Columbine Open Space and Trail

Click on image to enlarge.
Click on image to enlarge.

Columbine Open Space is the combination of two separate properties (the 390-acre conservation easement, and the 150-acre County owned property). Protection of the property is the result of the efforts of two private conservation buyers, Great Outdoors Colorado, the Colorado Division of Wildlife, Douglas County Land Conservancy, Douglas County and The Conservation Fund.

The property provides important wildlife habitat for numerous wildlife species, including deer, elk, and a variety of birds, reptiles, small mammals, amphibians and fish. The creek area of Columbine Open Space is also habitat for the federally threatened Preble’s meadow jumping mouse. The Columbine Open Space properties were acquired because of their highly visible scenic attributes, intact wildlife habitat, and opportunities for passive recreation.

On June 5, 1999, Douglas County dedicated Columbine Open Space and Columbine Trail in remembrance of the tragedy at Columbine High School. This Douglas County open space parcel is dedicated to the quiet enjoyment of the out-of-doors for all families.

Columbine Open Space has a 3-mile trail (north and south loop) that is open to hiking, biking, and equestrian uses. The trail was built with assistance from Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado. Columbine is the first property purchased with funds from the Open Space Sales and Use Tax that is open for public use.

The property is open from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset and is equipped with restrooms and a picnic shelter. Users are required to stay on the established trails. To visit Columbine Open Space travel south from Castle Rock on the East I-25 Frontage Road; approximately six miles. A large red barn is visible from the Frontage Road, turn left and cross the bridge. Park only in the designated parking lot.

Highlights:

Columbine Open Space is protected for its important wetlands along Plum Creek, pine forest and Gambel oak habitat. The trails are composed of two 1.5 mile loops that follow through the upper grasslands and shrublands. Old red barn and rock springhouse are on this property.

Trail Rating:
Easy, with a short climb on the south loop.

Trail Length:
Two loops, approximately 1.5 miles each

Trail Surface:
Crushed concrete and small crusher fines loop near barn area.

Uses:
Multi-use: horses, mountain bikes and hiking; sorry, no dogs allowed due to wildlife protection

Amenities:
Picnic shelter, composting toilets, interpretive signs, parking for cars and 5 horse trailers; no hitch rails, dirt surface parking lot

Location: 2 Faraway Place, Castle Rock, CO 80104
Drive south of Castle Rock along the I-25 east Frontage Road for 6.5 miles. It may also be accessed from the Tomah Road exit by driving 1.5 miles north along the Frontage Road on the east side of I-25.

Contact:
Douglas County Open Space and Natural Resources 303-660-7495

Year protected: 1997
Acres: 390 Conservation Easement, 150 Fee Title
Land Category: Preserve/Trail Corridor
Conservation Tool: Conservation Easement (held by Colorado Division of Wildlife) and Fee Title
Cost: $1,580,000 private conservation buyer, $200,000 Division of Wildlife, $200,000 Great Outdoors Colorado and $277,500 Douglas County
Location: Exit 176 (Tomah Road) off I-25, approximately six miles south of Castle Rock in the South I-25 Conservation Corridor