Guided Hikes and Educational Events

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 2018 DLC guided hike sponsor
Saturday, November 17, 2018
Outdoor Photos with Santa at the Philip S. Miller Park
Join us on Saturday, November 17, 2018
at Philip S. Miller Park Millhouse
1375 W Plum Creek Pkwy
Castle Rock, CO 80109
Skip the mall and have your 2018 holiday photos taken outdoors! Enjoy a photo shoot with Santa and support Douglas Land Conservancy at the same time. DLC has teamed up with Santa again this year for a special morning of family photos at
The whole family is welcome, even four legged members. The cost is $25 (+ processing fees) for a mini outdoor photo session and is payable at sign up. Your photos will be emailed to you by Thanksgiving and will include 2-6 images, printable up to 8×10. Meet at the Philip S. Miller Park Millhouse for hot cocoa and enjoy the fire pit before pictures. Santa will be outdoors and waiting to meet your family.

Saturday, October 20, 2018
Creepy Crawlies Around the Rock at Festival Park
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm / Festival Park, Castle Rock
Join Douglas Land Conservancy
and the Town of Castle Rock
for Creepy Crawlies Around the Rock!
Saturday October 20th
 1-3 p.m at Festival Park.
Nature’s Educators will have an interactive and educational booth with live creatures of the season; snakes, spiders, toads, owls and hissing cockroaches will be on hand.
Bring the whole family out to 
conquer their fears!

This is a free event
for the entire family made possible 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 or at the event.


Saturday, October 13, 2018
Guided Tour/Hike at Sandstone Ranch
9:00 am to 12:00 pm / Sandstone Ranch, Larkspur, Colorado / Space is limited, Please RSVP

DLC is thrilled to offer another sneak peek opportunity at  Sandstone Ranch on the morning of Saturday, October 13, 2018. Our partners at Douglas County Open Space have generously offered to host a guided tour at the not-yet-open-to-the-public property in Larkspur. This newly acquired 2,038 acre historic ranch in southern Douglas County is one of the largest and most majestic properties in Colorado.

Guides will take DLC supporters on a tour with small hikes in three different areas on the ranch, exploring Sandstone Ranch highlights and unique features. Bring your camera and sense of adventure for this special sneak peek! Please dress for the weather and bring plenty of water. Directions will be provided prior to the event to those that have RSVP’d.

Due to the agricultural activities at Sandstone and the ranch manager’s pets, dogs are not allowed at this event.  Post hike we invite you to bring a picnic lunch and continue to enjoy Douglas County’s newest open space.
*Only register for this event if you have not been out to Sandstone Ranch yet. We want to offer the opportunity to see the property to a new group of individuals.*

Space is limited.

These tours 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.


Friday, September 14, 2018
Guided Hike at Sandstone Ranch
4:00 pm to 7:00 pm / Sandstone Ranch, Larkspur, Colorado / Space is limited, Please RSVP

DLC is thrilled to offer an exciting opportunity on Friday, September 14th, from 4 to 7 pm. Our partners at Douglas County Open Space have generously offered to host a guided hike at the not-yet-open-to-the-public, Sandstone Ranch. This newly acquired 2,038 acre historic ranch in southern Douglas County is one of the largest and most majestic properties in Colorado.

Guides will take DLC supporters on mini-hikes in three different areas on the ranch, exploring Sandstone Ranch highlights and unique features. Bring your camera and sense of adventure for this special sneak peek! Please wear long pants, closed toe shoes and sunscreen. Bring plenty of water.

Due to the agricultural activities at Sandstone and the ranch manager’s pets, dogs are not allowed at this event.

Post hike we invite you to bring a picnic dinner and continue to enjoy Douglas County’s newest open space.

RSVP for this Hike

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

*Only register for this event if you have not attended DLC’s Sneak Peek Hike at Sandstone previously. We want to offer the opportunity to see the property to a new group of individuals.*
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.

Friday, July 13, 2018
Guided Hike at Sandstone Ranch
4:00 pm to 7:30 pm / Sandstone Ranch, Larkspur, Colorado / Space is limited, Please RSVP

DLC is thrilled to offer an exciting opportunity at Sandstone Ranch. Our partners at Douglas County Open Space have generously offered to host a guided hike at the not-yet-open-to-the-public, Sandstone Ranch. This newly acquired 2,038 acre historic ranch in southern Douglas County is one of the largest and most majestic properties in Colorado.

