Bear Creek Nature Center is located on the southwest side of Colorado Springs and is an educational center on the nature that is found in this part of Colorado Springs.
A friend had first told me about this place, and then my oldest son had his pre-K field trip here. We loved it so much on his field trip we came back with Erick, and then loved it again we decided last minute to take family photos there! Yes, that is 3 visits in one week!
The Nature Center houses different hands-on educational activities for kids. It is very popular for field trips (and family photos- we saw several families getting their pictures taken along the different trails!).
Inside of the building is a small exhibit of animal fur, bugs on display, a place to watch bees make honey, a microscope to look at insect parts up close, and a magnetic fishing game to fish for different kinds of trout.
The Nature Center is right up against the mountains and the architects did a fabulous job of framing the mountains through the windows.
Once you leave the Nature Center, there are four mail hikes to choose from: Songbird Trail (.1 mile- stroller and wheelchair accessible, paved and boardwalk surface), Mountain Scrub Loop Trail (.5 miles roundtrip, gravel surface), Creekbottom Loop Trail (.8 miles roundtrip, gravel surface), and Coyote Gulch Loop Trail (1.2 miles roundtrip, gravel surface).
We did the Songbird Trail with the pre-K class, and then the 5 of us came back and did the Creekbottom Loop. I liked the Creekbottom Loop because a good portion of this trail runs along the creek, and my boys love water and it keeps them excited about hiking.
This hike took place during the middle of October and oh my goodness this is my new fall go-to for change in colors. The aspens were spectacular, there were so many different colors, the creek was gorgeous running along the trees, and there are a lot of benches along the way to take beautiful pictures!
This trail was interesting – after a set of steps the terrain drastically changes and we were up in the high desert. It was this terrain for about 1/3 of the hike- it was hot but there are great views of downtown Colorado Springs from near the top!
Boys’ ages at time of hike: 5, 3, and 1. The Creekbottom Loop Trail is not stroller friendly- baby was in the Ergo.
Location: 245 Bear Creek Road Colorado Springs, CO 80906
Website: Bear Creek Nature Center