Carolyn Holmberg Preserve at Rock Creek Farm
A great hiking spot, just outside of Boulder is the Carolyn Holmberg Preserve at Rock Creek Farm. Turns out, this idyllic spot is not in Rock Creek subdivision; rather it is tucked away between Louisville and Broomfield. You can access the trail head just south of West Dillon on South 104th.
On a recent weekend, my wife Julie and I explored the Rock Creek Farm trail and were delighted by all the song birds inhabiting the large tree along the trail. There were literally hundreds, if not thousands, of birds in this big old gnarly tree. As we approached the tree, the birds left, in mass, heading for another tree we imagined. Meanwhile, overhead, we had some excellent views of raptors.
The most frequently sighted raptor in this area is the Red-Tailed Hawk. We watched several, with large wingspans, gliding about on thermals. The hawks had no fear of us and at times flew quite low. It was possible to make out details from the ground. Next time I’ll take a set of binoculars. If you visit this wildlife area and are patient, it is likely you could watch these birds hunt as there is a large colony of Prairie Dogs in the area.
Of course, during our hike, there was nothing too dramatic – I think we startled a few prairie dogs. We happily hiked about, enjoying views of the lake, across the prairie, the large tree with songbirds and seeing the raptors overhead. There were also riders on horseback enjoying themselves and several joggers taking advantage of the relatively flat trail.
There are several trail options at Rock Creek Farm, bathrooms and a picnic shelter. There is a fishing option as well. The trails are relatively level, so this is an ideal hike for beginners. Plenty of great views of the mountains to the west. For the more athletic, this is an excellent spot for a quiet run in solitude. There is an excellent map available online at map.