Sometimes we just drive with no plans on where we are going to end up. I am very thankful that our kids do very well in the car, as I know that’s not the case with lots of kids. On this day we did just that- needed to get out of the house with vague plans of heading west. Plus it was supposed to be in the 90s and we were looking for some cooler temperatures.
We left our house around 8:30 am and drove to the Donut Mill in Woodland Park for second breakfast. From there we enjoyed a scenic drive to Deckers and drove along a good portion of the South Platte River. This river is much smaller and calmer than the Arkansas River along Highway 50, and is a good river to go tubing. I would definitely be comfortable taking my 2 older boys tubing (ages 5 and 3) since the water moves slow, is not very deep, and they are very comfortable in the water. But since this was more of an exploratory trip (and we don’t own tubing gear), it was good to take note of for future use.
After driving for awhile along Highway 67, we ended up in the very small town of Buffalo Creek, CO. There was no cell phone reception (for AT&T) and our GPS couldn’t connect, but Erick was able to get a brief connection to be able to figure out where we were. He was able to figure out that there was a park nearby so that we could eat our lunch at picnic tables and not crammed in the car.
We drove up to the Pine Valley Ranch Park and I was not expecting much, but immediately was drawn into the scenery.
There are cliffs that tower over the river. There are dozens of picnic tables (some under the gazebo, some just under trees) all along the river. There are hiking trails, a gazebo on the river, lots of places to take your horses and dogs, and even a group doing yoga by the river.
Since we had already spent several hours in the car we just went there for lunch and some rock throwing. It is approximately 90 minutes from Colorado Springs and would definitely be a great place to go if you’re looking for something quiet and on the water. We did go on a Friday so I am not sure how crowded it gets on the weekends. I would not be surprised if this is a popular place for Denver-ites to hang out on the weekend.
Other parks in Jefferson County Open Space: Mount Falcon Park