Guided Hikes

Douglas Land Conservancy offers several guided hike opportunities throughout the year. All hikes are free and open to the public. DLC does suggest a small donation per person attending each hike (usually $10) to help us continue our mission of the protection of open space in our region of Colorado. All hike dates, times and locations are subject to change. Please check back often for updates or email info@douglaslandconservancy.org for more information or to reserve a spot for a certain hike.

Become a 2017 DLC guided hike sponsor

NEW DATE!  

Monday, August 28th (Rescheduled from July 19th Rain-out)
Raptors Over the Rock at The Amphitheater at the Philip S. Miller Park
5:30 pm to 7:30 pm / The Amphitheater at the Philip S. Miller Park , Castle Rock, Colorado

Join Douglas Land Conservancy
and the Town of Castle Rock
for an educational presentation about birds of prey that live nearby.

*family friendly
*activities for children of all ages
*Presentation from Nature’s Educators
*four raptor ambassadors
*get up close to the birds
*ask questions of the handlers
*bring a picnic dinner, if you wish

 

Enjoy an educational evening for the whole family outside at the new amphitheater at Philip S. Miller Park in Castle Rock. 

Presented by Douglas Land Conservancy and the Town of Castle Rock.
_______________________________
 
The event is free, but a $10-$20 donation per family for Douglas Land Conservancy is suggested. 
 
DLC is a local a non-profit land trust, dedicated to protecting open space in our region. 
 
Donations can be made online here, or at the event.

RSVP Here


Open Space Day at Prairie Canyon Ranch
is coming up on August 19th.

Join Douglas County Outdoors and Douglas Land Conservancy for this free annual event.

Register for Guided Horseback Ride (participants must provide their own horse)  Register for Guided Hikes


Friday, July 7th
Guided Sunset/Moonrise Hike at Prairie Canyon Ranch
6:00 pm to 9:00 pm / Prairie Canyon Ranch, Franktown, Colorado / Space is limited, Please RSVP

Prairie Canyon Ranch is fascinating any time of year, but when the sun is setting behind the wooded cliffs, and the moon is rising over the plains, it’s a treat to experience the sights and sounds of the evening. Bring a picnic dinner to enjoy at 6:00 pm. We will start to assemble at 6:30 to tour the barnyard, and then start our hike to the cliffs for sunset. After the sun disappears, we will turn around and make our way through the savanna Ponderosas to watch the full moon rise in the east (of course, if no clouds get in the way). Weather permitting we will have s’mores around the campfire near the pond following the hike.

The hike is free, but a $10 per person donation to DLC is suggested.

 RSVP for this Hike

Space is limited. Our hikes fill quickly. If the event is full, please contact Amy Graziano at amyg@douglaslandconservancy.org or 303.688.8025 to be added to the wait list.

Saturday, June 10th, and Tuesday, June 13th
Guided Wildflower Hike at Dawson Butte Open Space
8:30 am to 11:30 am / Dawson Butte Open Space, Larkspur, Colorado / Space is limited, Please RSVP

Join Douglas Land Conservancy at beautiful Dawson Butte Open Space for a family friendly event to discover the wildflowers blooming at this time. Year after year this is one of our most popular hikes. Therefore for 2017 we are offering the hike twice – on Saturday and again on Tuesday. We hope that you are able to attend one of these days.

This open space is home to many varieties of wildflowers, shrubs, and trees as well as providing great habitat for wildlife. Your guides are DLC volunteers and Colorado Native Plant Masters. The trail is rated moderately easy and the pace will be slow due to stopping to learn about the wildflowers (and ooh and aah at their beauty).

We will meet in the parking lot at Dawson Butte at 8:30 am. Bring plenty of water, a snack, sun protection, and a camera if desired. There are picnic tables at the trail head. Feel free to bring a sack lunch to enjoy with your family after the hike. Long pants may be preferable as there is poison ivy in some areas of the open space, although we will definitely try to avoid where it grows. Dogs on leash are welcome.

Space is limited. Our hikes fill quickly. If the event is full, please contact Amy Graziano at amyg@douglaslandconservancy.org or 303.688.8025 to be added to the wait list.

The hike is free, but a $10 per person donation to DLC is suggested.


