It’s felt like a long winter in Castle Rock, but signs of spring are starting to appear. When the weather finally allows our residents to get outside regularly, they’ll find that the Parks and Recreation Department did not take a winter nap. Several projects wrapping up in 2023 will allow residents to take advantage of new recreational opportunities throughout town.
The first phase of improvements to the town’s newest open space property, Metzler Family Open Space, is nearing completion. The 60-acre property was donated to the town in 2021 by the estate of Robert F. Metzler. Last year, the town constructed four miles of native-surface, single-track trails on the property and straightened the homestead’s historic silo. Now, work is underway to make it easier for residents to explore the property. A trailhead parking lot is under construction off East Allen Street, and signs to help visitors navigate the property — including trailhead maps and intersection wayfinders — are in production and will be installed by the completion of the project in May.
Butterfield Crossing Park has been well loved for over 30 years and by summer will be ready to welcome a new generation of visitors to its recently updated facilities. Work on this park kicked off last May and the basketball court and six pickleball courts are already complete, and an accessible, year-round restroom was added. Public feedback identified the need for an inclusive playground in our community, and this location is an ideal place for one. The groundwork has already been laid for the Possibilities Playground, where visitors of all ages and abilities will be able to play, be challenged and have fun together. Community fundraising efforts by the Castle Rock Parks and Trails Foundation have been instrumental in making this fully inclusive playground a reality, and donors have given over $1 million of support. With warmer weather comes the installation of playground features like roller table slides, mini ziplines and a sensory wall. Watch for a grand reopening celebration to be held in June.
The most wide-reaching of our new opportunities will come this fall, with the completion of the Castle Rock portion of the Colorado Front Range Trail, which will connect to locations throughout town and the Front Range. Work began last October in the Terrain neighborhood, and crews have been constructing three new segments. In Cobblestone Ranch and Terrain, McMurdo Gulch Trail is being extended northeast to connect to the Cherry Creek Regional Trail and south to meet Hangman’s Gulch Trail, while in Montaine, work is extending the East Plum Creek Trail south to Lowell Ranch. A $2 million grant awarded by the Great Outdoors Colorado-GOCO Connect Initiative, funded by Colorado Lottery proceeds, will be provided to the town at completion.
The town is proud to work with our community to enhance the quality of life and well-being of our residents by acquiring and developing parks and trails and preserving open space to meet Castle Rock’s needs. Learn more at CRgov.com/ParksAndRec.
David Corliss is the Castle Rock town manager.