Wow, The Gazette had a great response to the scavenger hunt. Considering we sent you over hill and dale, we got about 50 entries. That's a lot of people who spent a day (at least) getting to know the city's parks better.
Our winners, drawn randomly from the correct entries, recieved four tickets to Loveland Ski Area.
Here are the answers:
1. Start downtown, in Monument Valley Park. The park has a pond with brightly colored aquatic inhabitants. What are they?
Ducks or carp (we accepted both)
2. Make your way to Colorado Springs’ oldest outdoor shop. (Hint: It’s a hacky sack boot from Acacia Park.) What bird hovers over the entrance?
3. In Garden of the Gods, make your way to Gateway Rock. There’s a plaque on the south side. What is the wish expressed on the plaque?
That it be kept forever free to the public
4. From Gateway Rock, go south along the paved walk until you find what some of the first pioneers to see Garden of the Gods said would be a good use for the park. What was it?
5. Next, find Balanced Rock. What is the name of the less-well-known prow of rock next to it?
6. Now head to Manitou Springs — and don’t forget to take a tasting cup. Ask around town for the location of Twin Spring, the bubbly favorite of the town’s mineral water connoisseurs. According to a sign beside the sputtering, encrusted spout, the water contains a trace of what?
7. From Twin Spring, dash to Barr Trail. At the start of the 12.6-mile trail, what does a sign warn is “dangerous” and “common” on the 7,300-foot trek up to Pikes Peak?
8. Head east from Manitou Springs to the main trailhead for Red Rock Canyon Open Space, just off U.S. Highway 24. Get ready for a short, beautiful hike. Using a map at the trailhead, locate the Quarry Pass Trail. That’s your destination. Along the way, keep your eye out for a series of teeter totters. This isn’t a child’s playground. What is it?
Mountain bike freeride park
9. Once you reach the gap through the stepped layers of the red rock quarry, where the Colorado Stone Co. carved up the land in the 1890s, look north at the closest carved wall. How many distinct layers are cut out of this pyramidshaped wall?
10. From Red Rock, head to Bear Creek Nature Center and set out on the Songbird Trail. This short trail, concrete and boardwalk, is handicapped accessible. What man-made feature sits alongside it?
11. Now it’s time to do some detective work. Find the waterfall named after Colorado Springs’ most famous poet and early booster. It’s in one of the city’s largest and oldest parks. (A few hints: The park has more deer and mountain lions than grass and flower beds. Part of the poet’s house sits in the Pioneers Museum.) Make your way to the falls, then follow the trail that climbs steeply up over a bridge to another cascade above. At the highest observation point, a sign describes what types of plants grow in certain parts of the canyon. According to the sign, what is the dominant factor involved?
Direction the mountainside faces
12. Stop at the Starsmore Discovery Center at the mouth of the canyon as you head back into town. The regal stone house, moved to its current location in 1992, now acts as a nature center and host of the annual Hummingbird Festival. According to a sign near the front door, why do hummingbirds zero in on red flowers?
Hummingbirds can see red, insects cannot, so they don't compete with the insects
13. Now head back to town. The Rock Island Trail between Powers and Murray boulevards hides a comfy concrete bench. How is it shaped and whose words are inscribed on it?
Oak Leaves, Ann H. Zwinger
14. From here, head to Palmer Park. In the maze of roads and trails, look for a spot called Yucca Flats. What family members are meant to use this part of the park?