Time for some exploring. Wanting a few hours on the bike, but not wanting to climb up Gold Camp Road again or deal with the crowds in Palmer Park, we decided to head up to Woodland Park. Nick had been staring at the Pikes Peak Atlas and there were some trail around the Catamount Reservoirs that we could access pretty easily. We'd ridden a few of them before, but had taken the toll road to get up there. It was time to see if we could get at those trails via a different route.

Ring the Peak  trail - riding and having fun
We started with a long climb up to the Ring the Peak trail, but stayed on the Catamount trails for a while. I don't remember the name, but it was a lolly-pop type trail with a fun little loop at the very end. Nothing about the trails were technical at all - the loop trail was fairly wide, but with some steep climbs. We did a little exploring off the beaten track, but every time the trail turned straight uphill, we turned around. It was a day for fun and easy riding, not lots of climbing! The trail that dropped into the North Slope Rec area was fun - a narrow path along the contours of the mountain, dodging in and out of aspen and pine groves. Nothing hard, just fun, easy riding.
Found a rock and decided to play on it for a bit
When we reached the North Slope Rec area, the gate between Catamount and the road was closed with a small sign saying "North Slope Rec area is closed between Oct 1 and May 1" Huh? That wasn't cool - especially since the first portal into the north slope area had a nice entrance around the gate. We hopped the gate and kept riding, already plotting what stories we'd tell the rangers if needed. But on the small section of Ring the Peak, we met two other mountain bikers and some hikers. Yeah, really seemed like the trails were closed. Onto Mule Deer trail along the reservoirs edge and we could see fishermen and kayakers playing in the wonderful weather. Two runners and four hikers later, we decided that the trails really weren't closed at all. And when we popped out on the dam and the ranger drove by and waved, we stopped worrying about getting busted.
One huge hill from the water's edge to the ridgeline

Again, the trails in the North Slope Rec area were fun - perfect for the kind of riding we wanted that day. But there wasn't anything challenging at all - just the undulating fun along the water's edge. Up and down, around the fingers, over a few little rocks - low key and chill riding. It was a great day to be out and a perfect spin under the shadow of Pikes Peak.


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