Luke and I have four more hikes under our belts. The weather is finally starting to turn and the days are getting colder and much more wet. I’m doing my best to take advantage of the dry hours of the day when they pop up by keeping our gear ready to grab and go so we can run out the door at a moment’s notice.

Read on for my trail notes from hikes 9 through 12 of my 52 Hike Challenge!

In an effort to keep my trail notes from completely taking over Two Kids in Tow, I’m going to publish them in sets of four. To read all of my notes in order, click on the 52 Hike Challenge category in the right sidebar.

Hike 12/52: Contemplative, Roundup, and Red Rock Canyon Trails Loop

Contemplative, Roundup, and Red Rock Canyon Trails Loop in Colorado Springs, CO • twokidsintow.com
Contemplative, Roundup, and Red Rock Canyon Trails Loop in Colorado Springs, CO • twokidsintow.com
Contemplative, Roundup, and Red Rock Canyon Trails Loop in Colorado Springs, CO • twokidsintow.com

Red Rock Canyon Open Space | Colorado Springs, Colorado

Stats

Hike/Trail Name: Contemplative, Roundup, and Red Rock Canyon Trails Loop
Distance Traveled: 3.76 miles
Time: 1 hour 56 minutes
Elevation Gained: 498 feet
Difficulty: Easy
Date Completed: Monday, October 26, 2015

Trail Notes

We finally made it to Red Rock Canyon! I’ve passed it on Highway 24 time and time again, but never ventured inside. Luke and I decided to hike this loop when we got some unexpected free time this morning. It was a little hard to navigate the Contemplative Trail, but the Roundup and Red Rock Canyon Trails were easy to follow and absolutely gorgeous. Snow-covered Pikes Peak came in and out of view as we hiked. I can’t wait to go back!

Hike 11/52: Palmer Divide Ranch Trail

Palmer Divide Ranch Trail in Larkspur, CO • twokidsintow.com
Palmer Divide Ranch Trail in Larkspur, CO • twokidsintow.com
Palmer Divide Ranch Trail in Larkspur, CO • twokidsintow.com

Lincoln Mountain Open Space | Larkspur, Colorado

Stats

Hike/Trail Name: Palmer Divide Ranch Trail
Distance Traveled: 4.78 miles
Time: 2 hour 41 minutes
Elevation Gained: 264 feet
Difficulty: Easy
Date Completed: Sunday, October 25, 2015

Trail Notes

Luke was screaming and crying for chocolate milk when we pulled into the parking lot. Annie spotted another dog and barked out of control in the back of the Jeep, making Luke cry even more. Daddy and I were both stressed and on edge as we loaded up our backpacks and our kid and leashed up the dog. Step by step, the four of us started to unwind and the stress (mostly) faded away. Luke played in the dried leaves along the trail and scrambled on the rocks in our path. After we climbed down from the rocky vista, Luke fell asleep on my back and snoozed for the last few miles of our hike.

Hike 10/52: Black Forest Regional Park, White Loop

Black Forest Regional Park in Colorado Springs, CO • twokidsintow.com
Black Forest Regional Park in Colorado Springs, CO • twokidsintow.com
Black Forest Regional Park in Colorado Springs, CO • twokidsintow.com

Black Forest Regional Park | Colorado Springs, Colorado

Stats

Hike/Trail Name: Black Forest Regional Park, White Loop
Distance Traveled: 2.00 miles
Time: 1 hour 17 minutes
Elevation Gained: 166 feet
Difficulty: Easy
Date Completed: Saturday, October 24, 2015

Trail Notes

We visited Black Forest Regional Park this morning. It was the first time I’d seen the damage caused by the fire there in 2013. We hiked along the trail and marveled at the contrast between the black, charred trees and the vibrant forest floor. At the top of our loop, Luke asked to get down and hike on his own. He carefully picked out a walking stick and scrambled up and over every obstacle he could find. I really enjoy just watching him sometimes. He’s such an adventurous kid!

Hike 9/52: Volksmarch Red Fox

Volksmarch Red Fox Trail in Colorado Springs, CO • twokidsintow.com
Volksmarch Red Fox Trail in Colorado Springs, CO • twokidsintow.com
Volksmarch Red Fox Trail in Colorado Springs, CO • twokidsintow.com

Fox Run Regional Park | Colorado Springs, Colorado

Stats

Hike/Trail Name: Volksmarch Red Fox Trail
Distance Traveled: 4.92 miles
Time: 2 hour 19 minutes
Elevation Gained: 460 feet
Difficulty: Easy
Date Completed: Thursday, October 22, 2015

Trail Notes

The rain finally stopped and the clouds started to thin. It was time. Luke and I climbed in the car and headed for one of our favorite trails in the woods for a late afternoon hike. It was cold and damp, but that didn’t bother us. Luke slept warmly and heavily on my back as one mile turned to two, then to three. He woke about halfway through the hike and we talked about the trees, their roots, and their branches. We watched a black squirrel scamper around the forest floor and we high-fived each trail marker we passed. Three miles turned to four, then to five. It was just before dusk when we made it back to the car and headed for home, tired but happy.

52 Hike Challenge Are you participating in the 52 Hike Challenge? Say hello on Instagram or Facebook and let me know! I'm looking for other hikers to follow, especially those doing the challenge with their kids. Let's support and encourage each other.