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Spring is the perfect time to rediscover Mueller State Park
4/29/2018
Credit:
Linda Groat, CPW News Release
April 25, 2018

Spring is the perfect time to rediscover Mueller State Park

By Linda Groat

Program Coordinator

DIVIDE, Colo. – The meadows of Mueller State Park soon will be welcoming newborn wildlife and wildflowers and the campground and trails will be welcoming visitors.

Park staff is ready for them all with a calendar of events in May that includes nature talks, scenic hikes, special events and more.

“We have scheduled some excellent guest speakers and professional naturalists that enjoy sharing their passion,” said John Geerdes, Mueller park manager. “Since we are located so close to the cities of Woodland Park and Colorado Springs, we encourage local residents to drop in for a hike or favorite program.”

Hiking is the most popular activity at Mueller. Rated easy to difficult, the park’s 44 miles of trails take you to beautiful views, scenic ponds and historical cabins.

Taking a hike with a naturalist can enrich your experience by learning about the wildflowers, wildlife and homesteaders that settled the land. Guided bird walks point out and identify some of the over 100 species that can be found in the park. Visitors can learn archery or fly fishing, offered in the summer months.

Bring your mountain bikes and horses as they are allowed on many of the trails.

Children’s programs are popular once schools let out. Don’t forget that kids can earn a certificate and badge by completing the Junior Ranger or Adventure Cubs activity booklet.

A highlight of the summer are the history programs offered every Thursday evening at the amphitheater. Volunteer naturalist Paul Thies has researched and created programs on the history of the Pikes Peak region including Native Americans, the gold rush, fur trade, railroads, ghost towns and the final in the series “How Colorado Became a State and the Women Who Helped Make It Happen.” Paul ties together names, places and events that happened all over Colorado that helped shape this area.

For those of you who look forward to our annual Outdoor Skills Day, we have an important announcement. We’ve moved this year’s event to June 23 to avoid the weather problem we experienced last May that forced us to cancel.

Snow is highly unlikely on June 23, so Outdoors Skills Day should be a blast. Save the date for this free, fun, family day. Bring a picnic lunch and spend the day learning to fly fish, shoot a bow and arrow, target shoot with .22-caliber rifles and shotguns, climb through a cave, geocache, animal tracking, Bear Aware and much more.

Thanks to our partners, many local businesses and agencies willing to share their expertise for free, we have 30 different opportunities for fun and learning.

Below is a full list of programs in May. In addition, the monthly calendar of Mueller programs can be found on our website: http://cpw.state.co.us/placestogo/parks/Mueller

Saturday, May 6
Hike: School Pond
1 p.m. Meet at School Pond Trailhead
Join Naturalist Rose in search of signs of spring. Flowers should be popping and birds singing. Hike through forest and meadow over gentle hills. Moderate 2-mile hike.

Friday, May 11
Hike: Elk Meadow to Murphy’s Cut
9:15 a.m. Meet at Elk Meadow Trailhead
Elk Meadow trail stretches out to the meadows in the east where you can see Murphy’s Cut, the site where the Midland Railroad travelled during the early 1900’s through what is now park land. Join Cindi for this 3-mile moderate hike.

Saturday, May 12
Bird Walk
8:30 a.m. Meet at Elk Meadow Trailhead
Spring migration is happening. Come see what summer residents have returned for the breeding season. Slow paced, 2-mile walk with Linda.

Sunday, May 13
Hike: Ranger Ridge and Stoner Mill
9:15 a.m. Meet at Preacher’s Hollow Trailhead
Watch for signs of the forest waking up from winter. Hike down to Ranger Ridge and continue to Stoner Mill then back to the Preacher’s Hollow Trailhead. About 3-3.5 miles and rated moderate to difficult due to steep hills and elevation. Meet up with Naturalist Nancy.

Friday, May 18
Hike: Cahill Pond
9:15 a.m. Meet at Grouse Mountain Trailhead
Hike this historic 3-mile loop down to the old Cahill Cabin and Pond with a side visit to the Lost Still. Rated moderate for hills. Imagine what it was like to scrape out a living in this country. Leader: Naturalist Nancy.

Saturday, May 19
Hike: Elk Meadow and Murphy’s Cut
9:15 a.m. Meet at Elk Meadow Trailhead
Elk Meadow trail stretches out to the meadows in the east where you can see Murphy’s Cut, the site where the Midland Railroad travelled during the early 1900’s through what is now park land. Join Naturalists Eileen and Carrie for this 3-mile moderate hike.

Archery for Beginners
2 - 4 p.m. At Dragonfly Parking Area
Learn the basics and try shooting archery. Ages 8 and up are welcome.

Program: Birds of Mueller State Park
8 p.m. Amphitheater
Mueller State Park is home to well over 100 species of birds. The conifer and aspen forests, grassy meadows and quiet ponds offer great habitat for our feathered friends. Learn about just a few of these amazing birds and their unique adaptations to survive. Dress warm and bring a blanket.

Sunday, May 20
Hike: Homestead
9:15 a.m. Meet at Homestead Trailhead
Join Nancy to combine about 5 trails to create this 4-mile loop. Watch for new flowers blooming. Rated moderate to difficult due to hills.

Hike: Osborn Trail
1 p.m. Meet at Black Bear Trailhead
Visit the Osborn Homestead and hear what it was like to live in the old days on a 3-mile moderate hike with Naturalist Rose.

Thursday, May 24
Hike: Elk Meadow
9:15 a.m. Meet at Elk Meadow Trailhead
Another favorite trail through meadows, aspens and conifers. Rose leads this moderate 2-mile hike.

Program: Prehistoric History in the Pikes Peak Region
8 p.m. Amphitheater
What was this area like before pioneer settlement? How did geologic forces create the landscape and who were the earliest people that lived here? Naturalist Paul has created a series of historical programs that he will present every Thursday. From this earliest time, through the different people and events that shaped the Pikes Peak region, to modern times. Don’t miss this fascinating story weekly. Dress warm.

Friday, May 25
Hike: Cheesman Ranch
9:15 a.m. Meet at Grouse Mountain Trailhead
Explore the Cheesman Ranch, where the Mueller family ran their cattle operation. Join Cindi on a moderate 5-mile loop past the historic remains of the ranch with views of Pikes Peak. Bring plenty of water and a snack.

Mammals of Mueller - Touch Table
2 - 4 p.m. At the Visitor Center
See and touch the furs and skulls of local mammals to discover amazing characteristics and abilities of these animals, with Erin.

Program: Beaver Builders
7 p.m. Amphitheater
Did you know that beavers are a keystone species? That means that they are crucial part of the ecosystem. In this program, you will find out why this is and learn how beavers live. One person will dress up as a beaver as we discuss adaptations that make beavers well designed to survive in riparian habitats. Meet Naturalist Erin.

Saturday, May 26
Hike: Rock Pond
9:15 a.m.. Meet at the Visitor Center patio
Join Nancy to hike this 5-mile loop down to scenic ponds, Rock and Geer, and along a narrow canyon with creeks and a waterfall. Rated moderate to difficult due to hills. Note: There has been a lot of ice on this trail, so there may be a location change if there is still too much ice. Bring a snack and plenty of water.

Saturday, May 26
Archery for Beginners
2 - 4 p.m. At Dragonfly Parking Area
Learn the basics and try shooting archery. Ages 8 and up are welcome.

Program: Predator Prowlers
7 p.m. Amphitheater
Join us for hands-on activities and games to discover the importance of black bears, mountain lions, foxes and other predators. We will look at skins, skulls and tracks to identify and learn about these common Mueller [truncated for length]