Santa Fe Open Space
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 will provide El Paso County Parks a roadmap for future improvements to the open space. The proposed Phase I Improvements will include:
- A 2,300’ 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 5,950 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 and offer outstanding views of the southern Front Range.
- Two small information kiosks will be installed at each end of the trail network to allow for map displays and other information regarding the use of the open space. Entrance and trail marker signage will be installed throughout the open space.
The public review of the Master Plan concluded in February 2021, with overwhelming support from individual citizens, governmental agencies, and outdoor advocacy groups alike. The El Paso County Park Advisory Board unanimously endorsed the Plan at their February 2021 meeting, while the El Paso County Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved the Plan at their March 30, 2021 meeting.
Questions or comments? Please contact Ross Williams, El Paso County Community Services Park Planner via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!