Monday, May 29th
Annual DLC Memorial Day Birding Hike
7:00 am to 11:30 am / DuPont Open Space, Louviers, Colorado / Space is limited, Please RSVP

Join Douglas Land Conservancy on our annual Memorial Day Birding Hike, Monday, May 29th, 7 am – 11:30 am, at DuPont Open Space

DuPont open space provides great nesting habitats for many different, beautiful species of birds. This family friendly hike is moderately easy and there will be many stops to talk and witness wildlife. Last year’s hikers spotted over 50 species!

The event will be led by three local birding experts. DuPont Open Space is located in Louviers, in a wonderful riparian area along Plum Creek. The hike will begin at 7 am at DuPont Park, 8020 Main Street, Louviers. There is plenty of parking, restroom facilities, and a picnic shelter at the park. Pack a picnic lunch for after the hike, if you wish.

This open space was donated to Douglas County by the DuPont Company, and is protected by an easement through Douglas Land Conservancy.

Bring a sack lunch, sun protection, water, binoculars, camera, and wear long pants as there is some poison ivy in the area. Dogs are not allowed on this hike.

Space is limited. Our hikes fill quickly. If the event is full, please contact Amy Graziano at amyg@douglaslandconservancy.org or 303.688.8025 to be added to the wait list.

RSVP for this Hike

The hike is free, but a $10 per person donation to DLC is suggested.

Meet your guides:
Tom Halverstadt is the expert when it comes to birding the Louviers/DuPont area. He has lived with his family in Louviers for many years, and knows where the various species are most likely found. He is now a Douglas County Open Space Volunteer, keeping an eye on the DuPont Open Space properties as he leads the Christmas Bird Count there and often takes other birders or rookies in search of elusive species throughout the year. Tom posts his findings on the CO-Birds mailing list and has birded throughout Colorado, the United States and in far corners of the world. He is the owner of Country Lane Nursery, which specializes in native plants, located north of Franktown, Colorado.

Jackie Sanderson is the Natural Resource Specialist for Douglas County Division of Open Space and Natural Resources and lives just outside of Sedalia along Plum Creek. She has contributed to the Colorado Bird Atlas while living in Steamboat Springs and working for the Routt National Forest. While serving as the Naturalist at the Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield, she became more acquainted with Front Range birds while leading hikes and accompanying the Tuesday Birders. DuPont is her favorite Douglas County Open Space property for birding.

Sharon Hines began watching birds when she was too little to hold binoculars. She has been a volunteer for what was the Colorado Division of Wildlife for about 15 years as a Wildlife Watch Instructor and has worked for a couple of tour companies as a naturalist and bird guide. She is a volunteer interpreter for Douglas County Open Space and has her Native Plant Master Certificate.


Friday, April 28th
Trees, Beavers, And Shrubs. Oh My! Arbor Day Guided Hike
1:30 pm to 4:30pm / Columbine Open Space, Larkspur, Colorado / Space is limited, Please RSVP

Interested in learning more about the trees and shrubs in our region? Join Douglas Land Conservancy for a guided Arbor Day hike focusing on the species that grow along Plum Creek at Columbine Open Space. We will also observe the effects of beavers in the riparian area.
Columbine Open Space is protected for its important wetlands along Plum Creek, pine forest and Gambel oak habitat. The trails are comprised of two 1.5 mile loops that follow through the upper grasslands and shrublands. Old red barn and rock springhouse are on this property. Sorry, no dogs are allowed. The trail is rated easy, with a short climb on the south loop. There is a picnic shelter located at the open space if you would like to enjoy lunch prior to the hike.
Please wear long pants and sunscreen. Bring plenty of water and a snack.

 

Space is limited. Our hikes fill quickly. If the event is full, please contact Amy Graziano at amyg@douglaslandconservancy.org or 303.688.8025 to be added to the wait list.

RSVP for this Hike

The hike is free, but a $10 per person donation to DLC is suggested.


