…make snow angels. Go sledding. Snowshoe. Or simply unleash a sidearm of snowballs on some unsuspecting friends. The options are endless…and at Stepping Stone, children (of all ages) will have some great places to play.
If you wish to stay close to home, the neighborhood’s four parks will offer plenty of snowman-building and snowball-lobbing opportunities. And Stepping Stone’s seven miles of trails (which connect to regional trails) will be a standing invitation to strap on your snowshoes and go.
But when you’re up for a short drive down Parker Road, Castlewood Canyon State Park opens up even more options. Pack up a thermos of hot cocoa and your favorite snow play equipment, because Castlewood Canyon offers 2,303 acres of ways to savor winter’s quiet beauty.
Cherry Creek winds throughout the park’s 60-foot canyon walls, creating gorgeous creekside trails to explore year round. In winter, rangers suggest a flat, paved trail on the east side that runs along the rim as ideal for cross-country skiers and snowshoers. But determined winter hikers (with snow poles) can always be found throughout the park, deeply rewarded for their efforts with breathtaking Front Range views and sightings of deer, elk, coyote, cottontail rabbit, and red fox.
Snow or not, Castlewood Canyon offer plenty to do, with 14 miles of trails, picnic areas, covered shelters, an amphitheater, visitor center and historic homestead to explore. And there’s a calendar of ranger-led activities to experience, too. Check out their newsletter, the Castlewood Compass to see what’s coming, but here’s a peek at this month’s happenings:
Saturday, December 7, 4:30pm-7:00pm
Learn about winter constellations, comets, and meteors. Bring your binoculars or telescope and enjoy the stars! Meet at the Canyon Point Parking Lot.
Full Moon Walk
Tuesday, December 17, 4:30pm-6:00pm
Join Park Interpreter Warren Coker for a full moon hike. Learn fun facts about the moon and hear some of the local nocturnal species as they begin their evening activities. Meet at the Canyon Point Parking Lot and remember to bring a flashlight.
Critter Tales: Christmas at the Lucas Homestead
Thursday, December 19, 10:00am-12:00pm
Join Volunteer Naturalist Sharon Logan for an exciting and educational children’s program. Decorate a tree as the Lucas children may have done more than 125 years ago. How would they have celebrated the holiday? For ages 3-6 years old, with an adult.
Winter at the Lucas Homestead
Thursday, December 21, 10:00am-12:00pm
Join Volunteer Naturalist Ron Claussen for a look at what the Lucas Family may have done on the first day of winter so many years ago. Take a short walk around the homestead and learn about the past. Meet at the Homestead Parking Lot.
Holiday Crafts and Snacks
Saturday, December 21, 11:00am-1:00pm
Join Volunteer Naturalist Susan Permut in celebrating the coming season. Come and enjoy holiday arts and crafts and explore your creative side.
For more information, call (303) 688-5242 or visit the website.
(photo © Leonid Ikan – Fotolia.com)