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Date: October 2001

Centennial Cone – A Terrific Open Space Purchase

By Lee Todd

We have used the words "jewel" so many times to identify some great new Open Space purchase that we hate to use that word again, but the recent purchase of the area around and including Centennial Cone really is an exceptionally beautiful and unique area. This future open space park, located between Clear Creek Highway 6 and Golden Gate Canyon Road, is about five miles southeast of Golden Gate State Park. It encompasses 3,369 acres, which makes the park almost the size of White Ranch Open Space Park.

This land is home to elk, mountain lion deer, and other wild animal species. The entire park has been designated as a Natural Area, and will be managed for the elk to continue to use as a winter range and spring calving area. A trail on the north side and all trails located in the central part of the park will be closed during this time of elk use, which may run from mid-November to mid-June. However, a spur trail from the north is planned to lead to a viewing area where visitors may view the herd in its natural habitat.

Also, a carefully regulated, limited elk hunt will be held from December 1st through mid-January to help insure the continued health of the herd. The park will be closed to recreational use during that time.

The natural surface trail system will offer visitors a backcountry experience with multiple use trails designed to segregate trail use as much as possible. It is planned to offer interpretive and informational kiosks at trail heads, and wayside exhibits, and guided programs for general public audiences. A trail to the south and east sections of the park will be out of the elk range and will provide recreational opportunities throughout the year except for the short elk hunting period in December and part of January.

Current plans are to open the park to the public in the fall of 2005.

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