News Flash

Open Spaces News

Posted on: September 28, 2020

From windmills to bat houses, 17 Mile House Farm Park is great for family explorers!

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17 Mile House Farm Park, located at 8181 S. Parker Road in Centennial, is an incredible place for families to wander and explore. While the 155-year-old historic farmhouse is open by appointment only due to COVID, there’s a ton to see and appreciate on the property grounds. Pack a picnic, download a youth adventure workbook and step back in time! Here are some highlights:  

  • Vintage farm equipment is peppered across the property and gives visitors a chance to step back in time and imagine what it was like to work the land. Farm owners had to feed their families, their livestock – and the pioneers who stayed there in the 1860s as they migrated West. 
  • Two restored antique windmills are featured against the backdrop of the Front Range and 30-acres of open space. 17 Mile House owners and their associated guests relied on windmills to provide water for the house as well as to fill troughs for the farm animals. 
  • With more than 100 cottonwood trees on the property, there are many shady gulches for relaxing and enjoying the peaceful surroundings. The leaves are starting to change; come see the fall colors in our cottonwood gallery along Cherry Creek before it’s too late!
  • The lush riparian corridor* along the Cherry Creek Regional Trail has been carefully preserved through critical restoration and stabilization projects over the years. Wildlife is abundant, including deer, hawks, songbirds and rabbits. Access the creek via a small sandy area and cool rock croppings.
  • In 2018, a local Eagle Scout candidate placed a small wooden bat house on the property in collaboration with staff to support healthy stream life, bat roosting and spring bat migration. See if you can find it!
  • Popular with school groups, a large compass rock sits near the creek bed in a rock cropping. Check out the compass etched into stone and figure out which way is north! Also, from an aerial view of the property, large rocks placed along Cherry Creek and the site’s silo serve to map out the outline of the Big Dipper.
  • Bees are critical for our environment, pollinating a variety of native plants in our natural areas, from Wood’s Rose to Penstemons. Visitors should not approach the beehives, but they can appreciate that we have active beekeepers working hard to support the property. 
  • A local Eagle Scout worked with staff to build a wooden plank path along the east side of the creek to protect a portion of the trail from erosion. It’s a great stewardship project to show kids!

17 Mile House Farm Park is one of two heritage areas owned and maintained by Arapahoe County Open Spaces and is supported by the voter-approved quarter cent Open Space Sales and Use Tax.

Learn more about 17 Mile House Farm Park

*Riparian areas are wetlands adjacent to rivers and streams.

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