Cheyenne Mountain is about to become a state park and while campsites aren't set to open until next year, the park's trails will open this weekend. Shrouded in clouds, the peak of Cheyenne Mountain was hidden Tuesday, but soon the mountain will be hidden to the public no more.
"Having people touch and feel this land is just as important as preserving it," said John Swartout, Director of Great Outdoors Colorado.
With 1,680 acres of open space, 62 campsites and 20 miles of untouched trails, Swartout says the park's landscape is very different than what it could have been.
"What you would have seen here is houses," said Swartout. "You'd see houses scattered all over this landscape because this property was for sale."
But in 1999 the City of Colorado Springs snapped it up first, bolstered by lottery dollars, money from Trails Open Space & Parks and support by Great Outdoors Colorado-- different groups with a common vision.
"What it does is protect the visual backdrop in our community," said Chris Lieber, manager of Trails, Open Space & Parks. "It creates wonderful recreational opportunities and protects wildlife."
From a nearly complete visitors center to state of the art campsites overlooking the city, the park creates a convergence of 2 worlds for visitors to enjoy. Cheyenne Mountain State Park will open part-time begining this Saturday. Park officials say in the coming years, they hope to purchase 1,000 acres on Cheyenne Mountain's South Peak to add to the park.
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