Sunday, April 23rd
Celebrate Earth Day with Douglas Land Conservancy at Spruce Mountain Open Space
9:00 am to 12:30pm / Spruce Mountain Open Space, Larkspur, Colorado / Space is limited, Please RSVP

What better way to celebrate Earth Day than by getting outdoors on permanently protected open space? Join Douglas Land Conservancy for a guided hike at beautiful Spruce Mountain Open Space. Enjoy the early Spring sights and sounds on the trail, look for the first wildflowers emerging, view the return of migratory birds, learn about the geological features of the butte, and celebrate the beauty of nature.

We will meet in the main parking at the trailhead. Bring plenty of water, sun protection. Dress for the weather. Picnic tables are available near the parking lot. Pack a lunch for after the hike if you wish. The loop trail is approximately 5 miles long, and is rated moderately easy.

Location – 13415 Spruce Mountain Road, Larkspur, CO
From I-25, take the Greenland Exit (167) to the west and travel ¼ mile west on Greenland Road and ½ mile south. Bypass the Greenland Trailhead and continue right on the main gravel road (Noe Road) over two sets of railroad tracks. Continue another mile west on Noe Road to Spruce Mountain Road. Take a left and head south for about one mile to the parking area on your right. Or, cars can exit at Larkspur and go south six miles to Spruce Mountain Road to the entrance on the right.

Space is limited. Our hikes fill quickly. If the event is full, please contact Amy Graziano at amyg@douglaslandconservancy.org or 303.688.8025 to be added to the wait list.

RSVP for this Hike

The hike is free, but a $10 per person donation to DLC is suggested.


Wednesday, April 19th  
Presentation by Hugh and Urling Kingery – Douglas and Elbert County Birds and Their Habitats 
6:00 pm to 8:00pm / CALF’s Lowell Ranch, Castle Rock, Colorado / Space is limited, Please RSVP

Calling all bird lovers!
From bluebirds to buntings, warblers to wrens, birding in our region is diverse and exciting.

Join Hugh and Urling Kingery, the definitive experts, on birding in our region, to learn more about the birds that call our region home and what is unique about our local habitat.

The presentation will be following with Q & A.
Additionally, Birding Colorado, The Falcon Guide available for purchase (cash or check only).

When and where:  Wednesday, April 19, 2017 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM,  CALF’s Lowell Ranch
2330 I-25 South of Castle Rock on the I-25 frontage road

 

Space is limited. Our speaking engagements fill up quickly. If the event is full, please contact Amy Graziano at amyg@douglaslandconservancy.org or 303.688.8025 to be added to the wait list.

 

RSVP for this speaking engagement

The speaking engagement is free, but a $10 per person or $20 per family donation to DLC is suggested.

About Your Presenters:
Hugh directed the first Colorado Breeding Bird Atlas and edited the Atlas book, the “Colorado Breeding Bird Atlas”. He coordinates the Breeding Bird Survey in Colorado. He has served as President of Denver Audubon, Denver Field Ornithologists, and The Colorado Mountain Club. He acted as Regional Editor for American Birds 1972-1995. For the second Colorado Breeding Bird Atlas he volunteered as a Regional Coordinator. He wrote several Species Accounts for the second Atlas book, published last December.
Hugh wrote the 2008 Falcon guide, “Birding Colorado”, with Urling’s invaluable help. This involved a rigorous year-long regime of driving all over Colorado checking out bird-watching sites. Assistance from birdwatchers in different parts of the state meant that they received up-to-date local expertise.
Urling and Hugh have taught a beginning bird watching class twice a year since 1979 (except for a break during the kids’ Junior High School). Now offered by Denver Audubon (a/k/a Audubon Society of Greater Denver), it started as an Adult Education class at the University of Colorado-Denver. Both have volunteered for Audubon for years.
Urling chaired the Silent Auction at the ASGD annual dinner for more years than she cares to recount, as well as the Field Trips Committee. She volunteers with the ASGD Urban Ed program and the Lois Webster Fund (it supports research on Colorado birds).
Avid birdwatchers, they have posted over 9,000 checklists to the Cornell bird record site, eBird. These cover recent observations as well as historical ones to give the site a perspective on changes over the years to bird populations and distribution.