Guides will take DLC supporters on mini-hikes in three different areas on the ranch, exploring Sandstone Ranch highlights and unique features. Bring your camera and sense of adventure for this special sneak peek! Please wear long pants, closed toe shoes and sunscreen. Bring plenty of water.

Due to the agricultural activities at Sandstone and the ranch manager’s pets, dogs are not allowed at this event.

Post hike we invite you to bring a picnic dinner and continue to enjoy Douglas County’s newest open space.
*Only register for this event if you did not attend DLC’s Sneak Peek Hike at Sandstone in June. We want to offer the opportunity to see the property to a new group of individuals.*
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, June 27, 2018
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.

Presented by Douglas Land Conservancy and the Town of Castle Rock, join Nature’s Educators as we dive into the characteristics that define raptors, reptiles and insects. Discover the various types of animals that live all over Douglas County. Find out what they eat, how they hunt, and where they live.

Then meet ambassadors that represent the raptors, reptiles and insects in our area and hear about their personal stories. Followed by meet and greet where kids and parents can get up close to the ambassadors, ask questions and take pictures.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018 Reptiles Under the Rock – Speaking engagement featuring Nature’s Educators. Philip S. Miller Park Amphitheatre – Castle Rock

RSVP for this Event

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Raptors Over the Rock – Speaking engagement featuring Nature’s Educators. Philip S. Miller Park Amphitheatre – Castle Rock

RSVP for this Event

Saturday, October 20, 2018 Creepy Crawlies at the Rock – Speaking Engagement featuring Nature’s Educators. Festival Park – Castle Rock

RSVP for this Event

 

 

 

 


Saturday, June 9th, and Tuesday, June 12th
Guided Wildflower Hike at Dawson Butte Open Space
9:00 am to 12:00 pm / 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 2018 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 at Dawson Butte at 9:00 am. Registrants will be informed of parking later, as we will be in an overflow area, open just for our group. 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.

 


Saturday, June 2, 2018
National Trails Day Guided Hike at Sandstone Ranch
9:00 am to 1:00 pm / Sandstone Ranch, Larkspur, Colorado / Space is limited, Please RSVP

DLC is thrilled to offer an exciting opportunity on National Trails Day, Saturday, June 2, 2018. Our partners at Douglas County Open Space have generously offered to host a guided hike at the not-yet-open-to-the-public, Sandstone Ranch. This newly acquired 2,038 acre historic ranch in southern Douglas County is one of the largest and most majestic properties in Colorado.

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.

Guides will take DLC supporters on mini-hikes in three different areas on the ranch, exploring Sandstone Ranch highlights and unique features. Bring your camera and sense of adventure for this special sneak peek! Please wear long pants, closed toe shoes, and sunscreen. Bring plenty of water and a snack.

Due to the agricultural activities at Sandstone and the ranch manager’s pets, dogs are not allowed at this event.

Post hike we invite you to bring a picnic lunch and continue to enjoy Douglas County’s newest open space.

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.

 


Monday, May 28th
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 28th, 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 a conservation easement held by 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. Having moved to Douglas County 9 years ago, she is now a volunteer interpreter for Douglas County Open Space and Douglas Land Conservancy. Sharon has a BS in Biology and her Native Plant Master Certificate.


Thursday, May 10th, 2018
Guided Pop Up Hike at Dawson Butte Open Space
9:00 am to 12:00 pm / Dawson Butte Open Space, Larkspur, Colorado / Space is limited, Please RSVP

Join Douglas Land Conservancy for a guided hike, “Early Signs of Spring” this Thursday morning at Dawson Butte Open Space.

The five-mile loop trail is rated moderately easy and travels through mostly forested areas with open meadows and views of the Front Range Mountains. The trail follows gently rolling terrain. There is no access to the top of the butte.

Dawson Butte is home to elk, bears, mountain lions, and many other wildlife species.  Bring plenty of water and sun protection. Dress for the weather. Pack a lunch for after the hike if you wish. Picnic tables are located near the the parking lot. Dogs on leash are allowed to join us.

Space is limited. 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.

