Trailhead: Bluestem Prairie Trailhead off of Bradley Road
Activities: Hiking, birding
Closest City / Town: Colorado Springs, Colorado
- Drive south on I-25 out of Colorado Springs.
- Take a left (east) onto Academy Boulevard.
- Drive 1.5 miles to the Bradley Road exit, and hang a left on Bradley.
- Drive 4.5 miles down Bradley Road. Bradley Road will eventually turn into Goldfield Drive.
- You will begin to see the Big Johnson Reservoir on your left-hand side.
- Just beyond the Reservoir, look for a sign and parking for the trailhead on the left.
- Note: Bluestem Prairie is just south of Colorado Springs Airport.
Hiking Distance: 2.5 miles (roundtrip)
Description: Please note that dogs are not allowed in Bluestem Prairie Open Space. The hike through Bluestem Prairie is very gentle. There is little to no elevation gain. Essentially, the trail wraps three-fourths of the way around the reservoir, and then comes to a dead end. Although not difficult to navigate, the trail does disappear on the north side of Big Johnson Reservoir as vegetation has reclaimed some of its former territory.
Bluestem Prairie is a perfect place for a mid-winter trek. The open space is rarely used, and you will most likely be able to find solitude under its open skies.
Worth Noting: Big Johnson Reservoir is considered a renowned bird watching site by many of the Colorado Springs and Fountain locals. You will likely see herds of pronghorn antelope in the short grass prairie. Prairie dog colonies line the trail, especially on the south side of the reservoir. Palmer Land Trust holds a conservation easement on the property.