Near Black Forest | 9 Miles | Easy | 7,564 Feet
Cathedral Pines is the most interesting and challenging of the trails in Black Forest. It’s a series of rectangular trails that also connects to the Black Forest Regional Park on the south boundary. The parking area is near the NE corner and is near the high point for the trails, so it’s mostly downhill at first with going uphill to get back. The outer “square” loop, Pikes Peak Trail, runs along the perimeter and is a 4.6 mile loop. There are also east-west trails that split the Pike “square” in half, and others that connect this to the northernmost leg of Pikes Peak trail.
Excellent views of Pikes Peak. 90% is in trees. Some meadows and next to ponds. Some trails also come within about 20 yards or so of the homes. Elk and mule deer can be seen on occasion. Western bluebirds, magpie, nuthatches, and flickers are common.
Lots of rollercoaster hills, with the northernmost leg of Pike heading east being the hardest. IMO CCW is easier (steeper descent; more gradual incline) and more fun, than CW. Sandy and loose in many sections. The trails are rarely less than about 3′ wide, and many times are wider. Most sections are off limits to horses. All are off limits to motorized vehicles. I can ride for an hour and not come across another biker or a hiker.
Intersections are usually marked with the trail names, but there’s no map for reference and some portions seem to dead end at road intersections. But these trails actually pick up tens of yards across and down the road with no signs to point you in the right direction.
The connection on the southernmost leg of Pike Peak trail connects with the Black Forest Regional Park trails, but the intersections aren’t marked.