Cottonwood Creek Park
Located just north of the Northwind neighborhood, Cottonwood Creek Park has everything you could need: a huge soccer field, three baseball diamonds, an easy walking path, a recreation center with an indoor pool, a large playground, and even a disc/frisbee golf course. There is a steep hill between the in-line hockey court and the baseball diamonds, and every year, children can’t wait to try it out. Some older children will also make snow ramps to make it more challenging. Cottonwood Creek Trail is the park’s most popular feature. It wraps around Cottonwood Creek for 1.5 miles, with a wide sidewalk on one side, and a dirt path on the other side.
It’s a plus Cottonwood Creek Park has wide sidewalks since you don’t have to dodge people every time they come toward you. This happens a lot. This is a popular park, and it is wheelchair accessible. There are cyclists, joggers, skateboarders, and dog walkers there. Those with dogs will find this park to be very dog-friendly. In case you forget to bring your own poop bag, there are empty milk jugs tied to posts along the trail with plastic bags stuffed inside.
Additionally, you will see a few cottonwood trees along the trail. Cottonwood trees are found throughout this neighborhood, hence the name. Despite being a great tree for shading, and being very easy to grow, this is, unfortunately, a weed. The shallow roots in cottonwood trees destroy everything they touch, and the branches break easily, so they can pose a danger if they grow too close to your house or driveway.
Cottonwood trees also release their seeds around June. These balls of floating cotton look like little balls of cotton. People with allergies or who don’t like things going into their eyes for an entire month should steer clear. There is even a separate disc golf/frisbee golf area. On the first course, golfers have an excellent view of Pikes Peak. Furthermore, an in-line hockey rink and a couple of tennis courts for adults are also available. If you’re a hockey or tennis player, take advantage of the unused space.
You can also find the Cottonwood Creek YMCA, which has a wave pool. Classes, a gym, swimming, and probably more activities to do. When it’s too hot outside, or if you don’t have access to a pool otherwise, their recreational center comes in handy. Next to the recreation center is the Xeriscape Demonstration Garden, which is a miniature xeriscaped garden. A number of signs identify the type of plants and trees in the area, so you can xeriscape your yard and conserve water, courtesy of Colorado Springs Utilities.
A playground is every child’s dream, so they have three separate playgrounds- one for toddlers, one for younger children, and even a taller slide for older children, though the younger ones enjoy it as well. There are also a few benches for when you want to watch the kids battle it out on the playground. An enclosed pavilion is also available next to the toddler playground for parties.
On top of that, there are four fields of soccer in the grassy area, which offers a nice view of Pikes Peak. During the summer, Cottonwood Creek Park is always full of soccer games, and sometimes events are held there as well. Near the soccer fields are public restrooms, but they are not well maintained. There are toilet paper and running water, but you shouldn’t expect anything else. Make sure you bring hand sanitizer and use leftover toilet paper to open the door as you leave. As you reach Union Street on the trail, you can either cross the street and continue your journey, or you can cross over the bridge and hook back over the north edge of the creek.
It feels more like a natural path without a sidewalk, and there are a few areas where you can imagine you’re in the middle of a forest. Eventually, you will come back to Rangewood Drive, and then you will be able to reconnect in the park.
The beautiful views and fresh air, coupled with a great place for kids and dogs, make Cottonwood Creek Park a great place to visit in Colorado Springs, CO.