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An Open House At The Open Space!


Hermit-park-1Hermit Park Open Space “Free Day” Thursday, June 6

There is going to be a day coming up soon when everyone is invited to visit a local treasure free-of-charge. Hermit Park Open Space – only two miles outside of Estes Park – will be opening its gate on June 6th and waiving the normal admission price of $6 per vehicle (used for maintenance and upkeep). Just like a free day at Rocky Mountain National Park!

In addition, there are special events and activities planned to be sure everyone becomes better acquainted with this awesome treasure. It’s all part of the Second Annual Colorado Land Conservation Appreciation Week, a week-long celebration of all the wonderful work done to protect the special places that make Colorado a phenomenal place to live, work and play. The Hermit Park Open Space event is co-sponsored by Estes Valley Land Trust and Larimer County Department of Natural Resources.

Hermit Park Open Space will be hosting a unique treasure hunt on June 6th from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and all ages are invited to participate. There will be a treasure map to follow, with directions to visit and learn about all the treasures hidden in this gorgeous, publicly accessible conservation easement: camping, cabin rentals, wildflowers, wildlife, hiking, and the history of this unique gem of the Estes Valley. Plus there will be special treasures, activities and prizes just for the kids who bring their parents out for the event! Most of the day will be unscheduled to allow visitors to come and explore as they wish; however, guided hikes to the saddle on the Kruger Rock Trail will begin at 9:30 and 1:00, and guided wildflower walks are scheduled at 10:00 and 2:00 for those who are interested in those activities. No advanced registration is required for any of these activities.

Hermit Park Open Space is a 1,362-acre natural area nestled into the hills at 7,880 – 8,964 feet elevation, just off Highway 36. Ponderosa pine forests, wetland meadows, and abundant habitat for an impressive variety of mountain wildlife characterize this beautiful property. Amenities include cabins, RV and tent camping, group campground, a group pavilion which can be reserved for special events, and trails for hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking.

The preservation of this stunning area was a joint effort in 2007 between Larimer County, Agilent Technologies, Estes Valley Land Trust, Great Outdoors Colorado, Town of Estes Park, City of Loveland, Erion Foundation, City of Fort Collins, McWhinney Foundation, Town of Berthoud, and many more contributors.

The property was originally privately owned, but was purchased in 2007 and opened to the public in 2008. Hermit Park Open Space is operated and maintained for public use by the Larimer County Department of Natural Resources. Estes Valley Land Trust holds the conservation easement on the property, restricting its development in perpetuity. Unlike most conservation easements, this property is not privately owned, and the easement allows public access and recreational use.

So mark your calendar for a free visit to Hermit Park Open Space on June 6th. Plan a picnic lunch, bring your hat and sunscreen and plenty of water, and enjoy one of Estes Park’s close-by treasures. It’s one of the reasons you live in the Estes Valley!

 

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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