Round-Trip Length: 8.5 miles
Start Elevation: 6,933’
High Point: 7,404’
Elevation Change: 471’
Skill Level: Easy
Trailhead Location: Take I-25 south to Exit 167 (4 miles south of Larkspur), west .2 miles and south .5 miles to Greenland trailhead.
I was able to get out last weekend and explore a new trail in the area. The trail itself was not new but it was a new hike for me. Greenland Open Space is part of the Douglas County Open Space park system. This is a good early season hike as it sits at a low elevation more on the prairie.
Some history about the area extracted from the Greenland Trail map guide:
Greenland was once a bustling little village and shipping point. By 1871, the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad extended to the site and it was platted as a 20-acre town in 1875. It continued to thrive with two general stores, a post office, school and even a saloon or two. The railroad stations shipped out livestock, potatoes, grains, milk, building stones and pottery. The ranching industry continued even after the town declined in the 1930s.
At the trailhead is a nice shelter made to look the like the old General Merchandise Hardware store that existed in Greenland years ago.
I headed off down the Greenland Trail. The views to the south of Pikes Peak were stunning.
In about a mile I came to the Kipps Loop turnoff and headed up that trail.
Looking to the west I had great views over to the Spruce Mountain Open Space, another Douglas County Open Space Park.
A short distance further up the trail, there was an interesting rock formation up on the ridge, standing out all by itself.
Looking to the south, you can see Pikes Peak off in the distance.
More great views of Pikes Peak.
A few little wildflowers I saw along the trail.
Further up the trail, I came to the gravesite of Edward Kipps. Edward Kipps was an immigrant from England. He (and his wife Louisa) naturalized when he was 27, one year before he died. He was a leather craftsman/merchant in Palmer Lake.
I continued on down the loop, heading west now where I would soon join back up with the Greenland Trail. An old ranching corral I came across.
I soon came back to the trail intersection and headed north back towards the Greenland Trailhead. Heading south would take you to Palmer Lake and the Palmer Lake Trailhead. See my blog about our hike to Palmer Lakes here.
The trail here is actually part of the old Territorial Road. Looking to the south.
And looking to the north.
A shot of the open prairie with a butte off in the distance.
The trail passed by a small pond as I continued heading back to the trailhead.
I completed my 8.5 mile loop and made it back to the car just as it looked like some rain was moving in. An overview of the Greenland Trail system.
My route as taken by my MayMyHike app.
Time to head for home. Another trail to check off of the list!