Through a partnership with Douglas County Open Space, DLC has accepted conservation easements on over 13,000 acres of public open space. This provides unique opportunities to hike and explore nature close to home. Some areas also allow bicycles and horseback riding.
Below is a list of properties protected by DLC that are open to the public. For more specific information about access and recreational opportunities, please click on the “more details” links for more information.
Dawson Butte Ranch – The five-mile Dawson Butte Trail travels through mostly forested areas with some open meadows and views of the Front Range Mountains. The trail follows gently rolling terrain. Optional bridle paths include over 60 horse jumps. More details.
DuPont Open Space – Near the historic town of Louviers. The property contains a cottonwood riparian forest, riparian shrub land, mixed foothill prairie, and healthy rugged montane shrub land plant communities. More details.
Glendale Farm – Adjacent to I-25, this 145-acre property has native chokecherry and wild plum shrubs along a dry stream bed. The 1.6-mile natural surface trail winds up through Gambel oaks and onto a grassland plain with views of Pikes Peak and the Colorado Front Range. More details.
Greenland Ranch West – This 3,600 acre property lies south of the town of Larkspur, adjacent to I-25 and features roughly ten miles of trail, stunning views of open prairie and surrounding buttes. A large equestrian parking lot facilitates horse-trailer parking and access to the multi-use trails. More details.
Hidden Mesa – This 1,224 acre open space is located east of Castle Rock and features a 4.7 mile trail looping from the Cherry Creek trail up onto the mesa overlooking the Franktown / Parker region. More details.
Hungry Horse Open Space – This 166-acre grassland is located four miles south of Parker along Cherry Creek and the Cherry Creek Regional Trail. Access the trail at the North Pinery Trailhead. More details.
Lincoln Mountain Open Space – This 876 acre property was acquired by Douglas County in 2009 and has recently opened to the public, including two trail loops with views of the Cherry Creek basin and Pike’s Peak. More details.
Metzler Property – This 49 acre open space on the northeast side of the Town of Castle Rock was originally zoned for single-family homes. By accepting this donation, the Town has committed to a first phase of improvements, which includes 2.5 miles of soft-surface trails and parking spaces. A majority of the property will remain designated open space. More details.
Nelson Ranch Open Space – A 695-acre property located
south of Roxborough State park behind the hogback. Include a variety of wildlife habitats. More details.
Pfeifer Open Space – This 7-acre parcel accommodates a portion of the Cherry Creek Regional Trail and preserves important wildlife habitat along the Cherry Creek. More details.
Pike Hill Open Space – This forested, 308-acre property rises from the western side of Nelson Ranch Open Space and borders Pike National Forest. More details.
Quarry Mesa – This 133 acre open space on the southern side of the Town of Castle Rock features a 3 mile trail open to hikers and mountain bikes and overlooks the town. This area is the site of the town’s first rhyolite quarry (which opened in 1872), and offers access to the nearby Rhyolite Regional Park. More details.
Sandstone Ranch Open Space – This 2,038-acre ranch borders the Pike National Forest and features an extraordinarily diverse landscape including red rock formations and sloping meadows; vast wildlife habitat and corridors, expansive and diverse vegetation and other natural resources; as well as cultural and historic assets, including a historic ranch operation and a number of historic buildings dating back to its original owners in the 1870s. More details.
Schmidt Property – The Schmidt property is a 520 acre parcel which was donated to the County in exchange for the conservation easement. The protection of the riparian area and wildlife habitat on the Schmidt property will help mitigate habitat loss caused by the expansion of Chatfield Reservoir. Douglas County plans to open selected, non-riparian portions of the land to the public in the future, enabling people to enjoy scenic aspects of the property. More details coming soon.
Spruce Meadows Trail – This 1,100 acre property located west of I-25 and south of the town of Larkspur features the 8.5 mile Spruce Meadows Trail, open to hikers, mountain bikes and horses. This trail links the Spruce Mountain and Greenland Ranch open spaces and features beautiful prairie scenery and views of the surrounding buttes. More details.
Spruce Mountain Open Space – Spruce Mountain is a large, tree-covered mesa that is visible from I-25 and hikers will enjoy spectacular views from the top of the mesa. Douglas County is currently working to improve forest health and decrease the risk of wildfire at Spruce Mountain Open Space. For more information on this program please click on the poster to the right, and learn how they are working to pick up where mother nature left off. More details.
Woodlands Bowl – Located in the Woodlands neighborhood of Castle Rock, it is a key part of the local trail system. More details.