Hiking Scavenger Hunt at Fox Run Regional Park

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We love hiking in Colorado Springs. The best part is every hike is totally unique. Each region has its own character and special features. Sometimes within a short distance of each other, you can find completely different environments from dry deserts to wooded forests.

Earlier this summer, I talked about how my family likes to get out and enjoy nature by making a game of our hikes. We explore each area and slowly prod along, sometimes at “preschool pace” looking for “nature finds.” We make each hike a scavenger hunt and we pick up trash as we go.

Depending on where we are, there are different things to be on the lookout for based on the specific area we are visiting. Last week we checked out Fox Run Regional Park. First, we met some friends for a playdate at the great playgrounds located inside the park and then took stroll around the ponds. Later, our family trekked around the trails looking for unique nature finds.

If you are ever up in the Black Forest area, make sure you don’t miss out on this great park and maybe see if you, too, can find some interesting things.

Animals

Animals were easy at this location. We saw a lot of birds like robins, a woodpecker and ducks on the pond!

We saw fish, including koi, in the pond and a turtle sunning himself on a rock.


And we saw rabbits, deer and squirrels.

Plants

While walking through the beautiful Ponderosa pine forest at Fox Run, we spotted lots of different types of plants like wildflowers and berries. Here are a few you might spot along the trail.
Polemonium


Mouse-Ear Chickweed


Chokecherry

Despite the lack of recent rains, we also found a funnel cap mushroom. (Note: I usually ask my kids not to touch mushrooms until I get a chance to identify them, but this kid is both very fast and still learning!) There are some amazing mushrooms to be found and eaten in Colorado, but a few dangerous ones, too!)

I think my favorite part of this hike was the trees!


We counted tree rings, learned how to tell the age of trees that are still standing

and we learned that the bark of Ponderosa Pines smells like butterscotch or vanilla!

Can you spot these treasures too?

Happy hiking!

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Rachel is a native Coloradoan, though originally from the Western Slope. She followed her husband Chris to his hometown of Colorado Springs after having met in engineering school at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. Together they have four beautiful children, Tommy (2011), Tazzy (2014), Zach (2015) and Zinny (2018). Having a young and active family keeps Rachel on her toes trying to find ways to keep the ship sailing while still meeting all the demands of motherhood. Though Rachel loves her most important role as Mommy most, she also works full time outside the home as a Water Resources Engineer for the Colorado Division of Water Resources. This role helps keep her life centered, bouncing from detailed and complex discussions relating to Colorado Water Law with her husband ( a mechanical engineer) to daycare and preschool drop off and pick up schedules, while being constantly interrupted by the equally complex musings of her 4 year.

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