Columbine Open Space is the combination of two separate properties (the 390-acre private conservation easement, and the 150-acre County, east of the railroad tracks, owned property). Protection of the property is the result of the efforts of two private conservation buyers, Great Outdoors Colorado, the Colorado Division of Parks and 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 East Plum 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 Columbine trail serves as the northern most terminus of the Colorado Front Range Trail with a parking lot.
Columbine Open Space is protected for its important wetlands along East 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, an olld 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 that are part of and connect to the Colorado Front Range Trail (south to Larkspur, Greenland, Palmer Lake and Colorado Springs).
Trail Surface: Crushed concrete and small crusher fines loop near barn area.
Uses: Multi-use: horses, mountain bikes and hiking; dogs are allowed but must be on a leash at all time.
Amenities: Picnic shelter, composting toilets, interpretive signs, parking for cars and 5 horse trailers; no hitch rails, unpaved parking lot
Location: 2 Faraway Place, Castle Rock, CO 80104Drive 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: Conservation Easement (held by Colorado Division of Wildlife) and Fee Title owned by Douglas County on the west side of the railroad tracks.
Cost: $1,580,000 private conservation buyer, $200,000 Colorado Division of Parks & 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