270 acres of parkland, bridle and foot paths, and scenic drives and roadways to establish a significant foundation of the Colorado Springs park system. The City owns or manages a combined total of over 9,000 acres of parks, 500 acres of trails, and 5,000 acres of open spaces.

General Outdoor Safety Tips

  • Let somebody know where you will be and when you expect to return.
  • Include two or more companions in outdoor activities.
  • Familiarize yourself with the route you are taking and the general area you will be using.
  • Review weather reports for your destination and watch the weather for approaching storms.
  • Ensure you have up-to-date maps for the location you will be using.
  • Stay on the trail to avoid getting lost.
  • If you get lost, stay where you are and let searchers find you.
  • Carry plenty of fresh water and avoid drinking from lakes or streams whenever possible.
  • Carry enough food or snacks to last twice as long as you plan to be gone.
  • Dress appropriately and be prepared for any sudden change in the weather.
  • Wear bright clothing to increase your visibility.
  • Avoid wearing gray, brown, tan, or white clothing when hiking in hunting areas.
  • Know your physical limits for hiking and biking.

Bicycling

An extensive network of on-street bicycle lanes, urban bicycle trails, and unpaved mountain bike trails are available to bicyclists in Colorado Springs. This network of trails, lanes, and routes is designed to interconnect for a variety of riding options. Bicycle routes, marked by signs, are streets with less traffic and lower speed limits which makes them conducive to bicycle travel.

Source: Bicycling Colorado Springs, Drive Smart Colorado Springs and Consumer Reports

Bicycle safety tips

  • Always wear a helmet.
  • Be sure the bicycle is the right size.
  • Be sure your bicycle is in good condition and has the right safety accessories.
    • The law requires that each bicycle have a white front reflector, two-side wheel reflectors, and a headlight visible for 500 feet.
    • Each bicycle should have a bell or horn to alert pedestrians and other riders.
  • Always follow basic safety rules.
    • Know and obey traffic laws and signs.
    • Ride, single file, the same direction as traffic.
    • Stop and look both ways before entering traffic.
    • Use hand signals.
    • Watch all parked cars or cars pulling out of driveways and alleys.
    • Walk the bicycle across busy intersections.
  • Wear bright-colored (white, florescent) clothing to increase your visibility. Children should also wear retro-reflective clothing or material, especially on their ankles, wrists, back, and helmet.

Skateboarding and Rollerblading

Skateboarding and rollerblading in Colorado Springs is the favorite pastime of many of the area’s youths and young adults. With the addition of the 40,000 square feet skate park at Memorial Park, now more than ever, enthusiasts have a destination within the city to enjoy their activities.

Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Protective gear

Protective gear, such as closed, slip-resistant shoes, helmets, and specially-designed padding is recommended to reduce the number and severity of injuries. Padded jackets and shorts, in addition to padding for hips, knees, elbows, wrist braces, and skate gloves, are available. This protective gear will help absorb the impact of a fall.

Who gets injured

Annually in the United States, 26,000 persons are treated in hospital emergency departments with skateboard and rollerblading related injuries. Sprains, fractures, contusions, and abrasions are the most common types of injuries. Several factors – lack of protective equipment, poor board maintenance, and irregular riding surfaces – are involved in these accidents.

• Six out of every ten skateboard injuries are to children under 15 years of age.

• Injuries to first-time skateboarders are, for the most part, due to falls.

• Experienced riders mainly suffer injuries when they fall after their skateboard strikes rocks and other irregularities in the riding surface or when they attempt difficult stunts.

Skateboarding and rollerblading safety tips

  • Never ride in the street.
  • Check the riding area by checking for holes, bumps, rocks, and any debris.
  • Do not take chances.
    • Complicated tricks require careful practice and a specially designed area.
    • Only one person should ride a skateboard.
    • Never hitch a ride from a car, bus, truck, bicycle, etc.
  • Learning how to fall in case of a crash may help reduce your chances of being seriously injured.
    • Crouch down on the skateboard if you are losing your balance.
    • Try to land on the fleshy parts of your body.
    • Try to roll rather than absorb the force of the fall with your arms.
    • Try to relax your body, even though this might be difficult during a fall.

Helmets

  • Make sure the helmet meets safety standards. Look for a sticker or other indication that the helmet meets the CPSC, ANSI, SNELL or ASTM standard.
  • Buy the smallest size that fits comfortably; use the sizing pads to fine-tune the fit.
  • A good-fitting helmet should be snug, but not so tight that it is uncomfortable.
  • A properly fitting helmet should touch your head at the crown, sides, front, and back.
  • The helmet should set squarely on top of the head in a level position and cover the top of the forehead extending down to about an inch above the eyebrows.
  • Adjust the straps according to the manufacturer’s instructions. With the chinstrap buckled, the helmet should not move when you shake your head or push from sides, front or back.
  • Allow your child to help pick out his or her helmet. Children are more likely to wear the helmet if they have helped to select it.
  • Replace your helmet every three to five years.