AP NEWS

It’s Hall or Nothing

December 31, 2018
With some 12 miles of interconnecting trails, Hall Ranch offers pleasant, winding routes that gently rise and dip---and the views aren't bad, either.

If you go:

Directions: Take U.S. 36 from Boulder to Lyons, turning left on Colo. 66. Where the road forks, go left on Colo. 7 for 1.5 miles to the Hall Ranch trailhead on the north side of the street. There is ample parking.

Distance: Varies

Difficulty: Easy to moderately difficult because of the length of the trail system.

Elevation gain: The rolling meadows allow hikers and bikers to gain and lose 1,380 vertical feet: The open space is 5,440 feet to 6,820 feet in various locations.

Dogs: No

Bicyclists and horses: Yes

Information: Boulder County Parks & Open Space, 303-441-3950

With a stunning mountain backdrop and 3,205 acres of open, rolling meadows, Hall Ranch offers equestrians, mountain bikers and hikers all there is to love about Colorado. This is where the Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains and where millions of years ago, tan-colored quartz sandstone was formed.

To start this hike, begin walking south and east from the trailhead. Do not veer off on the Bitterbrush Trail. Expect gradual elevation gain throughout the hike. The pleasant, winding trail gently rises and dips, eventually connecting with the Nelson Loop Trail (on your right) at about four miles into the hike. There are several big rocks suitable for enjoying a rest. Soon, you’ll take the right fork leading to the historic Nelson Ranch homestead.

As you come around on the Nelson Loop Trail and catch up with the Bitterbrush Trail, you’ll gently return to the trailhead, completing your hike summing to about (gasp) nine miles.

Hall Ranch, with more than 12 miles of multi-use trails, is home to the Bitterbrush Trail (3.7 miles) and Nelson Loop (2.2 miles). The Nighthawk Trail (4.7 miles) and Button Rock Trail (2 miles) complete the system.

The area opened to the public in 1996. The parcel along the Nelson Loop Trail is the historic Antelope Parks area, originally homesteaded by Rich Clark in 1890. In 1922, the homestead was obtained by the Nelson Family. In the mid-1940s, Hallyn and June Hall bought the property and ranched for more than 50 years.

Because of equestrians and mountain bike enthusiasts, and in an effort to maintain the area as a haven for wildlife, dogs are not permitted at Hall Ranch. The area is open from sunrise to sunset.

For more information, contact bette_erickson@hotmail.com .

 

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