After the our Winter Park ride and last weekends BMA Sufferfest, I was looking for something a little easier. Sometimes, that's tough to do in these hills, but today I was destined for Hermit Park. Hermit Park, is a cheating way to get to Homestead Meadows, the area at the top of Lion Gulch. Good stuff. Good cruising and mellow riding. Kinda sandy this time of year, but still purdy good.
it's one of my favorite trails ever. That said, the lure, at least for me anyway, to ride Homestead Meadows via Hermit Park is the history of the area.
If you have a chance, stop in the main office of Hermit Park to pick up a free copy of the History of Homestead Meadows. Homestead Meadows is filled with turn of the century homesteads. Each relic has a plaque in front of it describing who lived there and why. The history of this area is outstanding. It makes it easy to forget the troubles of our day to day modern lives.
Anyway... So I had the opportunity to stop and chat with a ranger for a bit. Right now, Hermit Park proper only has about 1/2 mile of trail open to bikes. Hermit Park is a big area with a dirt road running the length to access campsites and cabins. The property is owned by Estes Valley Land Trust and Larimer County OS and is managed by Larimer County. The management plan calls for a multi use 5-6 mile singletrack perimeter loop of the property. The park has been open for a few years now but nothing has happened yet. The ranger mentioned that they've got trails planned out on the map but have no budget for them, so it'll take awhile. His ears pricked up when I offered up, maybe optimistically, a volunteer force to help them build trails. We talked about Redstone's history with Boulder County and trailwork and he seemed pretty stoked. He gave me the numbers of the main park ranger and his boss. I'll follow up with them and keep everyone appraised. Probably going to be a long process, but we've got to start now!