August 28, 2012 at 6:26 am #112118
I am an active Army soldier and am PCS’ing to Ft. Carson sometime in November/December. As a mountainbiker/hiker/outdoorsy person I am very excited to move to Colorado. However, even with all of the outstanding things to say about Ft. Carson and CO in general the one negative that I keep hearing is the crime in Colorado Springs. With the very recent birth of my first child and the possibility of deploying and leaving behind a wife and daughter, I am concerned with finding the best place to live.
Our plan for now is to move into on post housing until we get to know the area and eventually purchase a home there but because we are planners we like to have an idea of what to look for and there is no better advice than from those whom live there already.
A few things we are looking for:
– To be within 15-20 mins max. from Ft. Carson’s gates.
– Low crime area or relatively safe
– Close to mountainbiking/hiking trails
– Close to shopping center (groceries, gas station, etc.)
That basically sums it up. Any/all info is appreciated.
Thanks.August 28, 2012 at 7:58 am #112119
You’ve got kind of a tough list of criteria there. Crime really has picked up in the Springs, which is a real shame–I can’t for the life of me figure out why anybody would feel the need to misbehave in such a beautiful area. Much of town has become gangland. Having said that, it’s easy to spot where you do and don’t want to live just by driving around and having a look. What you’ll find is that most of the roughest areas are the areas within 15 – 20 minutes of post. That’s a great criteria as long commutes are a quality of life killer IMO. The only nice area close to post is Cheyenne Mountain, but it is very pricey, however there are some apartment complexes that may be reasonable and if it’s just the three of you that might work. There is more reasonable areas that are new and safe up in the Northeast, but that may bust your desired commute time. I have seen some new development south of post in Fountain that looks nice (most of Fountain is pretty run down), so you might want to give that a go. You’ll be pretty close to groceries anywhere you live, but most of the "shopping" is also up in the Northeast.
You may find that on post remains your best bet. They’ve built a lot of new housing recently which is infinitely better than the old stuff, the views of Cheyenne Mtn are fantastic, and you’ll be within riding distance of Cheyenne Mtn State Park and easy driving distance of all the great Cheyenne Canyon rides.August 28, 2012 at 8:09 am #112120
Thanks for the info. My wife actually has a cousin in the AF that is living there now and told us the NE is where to go as well. I guess we will have to weigh the commute time versus how bad we consider the crime to be. We also have 2 dogs, one large and one medium sized that will require a fenced back yard so the apartments are a no go. Plus, I am just over living wall to wall with other people.August 30, 2012 at 9:46 am #112121
I think that the majority of the soldiers live in the Fountain/Widefield area. Those towns have affordable housing and are close by. However, as you fear, the crime rate in those places is not good.
I suggest you look at the Skyway neighborhood (essentially top of 8th Street over to 21st Street). There are some affordable places in the area, it has a decent crime rate, and it is in one of the top school districts in the state. The most popular biking destinations in town — like Jones Park, Captain Jack, The Chutes, Stratton Open Space, Section 16, Red Rock Park — are all within an easy pedal distance of a couple miles.
Another place you may consider, if you want a sleepy, old-fashioned lifestyle, is Florence. It is at the edge of your commute time (probably more like 20-25 minutes), but it is an easy drive south of the post on highway 115. There aren’t a lot of trails in the immediate vicinity, but the Wet Mountains and the Sangres are close to the south, and Canyon City is starting to get some reasonable trails built around town. Those are great outdoor recreation areas.August 30, 2012 at 11:58 am #112122
I can vouch for the Skyway neighborhood. I’ve lived in Skyway for over 6 years and absolutely love it! You don’t even need a bike rack here because you have so many places to ride right out your back door! I don’t know if you are looking to buy or rent, but there are lots of nice rental homes available now with the soft housing market. Skyway is beautiful too, right up against the mountains, tons of wildlife, and nice and quiet. Yesterday we had a big black bear going from house to house checking out the garbage cans for snacks. He was harmless but it’s pretty cool to see stuff like that up close. You might also consider the Manitou Springs area. I would highly recommend looking on the west side of town though and try to avoid the congested NE neighborhoods. Good luck!August 31, 2012 at 8:34 am #112123
I too live in Skyway. I have singletrack (Bear Creek Regional Park) a block from my house. I can then connect to 50+ miles of singletrack without ever getting in a car. My kids go to excellent schools. The QOL here is unsurpassed anywhere in CO or even the entire country for a singletrack fiend. As for affordability, that depends on your situation. Things get more expensive the higher up the hill you go.
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