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NEW COLORADO PARK! Sandstone Ranch Open Space

Twin hoodoos overlook a pasture at Sandstone Ranch Open Space. Photograph © Stewart M. Green

I spent today roaming around Sandstone Ranch Open Space, a 2,038-acre nature preserve between Palmer Lake and Sedalia. The parkland just opened for public exploration after being purchased by Douglas County for $18.75-million dollars a few years ago.

The Ranch, called the "crown jewel" of the Douglas County Open Space program, is a historic ranch sprawling across dry grasslands, pastures, creeks, rounded hillocks, dense thickets of scrub oak, open ponderosa pine forest, and outcrops of coarse Fountain Formation sandstone. And yes, it is absolutely gorgeous.

Besides its natural assets, the area has historic ranch buildings that date back to the 1870s when the area was first settled. There are also over 12 miles of newly constructed trails threading over hill and dale.

I was out there most of the day rambling around, making GPX tracks, and taking photos since I'm putting the trails in a new book that I'm finishing for FalconGuides. This photo is of some of the precarious hoodoos scattered around the property.


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