Recently, I stopped by the Ranger Office at Sycamore Grove to check in and catch up with a few of the Rangers. During our conversation, Ranger Pat mentioned they had completed a new trail that made the hike to Valley View a 1.4 mile loop. Today after work, Maggie and I headed off to Sycamore Grove and found the new Valley View loop trail. The original trail has a 15% grade on the back side. To put this in perspective, Pikes Peak Road has an average grade of 6.7% with a maximum grade of 10.5%. The new section of trail is much easier to hike.
I was capturing an image of the two Live Oak trees in the background when I notice Maggie taking a break. She was more than happy to become the focus of the picture.
We even found some color on the side of the trail among the dry hills. By the time we reach the top, we were both in need of another water break.
The hike down the back side of Valley View is still steep, but at least gravity, as well as Maggie, were pulling me down the grade.
We then continued our hike along the trail to Cattail Pond.
Cattail Pond is supplied by a natural spring. It is a great place to stop half way through this loop to relax and enjoy the sounds of nature.
By the time we were back to where we started, the sun was setting providing a beautiful sunset through the Sycamore trees at the western end of the park. I can’t think of a better way to finish off a Monday than with a 4.4 mile hike!