Over the decades Utilities has collaborated with many agencies to open over 15,000 acres of municipal watershed lands and reservoirs to recreational uses. In 1967, the citizens of Colorado Springs passed a charter amendment allowing the City to open the North Slope and Northfield system of reservoirs for recreational use when all municipalities receiving water from the reservoirs had water treatment capabilities. In 1991-1992, the City Council appointed a North Slope Advisory Committee to develop a plan for recreational use. The area opened for its first season on July 8, 1992.
In 1999, Colorado Springs Utilities, partner agencies, citizen groups and interested public completed the Pikes Peak Multi-Use Plan (PPMUP). The PPMUP created a regional vision for accommodating recreational activity on municipal watersheds and USDA Forest Service lands while protecting natural and cultural resources for future generations.
On April 13, 2010, after two years of public process, City Council approved the Plan for Recreational Uses on Municipal Watershed Lands (Plan), authorizing recreational uses on Pikes Peak South Slope and Ute Pass Trail on Longs Ranch. The Plan outlines policies for use and development of recreational facilities.