The 14 mile portion of the trail follows the abandoned Atkinson, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad right-of-way. The gravel surfaced regional trail generally follows a straight and level course for the first 6.5 miles beginning at Palmer Lake. An easement agreement by the U.S. Air Force Academy provides a crucial 6.9 mile stretch of this trail. Trail users must not go off the six-foot wide trail surface as it passes through the Academy. Bicyclists must wear helmets.