“This is mostly the course from the 24 Hours of COS. Fun singletrack right in town.
— Jon Zanone
Palmer Park is a excellent in-town ride. There are many ways to ride it. There are great views of Pikes Peak and downtown Colorado Springs. The trail is not terribly technical, but there are enough drops and steep climbs to keep you on your toes.
There are a lot of alternate ways to ride the park, but this course seems to be the best way to link together most all of the good stuff in the park.
Need to Know
This is a heavily used urban park. Horses, runners, hikers, kids having birthday parties - they're all there.
There are many ways to ride this park. All are fun. This is the way I do it. You'll learn to ride in sand, climb and descend. Stop and say hello to your fellow humans.
Although you'll almost always hear the hum of the urban river, for much of the ride you'll forget you are in the middle of Colorado's second largest city. Smell the pine and juniper in the morning. Stop and look at the blooming cactus and yuccas after a wet spring. Do take care of this park. There are many areas with clay-based soil. It dries quickly, so give it a bit after a rain.
If you want extreme mountain biking, look elsewhere. There are several areas that are technical, but this is not a technical ride.
It is not an epic ride. It's a ride to remind yourself why you attach your flesh to a hunk of exotic metal and composites. It's a ride that puts a grin on your face, and maybe a few dings in your downtube.
History & Background
General William Palmer, the founder of Colorado Springs, willed this beautiful chunk of real estate to the city. In that will, he stipulates if the city were to ever sell any or all of the park, the city would pay his heirs the retail price of the park. Looking at real estate prices here, I can't imagine the city would ever find that much money.