Some of the best in-town singletrack in Colorado Springs”
— The Kraken
Subject to US Air Force Academy access restrictions, ID is required. Auto access from the North Gate of USAFA only. Entry via car may be subject to a look inside your vehicle. Please don't hassle the guards, they're just doing their jobs.
*** USAFA may enforce a buddy-system policy (i.e. no rider rides alone) when using the base's trail network, including the Falcon Trail. Please contact USAFA Natural Resources 719-333-3308 for current info ***
This fantastic singletrack loop trail tours the grounds of the US Air Force Academy. Rebuilt about ten years ago, it boasts long climbs, flowy singletrack downhills, and beautiful views as it crosses high prairie and low mountain woodland terrain. A couple of short, moderately technical sections add interest.
Rideable by advanced beginners, it's still a favorite of the veteran riders in town.
Need to Know
While this map starts at the Bomber parking area (which provides seasonal bathroom facilities), many people park where the loop crosses Academy Drive near the stadium, cutting out the short road and trail section from the bomber to the loop.
Starting at the bomber, (really! it's a B-52 mounted on a pole) ride towards the scout camping area just south of the parking lot (via dirt road, approximately 200 yards). The trail begins right behind the camping area. There are bathroom facilities at the trailhead as well. You'll then be riding on a shorter spur of the main trail that will dip through a creek bed and eventually cross over the parade loop. Follow the signage to cross over the road and link up with the main loop.
Once you find the trail, turn left (south) on the singletrack. Ride another few hundred yards to where the trail intersects the main Falcon loop. At this point, you can turn either left (clockwise) or right (counterclockwise)and do the loop. It's well marked, with more white Carsonite signs along the way.
Just remember where you started the loop, since you'll be coming back from the opposite direction. Miss it and you'll do another lap!
No matter which way you go, the trail is 95% singletrack and all on dirt. The trail covers rolling terrain, with climbs and fun descents. You'll end up generally climbing to the high point on the west side of the Academy grounds, about 1,400 feet above the start of the loop. There are a few road and stream crossings, but it's hard to miss the trail. From there, it's mostly downhill, with a few climbs to keep you honest, back around the loop to where you started.
Once you finish your loop, just head back out to the car. If a 13 mile loop isn't enough, many people do another lap in the other direction. The ride feels very different going the other way, but it's tough to say which way is "better".
History & Background
Originally a private ranch, the US Air Force Academy was built in the 1950s. The Falcon Trail was rebuilt in the early 2000s to IMBA standards.