Tuesday, February 14th
Mid-week Hike with Your Valentine at Lincoln Mountain Open Space
9:00 am to 12:30pm / Lincoln Mountain Open Space, Larkspur, Colorado / Space is limited, Please RSVP

Join Douglas Land Conservancy for a special Valentine’s Day Hike as we celebrate what we love; conserved land, the great outdoors, and DLC supporters. Bring your special someone, best hiking buddy, or canine pal. There will be a Valentine surprise at the beautiful Dewey Hill overlook.

The hike is 4.5 miles long and rated moderately easy. From the trail head, we will take the Palmer Divide Ranch Trail, lower loop that incorporates a variety of terrain from wide open prairie to slower-paced technical rock sections, winding through Gambel oak and Ponderosa pine.

Lincoln Mountain Open Space Highlights:
The 876-acre Lincoln Mountain Open Space is located along the upper reaches of West Cherry Creek with meadows and rolling grasslands that are backed up by forested rocky cliffs and the taller mesa of Lincoln Mountain. Miles of trails are open to the public for hiking, horseback and mountain biking.

Our hikes fill quickly. If the event is full, please contact Amy Graziano at 303.688.8025 or amyg@douglaslandconservancy.org to be added to the wait list.

RSVP for this Hike

The hike is free, but a $10 per person donation to DLC is suggested.

Thursday, January 12th
Owl Prowl at DuPont Open Space
5:30pm to 8:30pm / DuPont Open Space, Louviers, Colorado / Space is limited, Please RSVP

Join Douglas Land Conservancy in partnership with Douglas County Open Space for a unique, moon light hike in search of owl activity at beautiful DuPont Open Space in Louviers. We will meet inside the Louviers Village Clubhouse, 7865 Louviers Boulevard, Louviers, CO 80125 at 5:30 pm.

Our evening will begin with a special presentation by Nature’s Educators. Three live owls, a Great Horned, a Long-Eared, and a Barn Owl will be present to view up close. The experts from Nature’s Educators will teach us about their special features used for hunting and the necessary role of the owl as predator in our local ecosystem.

After the presentation we will head out on the trail along Plum Creek on our own birding adventure. With the help of guides, you will learn how to identify signs of owl activity and gain some basic knowledge about our nocturnal neighbors. Known regional owls that we hope to encounter are the Great Horned Owl, the Eastern Screech-Owl, the Long-Eared Owl, and the Northern Saw-Whet Owl.

Dress for the weather, bring plenty of water, and your sense of adventure. Hiking boots are recommended, snowshoes are optional. Please register only if you are able to hike through the woods in semi-darkness. This is a family friendly event on a moderately easy trail. Dogs are not allowed on this hike.

Following the hike we will reconvene in the clubhouse for complimentary hot chocolate.

Space is limited. The hike is free, but a $10 per person donation to DLC is suggested.

RSVP for this Hike

DuPont Open Space was donated to Douglas County by the DuPont Company, and is protected with a conservation easement held by Douglas Land Conservancy.

Your guides for the Owl Prowl:

Tom Halverstadt is the expert when it comes to birding the Louviers/DuPont area. He has lived with his family in Louviers for many years and knows where the various species are most likely found. He is a Douglas County Open Space Volunteer, keeping an eye on the DuPont Open Space properties as he leads the Christmas Bird Count there and often takes other birders or rookies in search of elusive species throughout the year. Tom posts his findings on the CO-Birds mailing list and has birded throughout Colorado, the United States and in far corners of the world. He is the owner of Country Lane Nursery, which specializes in native plants, located north of Franktown.

Jackie Sanderson is the Natural Resource Specialist for Douglas County Division of Open Space and Natural Resources and lives just outside of Sedalia along Plum Creek. She has contributed to the Colorado Bird Atlas while living in Steamboat Springs and working for the Routt National Forest. While serving as the Naturalist at the Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield, she became more acquainted with Front Range birds while leading hikes and accompanying the Tuesday Birders. DuPont is her favorite Douglas County Open Space property for birding.
Sharon Hines began watching birds when she was too little to hold binoculars. She has been a volunteer for what was the Colorado Division of Wildlife for about 15 years as a Wildlife Watch Instructor and has worked for a couple of tour companies as a naturalist and bird guide. Having moved to Douglas County 6 years ago, she is now a volunteer interpreter for Douglas County Open Space and has her Native Plant Master Certificate.