We tried the trail today from Woodman north, but stopped at the entrance to the Air Force Academy. The gate was locked, and the sign said enter only if you have permission of the "installation commander" so we rode back to Woodman, and went around the AFA in the car, and started again (going north) from the "North Gate" parking lot, which is just outside of the AFA security gate. Then, it was a fantastic ride on smooth crushed gravel all the way to Palmer Lake (about 8 miles). Great views, not crowed, and a great trail for distance training. I'd like to understand how and who can traverse the AFA property though. It would be nice to start in downtown Colorado Springs and ride continuously up to Palmer Lake without blatantly trespassing on a military base.
Rob R. on Santa Fe Regional Trail
Took it last year shortly after getting stationed at USAFA. It follows the creek but not very close. Was ok for a first hike in the area, but probably wouldn't walk it again - would be better on a bike.
I ran on this trail when I was training for my half marathon, late last year. I would come here when I had greater distances to run as it runs very far north and south. I really like the trail. it's pretty flat for the most part with only a few, little moundy hills. I haven't been here since December, but at that time I was ok for civilians to enter the AFA part of the trail. This is not allowed, for now, since the nation's security level has been raised to "elevated.
Nice training trail for putting in miles in preparation for events like the Elephant Rock race, or just simply for getting in a nice workout. Not exactly a challenging trail - more like a dirt-covered sidewalk. In fact, if you look up the history, you'll find this is a former railroad bed that the rails and ties have been removed long ago. But if putting in some miles is your goal, the trail is nice for that.
I rode this trail on a beautiful fall day, which contributed to the large number of people on the trail. My route was north from Colorado Springs to Monument and back. North bound is a continuous uphill grade, so the return trip was a very easy ride. The trail was in good shape despite recent heavy rains.