Metzler Family Open Space
Thank you for your continued support of the Town of Castle Rock’s special events. As a result of the winter storm last weekend, for safety reasons, the Town decided to cancel the Winter Ball. Your understanding is appreciated, and we apologize for any disruption this may have caused in your plans.
Your admission and registration will be transferred to the Summer Ball event on Aug. 24, 2024, at the Amphitheater at Philip S. Miller Park. Full event details will be sent separately.
- If you can and want to attend the Summer Ball, no action is needed. Your registration will be transferred and event details will be sent to you closer to the event.
- If you are unable to attend on the new date, we are happy to offer a full refund of your admission. Please email [email protected]. The Special Events team will contact you to promptly process your refund.
The Town is committed to participant safety and ensuring a memorable event for all. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to [email protected] or 720-733-2222.
- Adopted by: Castle Rock Rotary Club through the POST Partners Program
- Trail length: 4 miles
- Trail rating: easy to moderate
- Trail surface: unpaved
- Open Space acreage: 109 total acres (49 acre public land dedication in 2001 and 60 acre donation in 2021)
- Wildlife highlights: wild turkeys, mountain lions
- Special comments: historic homestead
The single-track unpaved trail system is divided into loops and connectors named for Metzler family members or other relevant features of the property. There is an unpaved crusher fine path between the primary parking lot and homestead area. Mountain bikes are not recommended on the Rancher’s Ridge or Stanchion Steps trails.
The primary parking lot and trailhead are located at 838 E. Allen St. Six additional parking spots are also designated at the end of Montana Vista.
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.
Since receiving the generous land donation, the Town developed 4 miles of native-surface, single-track trails throughout the property and straightened the silo, as its preservation was requested by Mr. Metzler. The trails are now open for hikers, mountain bikers and walkers with dogs on leash. A parking lot and access driveway was constructed along the southwest portion of the property at 838 E. Allen Street to ensure public access, and additional parking labeled "Castle Rock Open Space" is available on the property's northwest side at 5460 Montana Vista. Property signage was placed throughout to orient trail users and informative plaques will soon be installed to provide the Metzler family and property history. 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.
- The Metzler family is credited as an original settler in the Castle Rock area.
- 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).
- Bob and Rosemary were third-generation Coloradans who had a passion for education, the community and parks and recreation, and both had distinguished careers. Bob was the Superintendent of Douglas County Schools as well as an internationally recognized educator, cattle rancher, developer and philanthropist. Rosemary taught in Douglas County for more than 30 years and published a children’s book, Snooty the Fox.
- The homestead was originally built in 1899 but had additions as recently as the 1990s.
- The silo was made of clay tile bricks (not very common) in 1912. It was stipulated in the donation agreement that the silo remain on the property and either straightened for safety or de-constructed and then reconstructed with the same clay bricks. Fortunately, a Mennonite family from Pennsylvania was able to successfully straighten the leaning silo in June 2022.
- The homestead and outbuildings were home to an active dairy farm called Sunny Slope Dairy until the 1960s. In addition to the homestead and silo, there is a milking barn, creamery, garage and chicken coop.
- The 60-acre parcel that includes the homestead was donated in 2021 by the Estate of Robert Metzler.
- The homestead parcel is protected with a permanent Conservation Easement held by Douglas Land Conservancy (minus the area around the future parking lot location).
- The Town constructed a parking lot in the southwest corner of the property, off Allen Street, that opened in May 2023.
- The Town also installed signage for the trails and trailhead parking lot, so all the trails are marked for easier navigation.
- The western 49-acre parcel was originally part of the larger Metzler property but was dedicated to the Town in 2001 as a public land donation for the development around Allen Street.
- Both parcels are woodland habitats characterized by scrub oak and mount mahogany shrubs along with scattered ponderosa pines and junipers.
- Wildlife seen or that have the potential to be seen on the property include: mountain lions, mule deer, porcupines, turkeys, coyotes and foxes, along with owls, hawks, woodpeckers and many migratory songbirds.