Alert

In observance of Memorial Day, County offices will be closed Monday, May 30. For online services, visit our web page.

×

01.

Help Me With...

Select from list
My Residential Property
My Driver's License or Vehicle Registration
Requesting Assistance
Getting Outdoors
Elections

02.

Select from list
My Property Valuation
Understanding My Valuation
Paying My Property Tax
Neighborhood Sales
Building Permits
Vehicle Registration - New Stickers
Vehicle Registration - New Vehicle
Drivers License - New or Renew
New Resident Vehicle Registration
Adult Protection
Child Welfare
Child Support
Child Care
Financial Assistance
Medical Assistance
Food Assistance
Decode Douglas County
Open Space Special Event Permits
Open Space Properties and Trails
Park Reservations
Parks and Trails
Register to Vote / Update Voter Registration
Upcoming Election Information
Ballot Drop Box Locations
Voter Service and Polling Centers

03.

×
× Close

News

Historic Sandstone Ranch now open to hiking, bicycling and horseback riding

12 miles of public access trails designed to also preserve historic and natural resources on Douglas County’s newest Open Space property.

Posted on September 21, 2020 2020DC Outdoors

Share

The wait is over.  The 2,038-acre Sandstone Ranch, one of the largest and most historic properties in Colorado, is now open for public access.

Hikers, cyclists, and those on horseback will experience spectacular views, expansive hay meadows, red rock formations and wildlife habitat from the 12-mile trail located in the eastern portion of Sandstone Ranch, for non-motorized use only.

The official public access opening follows an extensive planning process that included public input and culminated in the adoption of the Sandstone Ranch Master Plan. This plan provides a vision for the property that allows appropriate public access while conserving the historic ranch operation; wildlife habitat and corridors, as well as the Pike National Forest connectivity; vegetation and other natural resources.

“The Sandstone Ranch acquisition preserved so much more than 2,038 acres of land,” said Roger Partridge, Douglas County Commissioner and Board Chair. “It has preserved the County’s history, heritage, wildlife habitat, as well as other cultural and natural resources.”

The County’s 2017, $18,750,000 acquisition of Sandstone Ranch, located along the foothills between Denver and Colorado Springs, was achieved in part with sales and use tax revenue from the 1994 voter-approved Douglas County Open Space Fund, revenues exclusively dedicated to the protection of open space and as well as for funding County parks.

“Douglas County has consistently been recognized as being the healthiest in America, in part due to our access to open spaces. We are fortunate our citizens support conservation of properties such as these, understanding as they do that this is a quality-of-life investment for present and future generations,” said County Commissioner Lora Thomas.

“We recognize the value of this acquisition to our citizens’ quality of life and we take seriously the responsibility to balance the preservation and protection of the Ranch with the opportunity for public access,” said County Commissioner Abe Laydon.

Additionally, the Sandstone Ranch acquisition benefits from the County’s $6 million funding partnership with the Chatfield Reservoir Mitigation Company (CRMC). The CRMC was formed in 2015 to implement the Chatfield Storage Reallocation Project, that will allow for reliable water storage and enhanced water supplies for users in the South Denver Metro area. The CRMC partnership in the Sandstone Ranch acquisition will provide mitigation for the impact of the Chatfield Reservoir expansion on riparian habitat, wetlands and wildlife. The Douglas Land Conservancy will hold the conservation easement on Sandstone Ranch, and in this role will be responsible for the protection and conservation of the natural character and habitat of Sandstone Ranch in partnership with Douglas County. The County is also in the final process of securing Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) funds.

Now in its 26th year, the Douglas County Open Space Program, including the Sandstone Ranch acquisition, has protected 64,544  acres in Douglas County through a combination of fee purchases and conservation easements, through partnerships with GOCO, Colorado Division of Wildlife and Parks, land trusts, private landowners and others.  For every $1 of sales tax funds spent, the County has received $2.79 in partnership funding.

Your County. Your News. Get it first.

Be among the first to receive news as it happens. Sign up here and select your specific news focus and delivery preferences and make sure to follow Douglas County on Nextdoor, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Visit the Live Town Hall page to sign-up and receive Town Hall notifications to ensure you are contacted to participate in future community conversations about topics important to you.

Sign Up Now!