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

RSVP for this Work Day

Meet Your Guide:
Elizabeth Taylor is a volunteer naturalist for Douglas Land Conservancy and Douglas County Open Space. She has a Master of Science in Wildlife Management and is also a certified Colorado Native Plant Master. Throughout her career, Elizabeth has done many things including teaching zoology and working on wildlife parasite and disease research through the South Dakota Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit. Now “retired” Elizabeth expresses her passion for land stewardship through her volunteer activities such as leading nature hikes, monitoring bluebird houses, and presenting programs on wildlife species.

 

Saturday, April 28, 2018
Work Day at Columbine Open Space
10:00am to 12:00pm / Columbine Open Space, Castle Rock, Colorado / Space is limited, Please RSVP


Friday, April 27, 2018
Trees, Beavers, And Shrubs. Oh My! Arbor Day Guided Hike
1:30pm to 4:30pm / Columbine Open Space, Castle Rock, Colorado / Space is limited, Please RSVP

Interested in learning more about the trees and shrubs in our region? Join Douglas Land Conservancy and Douglas County Open Space for a guided Arbor Day hike focusing on the trees and shrubs that grow along East Plum Creek at Columbine Open Space. We will observe the effects of beavers in the riparian area and get a special preview of a new segment of the Colorado Front Range Trail. The hike is rated easy, with a few short climbs. on the south side.
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. An old red barn and rock springhouse are located 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.  Following the hike, we are planning an optional meetup at The Spur of the Moment Bar and Grill 8885 S Spruce Mountain Rd, Larkspur, CO 80118  We hope you can join us to kick off the weekend.

 


Sunday, April 22, 2018
Earth Day Hike at Spruce Mountain Open Space
9:00am to 1:00pm / 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 and our partners at Douglas County Open Space for a guided hike at beautiful Spruce Mountain. 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 unique geological features, and celebrate the beauty of nature.
The hike will gently switchback up Spruce Mountain through a Ponderosa pine and Douglas fir forest. Continuing to fabulous rocky overlooks and a loop around the fairly-flat, forested mountaintop. The trail is rated moderately easy. Small children have been known to hike it without issue, but keep an eye on them at the rocky lookouts. It is about 5.5 miles from Spruce Mountain Road parking lot, around the Upper Loop, and back.
Bring plenty of water and sun protection. Dress for the weather. Pack a lunch for after the hike if you wish. Dogs on leash are allowed on this hike.
Our events 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.

 

Friday, March 9, 2018
Friday Pop-up Hike at Lincoln Mountain Open Space
9:00am to 12:30pm / Lincoln Mountain Open Space, Larkspur, Colorado / Space is limited, Please RSVP

Join Douglas Land Conservancy for a Guided Friday Morning Hike as we enjoy the beautiful weather predicted for late winter.
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.  The hike is free, but a $10 per person donation to Douglas Land Conservancy is suggested. You may donate online here or in person on the day of the hike. Space is limited.
Our events 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, March 3, 2018
Late Winter Snowshoe/Hike at True and Bald Mountains
9:30am to 1:00pm / True and Bald Mountains, Larkspur, Colorado / Space is limited, Please RSVP

Please join Douglas Land Conservancy and Douglas County Open Space for a morning on the trails at True and Bald Mountains. Depending on the weather conditions this will be a hike or a snowshoe event. We will be in touch as the event draws near. Hiking is available on this conservation easement property only with guided access during special hikes with Douglas County Open Space.  Because this is a private property, directions to the property will be provided upon registration for this hike.

Guides will lead you through wooded areas on trails that are not maintained for winter conditions. This hike is best suited for intermediate to experienced hikers. The vistas at the peaks offer beautiful viewscapes of Southern Douglas County. Please dress for the weather, bring water and snacks.
The hike is free, but a $10 per person donation to Douglas Land Conservancy is suggested. You may donate online here or in person on the day of the hike.
Space is limited.
Our events 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.

 


Wednesday, January 31st
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, full moon 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. The experts from Nature’s Educators will teach us about special features owls use for hunting and the necessary role of the owl as predator in our local ecosystem. Three live owls will be present to view up close.

