Friday, March 13, 2015

Sellars Gulch Trail

Sellars Gulch Trail from Festival Park
We joined Sellars Gulch Trail in downtown Castle Rock in the parking area in front of the city police station for a short after-lunch walk.  Back in the 1880's, Castle Rock was founded at the confluence of Plum Creek and Sellars Gulch.  Both waterways supported the early community with water for drinking and lumber for building, both needed at the time.
At the Festval Park, there are seating and performing areas, public art and a paved connector to the Plum Creek Trail.  Parking is good here for a quick stroll, with a nearby coffee shop to rest in afterwards.
Heading easterly the trail quickly goes under Perry Street.  Over the years the city added tiles to the bridge wall, all hand-painted by community children.  I attached the 4 tile panel photos below.  Our child's tile is still there, 15 years later.

A panel under the bridge with children's tiles

Another panel under the bridge with children's tiles

And another panel under the bridge with children's tiles

And even another panel under the bridge with children's tiles

The trail continues to slowly climb the hillside beside the gulch.  Beavers have made pools behind their dams.  Trees are everywhere along the water here, even the ones chewed down by the beavers.  Lots of birds chirp.  All this and we are still in downtown Castle Rock!
We pass under the Union Pacific (old Denver and Rio Grande) railroad bridge and continue walking along the trail.

Tribute sign along the trail
After a slight curve we come to a marker on the trail that speaks of a former town Mayor, Ray Waterman who was very instrumental in creating the fine community of Castle Rock we know today.  A bench that was also dedicated to Mayor Waterman faces the stream for relaxing. We are behind the Douglas County Fairgrounds and turn around where Lewis Street crosses Sellars Gulch from the Craig and Gould neighborhood. The Sellars Gulch Trail crosses the water on a bridge here and continues much further, wrapping around the ball parks southeast of the fairground.  We plan to walk the area soon. 
We like the paved trails because we can walk them a couple days after a snowfall and keep our feet dry.  A second mountain bike rider swooshes past us.  Several walkers greet us on the trail.

Bench dedicated to Mayor Waterman
A map showing Sellars Gulch Trail where it connects with the Plum Creek Trail is HERE. Look near the bottom right of the page.
To hike this trail, exit I-25 at 181 Plum Creek Parkway, turn east and follow to the second stop light at Wilcox Street.  Turn left (north) and follow to Second Street.  Turn right and park on the right side of the street.  Begin your hike in Festival Park.

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