Boulder County Parks and Open Space October Hikes and Programs

As everyone knows, the recent flooding had a significant impact on Boulder County Parks and Open Space properties. Due to the extensive flood damage to properties and safety concerns, we have canceled a large number of programs.


However, please note we do still have several programs that are taking place and a couple that are in question depending on whether a property will open in time.


All the details are below. It is a good idea in the following weeks to check our website, for the latest information.


We offer best wishes and a quick recovery to those affected by the flood and appreciate everyone’s patience as things slowly return to normal.


Rachel and the Education and Outreach team



Hikes and Programs Taking Place for October 2013

Harvest Day & Wildlife Preparing for Winter

Saturday, October 5; 10:00am to 2:00pm

Sandstone Ranch Visitor Center; south of Highway 119, one mile east of Weld County Road 1 in Longmont

Join us for a Harvest Day filled with activities about the nature and history of Sandstone Ranch. There will be blacksmithing, pumpkin painting, scarecrow stuffing, yard games, crafts and more!  Boulder County volunteer naturalists will also be on hand to share the many ways that animals prepare for and survive winter, from the plains around Sandstone Ranch to high along the Continental Divide. You will learn about different wintering strategies including migration, hibernation, and other adaptations. All ages are welcome.

Questionable – please check our website for current information.

Fire on the Mountain: Three Years after the Fourmile Canyon Fire

Saturday, October 19; 10:00am to noon

Bald Mountain Scenic Area; 5 miles west of Boulder on Sunshine Canyon Drive (Mapleton Ave. in Boulder city limits)

Join Boulder County volunteer naturalists for a moderate one-mile hike to learn about the natural role of fire in ponderosa pine ecosystems, and some of the forest management practices that can lessen the effects and scale of wildfires. You will see evidence of the September 2010 Fourmile Canyon fire, learn about some of the rehabilitation efforts that were employed, and observe how this ecosystem has recovered so far.


Whoo are the Owls?

Wednesday, October 23; 7:00pm to 8:30pm

Louisville Public Library, 951 Spruce Street, Louisville

Owls have been regarded with fascination and awe throughout recorded history and across many cultures. To some people they are symbols of wisdom, to others they are harbingers of doom and death. Over half of the owls recorded in the U.S. have been seen in Boulder County, and most of those owls nest here. Join volunteer naturalists to learn about the special adaptations that make them such expert hunters.


Clever Corvids

Saturday, October 26; 10:00am to noon

Betasso Preserve; Boulder Canyon (Highway 119) to Sugarloaf Road; follow signs to Betasso Preserve; meet at group picnic shelter

Ravens, crows, jays and magpies are noisy, intelligent and gregarious birds found throughout Boulder County. They are all members of the bird family Corvidae. Join volunteer naturalists for an easy 2-mile hike to observe and learn more about the natural history, ecology, and stories about these clever birds.



****Canceled Programs:


Quaking Aspen Hike                          

Sunday, September 29; 10:00am to noon

Mud Lake Open Space; 2 miles north of Nederland on County Road 126; meet at parking lot kiosk



Autumn Heritage Day at Walker Ranch Homestead

Sunday, September 29; 10:00am to 3:00pm

Walker Ranch Homestead; 7701 Flagstaff Mountain Road, approximately 7 miles west of Boulder on Flagstaff Road



Ghost Towns of the Rockies: Presentation and Book Signing

Sunday, September 29; 4:30pm to 5:30pm

Nederland Mining Museum, West 2nd St, Nederland

Questionable – please check our website for current information.

I Sit Listening to the Wind: A Woman’s Encounter with Herself and Nature
Saturday, October 5; 9:30am to noon

Meeting location will be provided to registered participants

Join volunteer naturalist Louise Alderson for a contemplative walk in nature. Using passages from the book I Sit Listening to the Wind, by Judith Duerk, you will experience the rhythm of nature and personal reflection and growth. Participants should be prepared for a moderate 1-mile hike. For women of all ages; register by email at, or by calling 303-678-6214 by Thursday, October 3.



Hard Rock Mining Tour

Saturday, October 5; 10:30am to 12:30pm or 1:30pm (depending upon the route)

Meeting location will be provided to registered participants



On the Wing: A Birds-Eye View of Boulder County Weather

Tuesday, October 8; 7:00pm to 8:30pm

George Reynolds Branch, Boulder Public Library, 3595 Table Mesa Drive, Boulder; additional parking is available across Table Mesa Drive in the King Soopers parking lot



Geology and Landforms of Hall Ranch

Saturday, October 12; 9:00am to 1:00pm

Hall Ranch Open Space; one mile west of Lyons on Highway 7; meet at the group picnic shelter near the upper parking lot



Bears in Our Backyard

Sunday, October 13; 10:00am to noon

Heil Valley Ranch; North of Boulder off Lefthand Canyon Drive; meet at group picnic shelter


Hike for Seniors
Thursday, October 31;  Heil Valley Ranch Open Space (Meet at the group picnic shelter)


***For information about these programs or to arrange a volunteer-led program for your group please contact:

Larry Colbenson

Natural History Program Coordinator, Boulder County Parks and Open Space

5201 St. Vrain Road, Longmont CO 80503