After the presentation we will head out on the trail along Plum Creek to enjoy a full moon hike and 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. 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.
Our events 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

DuPont Open Space was donated to Douglas County Open Space 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 in 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 had 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.
Elizabeth Taylor
and her husband Curt have lived in Colorado for the past 29 years and have learned to love all of the different habitats in our adopted home state. Elizabeth has a Master of Science in Wildlife Management and is also a certified Colorado Native Plant Master. Since her retirement six years ago, she has been a volunteer naturalist for Douglas Land Conservancy, Douglas County Open Space, and Cherokee Ranch and Castle Foundation. Elizabeth expresses her passion for land stewardship through volunteer activities such as leading nature hikes, monitoring bluebird houses, and presenting programs on wildlife species.

Sunday,  January 7th

Guided New Year Winter Hike
10:00 am to 12:30 pm / DuPont Open Space, Louviers, Colorado / Space is limited, Please RSVP

Join Douglas Land Conservancy for a Guided Winter Hike at DuPont Open Space on Sunday, January 7, 2018 from 10am – 12:30pm.

DuPont Open Space is home to a diversity of species of wildlife, including elk and black bear, as well as a wide variety of birds. The property contains a spectacular cottonwood riparian forest.

We will meet in the DuPont Park parking lot at 8020 Main Street, Louviers, 80131. Dress for the weather. Bring plenty of water and a snack if you wish. You may want to bring binoculars for spotting owls and other birds. Dogs on leash are welcome to join us. The hike is rated moderately easy.

 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.

 

Meet Your Guides:

Pam Schulz: Pam received her BSc degree in Geology & Minerology with a minor in Photography from the Ohio State University, and a MSc degree in Environmental Science & Engineering from Colorado School of Mines and spent her professional career as an Exploration Geophysicist in Houston, TX. After moving to Denver in 1990 and while raising two children, she has studied local geology and volunteered for Douglas County Open Space and the Museum of Nature & Science for over ten years – leading numerous hikes throughout the county primarily with a focus on the local geology. She has taught Earth Sciences and led various school groups at Prairie Canyon Ranch Open Space and Cherokee Ranch & Castle. During the past five years she has hiked extensively and photographed wildflowers in all five ecosystems throughout Colorado, and has completed the requirements of the Colorado Native Plant Master Program.

Sharon Hines: Sharon has been a volunteer for what was the Colorado Division of Wildlife for almost 2 decades as a Wildlife Watch Instructor and has worked for a couple of tour companies as a naturalist and bird guide. She began watching birds when she was too little to hold binoculars. Having moved to Douglas County almost 10 years ago, she is now a volunteer interpreter for Douglas County Open Space and has her Native Plant Master Certificate.


Sunday, October 1, 2017

Views & Brews with Douglas Land Conservancy at Spruce Mountain
2:00 pm to 5:00 pm / Spruce Mountain Open Space/ Space is limited, Please RSVP

DLC has a perfect Fall afternoon planned for you! 

Join us for a guided hike at beautiful Spruce Mountain Open Space in Larkspur. Post hike you are invited to an optional meet up at 105 West Brewery in Castle Rock. It doesn’t get much more “Colorado” than a great hike followed by a craft beer! If you want dinner to be easy, 105 West also has food trucks on site daily.   We will take the moderately easy route on the upper loop at Spruce Mountain that offers a gentle climb through shady forests to a wide and easy trail that circles the top of the mountain. The view at the top offers breathtaking scenery of Greenland Open Space, surrounding buttes, Pikes Peak, the Palmer Divide, Carpenter Creek and thousands of acres of protected open space. This is a hike the whole family can enjoy, even the four legged members. Dogs on leash are welcome to join the fun. Dogs are even welcome at 105 West!
Your guides for the hike will be Elizabeth Taylor and Curt Frankenfeld. The amazing husband and wife duo that between the two of them are experts on all things outdoors!

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.

Celebrate Public Lands Day Saturday, Sept. 30 by enjoying a guided nature preserve hike from 9 to 11 a.m. on Douglas Land Conservancy protected land at the Woodlands Bowl Open Space across from the Castle Rock Recreation Center.

In addition to the hike, help install three new interpretive signs on the property. All ages are welcome. Snacks, water, and equipment will be provided. Meet at the Castle Rock Recreation Center, 2301 Woodlands Blvd.

RSVP HERE to attend

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.

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.