Metzler Family Open Space

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With gorgeous sweeping views, plentiful wildlife and beautiful wildflowers and vegetation, the land along Founders Parkway and Crowfoot Valley Road is truly a treasure. The approximately 60-acre property was donated to the Town by the Estate of Robert F. Metzler. While the donation agreement requires several improvements the property will primarily remain open space to be enjoyed by the community for generations to come.

Metzler family history

The Metzler family is credited as an original settler in the Castle Rock area. Originally built in 1899, the homestead was the home of Bob and Rosemary Metzler. The siblings grew up on the property when it was still being used for ranching and dairy operations. Both Bob and Rosemary had distinguished careers in education. Bob was elected the Superintendent of Douglas County Schools in 1952, and Rosemary taught in Douglas County for more than 30 years. The siblings were third-generation Coloradans who had a passion for education, the community, and parks and recreation.


As part of the agreement, the Metzler estate donated a conservation easement, which limits the uses of the property going forward and preserves the natural state of the land. Douglas Land Conservancy, a local nonprofit focused on land conservation in Douglas County, holds the conservation easement and will help ensure the property, including a four-acre tract containing the homestead and ranch buildings, are managed appropriately.

Future improvements

An 11-acre tract, which could allow for an educational or community building, was also part of the donation. This area will be managed as open space until future needs are determined by the Town and funding is available. This area will also contain a parking lot that will provide the community access to a network of soft-surface trails that have been constructed. The parking lot and access road are slated to be completed in early May 2023.

The first phase of improvements includes construction of 4 miles of soft-surface trails, the straightening of the silo and construction of an access driveway and parking spaces. Additionally, the Town will install informative plaques to provide additional information about the Metzler family and property. About $1.6 million has been allocated for these improvements, which were started in 2021 and are planned to continue into 2023.


Trail Construction

The Town has completed constructing 4 miles of native-surface single-track trails on the property to allow folks to explore and discover this amazing property. The trails will be fully open for hikers, mountain bikers and walkers with dogs on leashes after a parking lot with access off of East Allen Street and Founders has been completed, as well as way-finding signage installed. In the interim, there are six parking spaces labeled "Castle Rock Open Space" located at HEI Civil, 5460 Montana Vista, Castle Rock that are available for the public to use when accessing the open space. If you have any questions in regard to the trails at Metzler Family Open Space, please feel free to reach out to trails planner Rich Havel via email or 720-733-4482.

View current trail map (PDF).

Fun Facts

  1. Family history
  2. Homestead 
  3. Property
  • Bob and Rosemary Metzler are the grandchildren of Patrick Lucas and Margaret McCardle who homesteaded what is now Castlewood Canyon State Park and the remains of that homestead are still visible in the park.
  • Bob and Rosemary were the last of the Metzler family to live on this property (Rosemary died in 2017 and Bob passed away in 2020).