Open Space Trails

All trails are soft-surface, non-motorized multiple-use for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding.  Dogs are allowed, with the exception of Columbine and Sharptail Ridge, but must be on leash except for the off-leash dog areas at Glendale Farm and Greenland.  Users must stay on the trail.  Hours of use are 1 hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset.  For more information please visit Rules and Regulations.

Here are the Open Space trails located in Douglas County. Select a trail below to obtain specific information on each trail and to download a map of the trail.

Bayou Gulch Open Space Trail
4 miles of trail, parking at Bayou Gulch Regional Park, connection to Cherry Creek Regional Trail.

Columbine Open Space Trail
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. The old red barn and rock springhouse are on this property. Sorry, no dogs are allowed.

Dawson Butte Open Space Trail 
The five-mile loop trail on Dawson Butte Open Space travels through mostly forested areas with open meadows and views of the Front Range Mountains. The trail follows gently rolling terrain and optional bridle paths that include over 60 horse jumps. There is no access to the top of the butte.

Glendale Open Space Trail
Adjacent to I-25, this 145-acre property has native chokecherry and wild plum shrubs along an intermittent stream. The trail winds up into Gambel oak shrubland and onto a grassland plain with views of Pikes Peak and the Colorado Front Range. The trail skirts rocky caprock on the northern spur. A 17-acre off-leash dog area is west of the main trail head.

Greenland Open Space Trail
Part of the Colorado Front Range Trail, the lower trail joins into the Old Territorial Road, connecting the old Greenland Townsite to Palmer Lake. The 11-mile trail system is within over 3,000 acres of Greenland Open Space. Trail passes through native grasslands, by ponds, through rolling Gambel oak hills and skirts ponderosa pine forests. Views of Greenland open space, buttes and Pikes Peak.  This trail connects to the Santa Fe Trail in El Paso County.

Hidden Mesa Trail
The Town of Castle Rock and Douglas County Open Space preserved 716 acres of land known as Hidden Mesa in a joint effort. Their swift actions eliminated the chance for more than a thousand houses to be perched above the rocky outcrops between Castle Rock and Franktown. Added to the existing Grange Property, the 7-mile round trip Hidden Mesa Trail takes you through the combined 1,200-acre property.

Lincoln Mountain Open Space Trail 
The 876-acre Lincoln Mountain Open Space is located along the upper reaches of West Cherry Creek with meadows and rolling grasslands that are backdropped by forested rocky cliffs and the taller mesa of Lincoln Mountain.  The land was operated as a working cattle and hay ranch.  It is high-value wildlife habitat and contains riparian habitat for the federally threatened Preble’s Meadow Jumping Mouse.  Trails containing two 4-mile loops are open to the public for hiking, horseback and mountain biking.

Sharptail Ridge Trail
The 4.6-mile Sharptail Ridge Trail crosses high rolling grasslands, home to a variety of wildlife including elk herds on Douglas County Open Space, as well as through the SE portion of Roxborough State Park shrublands. See map for connections to trails in Roxborough State Park, Pike National Forest Trail 800, and Douglas County’s Swallowtail Loops and the Ringtail Trail. Expect seasonal closures in the Sharptail Ridge Open Space trail segment in the fall to allow for hunting as regulated by Colorado Parks and Wildlife.  This trail connects to Indian Creek Trail, Waterton Canyon and the 460-mile Colorado Trail. Sorry, no dogs are allowed.  

  • Ringtail Trail
    The 7.2-mile Ringtail Trail on Douglas County Open Space and the Pike National Forest connects the Sharptail Trail and Swallowtail Loops to the Indian Creek Trail on National Forest Land. Horses and hikers only if accessing from Sharptail Trail. Hikers, horses, mountain bikes, and dogs on-leash may access from the Indian Creek Trail.
  • Swallowtail Trail 
    Find these two spectacular trial loops totaling 2.6 miles, hidden behind the rocky hogback. Take the Sharptail Trail for 4.6 miles to access them, or hike in from Roxborough State Park. Only horses and hikers may access from the Sharptail Trailhead.  Hikers, horses, mountain bikes, and dogs on-leash may access from the Indian Creek Trail.

Spruce Meadows Trail

The 8.5-mile Spruce Meadows Trail winds through grassy meadows between Greenland Open Space and Spruce Mountain. The trail cuts through undulating fields of grasses and wildflowers. Enjoy views of surrounding buttes, Pikes Peak, Spruce Mountain and the Rampart Range, as well as Carpenter Creek and thousands of acres of protected open space. The trail crosses over (or under) Spruce Mountain Road twice at marked crossings, and crosses over Noe Road twice before looping back to the parking area.

Spruce Mountain Trail
The Spruce Mountain Trail gently switchbacks up Spruce Mountain through a ponderosa pine and Douglas fir forest up to fabulous rocky overlooks and a loop around the fairly-flat, forested mountaintop. The first lookout offers breathtaking views of Greenland Open Space, surrounding buttes, Pikes Peak, the Palmer Divide, Carpenter Creek and thousands of acres of protected open space. There are plenty of opportunities to gaze off rocky lookouts, ridges and meadows from over 8 miles of trails. Bring your camera. For variety, descend on the service road, hike the loop to the west, and travel back along the Eagle Pass trail.