March 24, 2022 – El Paso County will open Santa Fe Open Space, the newest addition to the El Paso County Parks system, with a grand opening and ribbon cutting on Thursday, April 7, 2022, at 1:00 P.M. at the open space’s western entrance along the New Santa Fe Regional Trail.
“With El Paso County’s growing community and their growing interest in spending time outdoors, this new open space allows us to engage in more of El Paso County’s landscape and enjoy all our Parks system has to offer,” said Todd Marts, El Paso County Community Services Executive Director.
In May of 2017, El Paso County purchased 60 acres of pristine upland ranchland on the southern slopes of Ben Lomand Mountain, near Palmer Lake, Colorado. 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 was completed in February 2021. Construction of Phase I property improvements commenced in 2021 and completed in early 2022. The site offers 60 acres of rolling to moderate terrain with incredible views of the Colorado Front Range and is covered in thick stands of scrub oak, mature ponderosa pine trees, and rolling grass meadows. Santa Fe Open Space has 1.75 miles of natural-surfaced singletrack trails for hikers, cyclists, and horseback riders to enjoy. These trails are easy to navigate with trail signage at all intersections and maps at each trailhead.
Santa Fe Open Space has two entrances for visitors to access the recreation area. The western entrance is located approximately 0.50-mile southeast of the Palmer Lake Recreation Area, which offers parking, a restroom, and other park facilities. Alternatively, the eastern entrance is located 2.5 miles northwest of the Highway 105 Trailhead parking area. Santa Fe Open Space is only accessible via the New Santa Fe Regional Trail, and parking is only available at the Palmer Lake or Highway 105 trailheads. The site will be open daily from dawn until dark.