East Plum Creek Trail
Trail length: 8 miles
Trail rating: easy
Trail surface: paved
Wildlife highlights: Preble’s meadow jumping mice, migratory birds, beavers and black bears
Special comments: interpretive stations
This 8-foot-wide, multi-use-paved trail spans nearly 8 miles between Castle View High School and Crystal Valley Parkway. This trail provides recreational users and commuters access to The Meadows, Kings Ridge, Montaine and Crystal Valley neighborhoods, as well as Downtown Castle Rock. As part of the Colorado Front Range Trail, there are proposed plans to extend the East Plum Creek Trail further south, eventually connecting Castle Rock to Colorado Springs, as well as east through the Terrain to connect to the Cherry Creek Regional Trail.
Users can get a close-up look at the unique creek-side habitat along East Plum Creek and lower Sellars Gulch. These are both great locations for bird watching, and interpretive stations along the trail provide great opportunities to learn about birds and other wildlife found in the area, as well as historical facts and other environmental features. Construction of portions of the trail have been partially funded with grants from Great Outdoors Colorado and the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Parking is available on Meadows Parkway, with additional on-street parking at Castle View High School, Festival Park and along South Perry Street. The trail also has pedestrian access points on Sabercat Way, Kinner, Wilcox, Perry and Fair streets, Plum Creek Parkway, and Douglas Lane.
Great Outdoors Colorado helps fund new extension
In October 2016, the Town was awarded a $1 million grant from Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) through their Connect Initiative Program to help complete construction of the 2-mile southern section. The southern extension of the East Plum Creek Trail was included as a Town priority in the Council-approved 2015 Parks and Recreation Master Plan. The $1 million Great Outdoors Colorado Grant helped to offset some of the costs and save money for other trails projects in Town. The grant required the Town to match funds of an additional $1 million to improve the trail.
About Great Outdoors Colorado
GOCO invests a portion of annual Colorado Lottery revenues into trails, parks, wildlife, open spaces, river corridors, playgrounds, and Youth Corps in all 64 counties through competitive grants. Created by a vote of the people in 1992, GOCO is managed by an independent board and uses no tax dollars. It also provides direct support to Colorado Parks and Wildlife programs and facilities. Lottery revenues also support the Colorado Conservation Trust Fund and school construction.
The Connect Initiative focuses on connecting existing trail gaps, constructing new, highly demanded trail systems and providing increased access for youth and families to existing parks, open spaces, natural areas and environmental education opportunities.
While this is the largest GOCO grant the Town has ever received, these competitive grants also helped fund other projects in Castle Rock, such as the acquisition of Quarry Mesa Open Space, the acquisition of East Plum Creek Open Space, the construction of the East Plum Creek trail between Meadows Parkway and Wolfensberger Road, and the construction of the Adventure Playground at Philip S. Miller Park.