Santa Fe Open Space
This open space is not yet open to the public. The grand opening is tentatively scheduled for late summer/early fall 2021!
In May of 2017, El Paso County purchased 65 acres of pristine upland ranchland on the southern slopes of Ben Lomand Mountain, near Palmer Lake, Colorado. Covered in thick stands of scrub oak, mature ponderosa pine trees, and rolling grass meadows, the property was purchased with the intention of transforming it into a natural open space that would provide users of the adjacent New Santa Fe Regional Trail an opportunity to experience a more natural foothills environment in close vicinity to urbanized areas and major trailheads.
The Santa Fe Open Space Master Plan is currently in development, and is scheduled for approval by the Board of County Commissioners in early 2021. The Master Plan will provide El Paso County Parks a roadmap for future improvements to the open space. The proposed Phase I Improvements may include:
- A 3000’ 4’-8’ wide Tier I/III trail will be constructed along the southern border of the open space, providing visitors an opportunity to leave the New Santa Fe Regional Trail for approximately 2/3 of a mile, allowing for a short tour of the Santa Fe Open Space, without the need for formal hiking equipment or experience.
- Approximately 6,000 feet of Tier IV singletrack multi-use trails will be constructed throughout the central and northern portions of the open space. These trails will allow users to choose between a series of stacked loops, which will meander over hills and valleys, through thickets of scrub oak and Ponderosa Pine, and offer outstanding views of the southern Front Range.
- Construct an overlook area near the open space’s high point, along one of the Tier IV singletrack trails, to include an interpretive panel that informs the reader of the locations of various landmarks along the southern Front Range, all viewable from the overlook.
- Install approximately 1,400’ of 4-wire wildlife friendly fencing along the property’s eastern boundary.
- Install two small information kiosks at each end of the Tier I trail to allow for map displays and other information regarding the use of the open space. Install entrance and trail marker signage throughout the open space.
Please check back here for master plan updates, including an opportunity to review and comment on the draft master plan recommendations.
Questions and comments regarding the Santa Fe Open Space Master Plan, or for information about the open space in general, can be directed to Ross Williams, El Paso County Parks Planner, at firstname.lastname@example.org.