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Open Space


Aurora Reservoir, 5800 S. Powhaton Road Aurora Reservoir
1861.5 acres: An abundance of activities can be found including sailing, windsurfing, fishing, non-motorized boating, paddle boating, picnicking, sunbathing at the seasonal swim beach and wildlife watching. Enjoy a quiet sunrise from a kayak, or bike, jog or rollerblade around the eight-mile reservoir trail. The reservoir also has a playground and reservable shelters.

Star K Ranch, 16002 E. Smith Road Star K

240 acres: Home of Morrison Nature Center, enjoy Star K's cottonwood-shaded trails, or walk your leashed dog along nearby Sand Creek Greenway Trail. A large picnic shelter is just east of the nature center, which provides nature adventures for the whole family.

Jewell WetlandsJewell Wetland, 13005 E. Jewell Ave.
46 acres: Stroll through the butterfly garden, explore the wetland boardwalk, or quietly watch a sunning turtle in the pond at this urban jewel. Just east of Utah Park, Jewell provides opportunities for a quick midday or downtime walk. Look for a roosting raptor or nesting owl.

Quincy Reservoir, 18350 E. Quincy Ave. Quincy Reservoir
288 acres: Nestled among local neighborhoods, Quincy provides a premiere urban nature retreat. Run the certified 5K trail, watch the Swainson's hawks bring food to their young, or catch a record-setting fish while enjoying this peaceful lake. The reservoir is open seasonally from March 1 to Oct. 31 and a daily pass or annual pass is required.

DeLaney Farm, 170 S. Chambers Road DeLaney
114 acres: A unique site with historic buildings, including Aurora's famous round barn. See an organic community garden and co-op farm, and hike in the adjacent open space. High Line Canal Trail and Toll Gate Creek Trail meet at DeLaney, and parking is a available off of Chambers Road. Prime site for viewing prairie dogs, raptors, deer and coyotes.

Horseshoe ParkHorseshoe Natural Area, 2125 S. Kittredge Way
110 acres: Where the Toll Gate Creek Trail meets Powerline Trail, West Toll Gate Creek Trail and Cherry Creek Spillway Trail; Horseshoe is a confluence of trails, providing opportunities for jogging, biking and wildlife watching. Baseball fields and a playground also encourage healthy fun.
Sand Creek Hawk

Sand Creek Riparian Preserve, 20809 E. 6th Ave.
317 acres: Horse enthusiasts, trail users and nature lovers can discover Aurora's true nature in this beautiful natural area. Walk the Sand Creek Greenway Trail at sunrise, take your horse along the creek or attend a naturalist-guided bird walk. In the winter, look for bald eagles, hawks and great horned owls.

Ponderosa PreservePonderosa Preserve, 8150 S. Coolidge Way 
60 acres: Tucked away in the Tallyn's Reach neighborhood is Aurora's own piece of ponderosa pine forest, which is usually found in the foothills. This natural area is only accessible by a naturalist-guided tour: 303.326.8445.

Pronghorn Natural Area, 27800 E. Quincy Ave. Pronghorn Natural Area
848 acres: Just north of Aurora Reservoir, Pronghorn is open to the public and is a great place to experience primitive prairie hiking. From the trailhead parking area, head north on the 1.2 mile trail course for some adventure, or head south to wander along the 0.8 mile soft surface trail. Either way you go, you are likely to see Mule deer, White-tailed deer, Pronghorn, Coyotes or various bird/raptor species. No pets allowed. View the north section trail map and the south section trail map and go explore!

Plains Conservation Center, 21901 E. Hampden Ave.
 Plains Center
1182.5 acres: A great way to get to know Aurora's prairie residents, the PCC offers a chance to admire the wide open view from a wagon ride or look for pronghorn on a self-guided walk. Encompassing everything from prairie wildlife to human history in a replica sod village, PCC has something for everyone from pre-K to PhD.

Cherry Creek Spillway, 2799 S. Chambers RoadSpillway

364.5 acres: Originally constructed as flood mitigation, the Spillway now hosts the winding 1.5 mile Cherry Creek Spillway Trail that connects Cherry Creek State Park with the Aurora trail system. While enjoying the trail, keep an eye out for a soaring red-tailed hawk or a mule deer in the shadows.

Coal Creek Arena, 20255 E. 6th Ave. Coal Creek Arena

10 acres: A venue for small rodeos and a great place to rent for your own special occasion. Park in the arena lot and head west to access the Sand Creek Greenway Trail and Sand Creek Riparian Preserve. Picnic areas provide shade for family gatherings and wildlife viewing.

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