Parks and Open Space
South Suburban Park and Recreation District has more than 100 parks for residents and visitors to explore and enjoy, from neighborhood gems like Willow Creek and Cherry Knolls parks to regional favorites like Cornerstone Park and deKoevend Park.
Most South Suburban parks offer a variety of amenities including a
playground, shelter, and ballfield. Some parks also include tennis
Creekside Experience and Reynolds Landing,
both located in Littleton, offer nature-based playgrounds. Creekside
Experience is the District’s first open space nature play park and
features nature-experience elements including a tree house overlook;
boulder scramble; sand play area; a log, stump and boulder trail.
South Suburban is committed to continually improving its parks and
amenities with input from the public. In late summer 2017, South
Suburban made improvements to the playground at
Little’s Creek Park, adding separate play areas for kids, 2 - 5 and 5 - 12 years of age, and replacing the existing park benches.
In 2016, a brand new outdoor Pickleball complex was constructed at Cornerstone Park, and new playgrounds were constructed at deKoevend Tot Lot, Hunters Hill Park, Arapahoe Park and Writer’s Vista Park.
Green, well-maintained parks add to the quality of life and increase
property values. Parks provide a place to play, escape, relax and
connect with others. Dogs, supervised by their owners, can enjoy
romping off-leash at the Wynetka Ponds Park.
Our Parks Staff maintains and manages parks and playgrounds through
routine mowing, irrigation, safety checks and maintenance. Overall, the
District manages more than 3,800 acres of developed and open space park
The District maintains approximately 2,500 acres of open spaces, which
is comprised of native grasses and natural grass that is not necessarily
native to Colorado and was planted for livestock forage long ago. Our
more prevalent native grass is also the state grass, Blue Gramma Grass.
Our open spaces are also full of wildlife and wildflowers
Maintenance of open space includes natural areas, storm water
channels, rivers and creeks, trail corridors, turf park borders with
native vegetation, lakes, and ponds as well as private property
boundaries and natural play parks. We also partner with and coordinate
work with local HOA's, storm water authorities, public works departments
and utilize some grant funds to help supplement our dedicated
Some recent figures from our parks and open spaces include:
- In 2017, we budgeted $290,000 to maintain our open spaces and natural areas, which roughly equates to $116 per acre.
- It takes around four weeks to complete one mowing cycle of the
District’s natural open spaces, and our mowing crew averages 3 cycles a
- The Natural Open Space Maintenance team restores approximately 30
acres of open space and trail corridor annually. These areas are
typically damaged by contracted improvements, utility construction work,
and localized weather erosion.
To see all of our parks and open spaces, visit our comprehensive parks list.
Parks, trails and open space are practically synonymous with South
Suburban; and they are the life blood of the District. South Suburban
Parks and Recreation manages and maintains nearly 100 miles of trails
throughout the District. From highly used regional trails like the Mary
Carter Greenway to recreational favorites like the High Line Canal Trail
and Willow Creek Trail, South Suburban ensures the trails are well
maintained for all users’ enjoyment. Both crusher fine and concrete
trails are found throughout the District.
Trail connectivity is vital in helping people get to where they want
to go – work, school, parks, shopping, and the recreation center,
without the danger, hassle or interruption of busy cross streets. The
District’s goal is to continue to provide a network of trails across the
District for walking, running, walking the dog and commuting and
In 2017, the District completed the High Line Canal Bridge Replacement Project.
Three bridges were replaced at locations along the High Line Canal
Trail in Centennial and Littleton, and a brand new bridge was
constructed to improve access to the favorite trail and recreational
In addition to the major trails below, the District has local trails
and park trails. And some District parks have trail loops; trails that
are one mile or less, or 1 - 2 miles in length.
The District’s Major Trails:
- Bear Creek Trail
- Big Dry Creek Trail
- Centennial Link Trail
- Columbine Trail
- Cook Creek Trail
- High Line Canal Trail
- Lee Gulch Trail
- Little Dry Creek Trail
- Littleton Community Trail
- Mary Carter Greenway Trail
- Railroad Spur/Mineral Ave Trail
- Willow Creek Trail
In recent years, the District completed the last phase of the Centennial Link Trail
which made it possible to get from the Bluffs in Lone Tree to Goodson
Recreation Center in Centennial. The District installed the Littleton
Community Trail allowing north-south access in the City of Littleton
from Slaughterhouse Gulch to Ridgewood Park. The District expects to
complete the East Bank segment of the Mary Carter Greenway Trail from
West Oxford Avenue south to West Union Avenue in summer 2018. The trail
meanders through Sheridan, Englewood, and Littleton.
South Suburban Park and Recreation District offers four, full-service recreation centers; a community center, the Lone Tree Hub; the South Suburban Ice Arena with two sheets of ice; and the Family Sports Center complex which includes, an entertainment center, an ice arena with two sheets of ice, a restaurant; a 9-hole golf course; an 18-hole miniature golf course and a sports dome.
The District operates four outdoor pools, Ben Franklin, Cook Creek, Harlow, and Holly, which is adjacent to the Holly Tennis Center. It also operates the County Line BMX Track, the 36-hole Colorado Journey Miniature Golf Course, batting cages and pickleball courts at Cornerstone Park, several skate parks, a disc golf course at West Fork Open Space, and a nature center at South Platte Park.
In addition to the amenities at the Family Sports Center, the District also maintains three other golf courses, the Littleton Golf and Tennis Club, which includes an 18-hole course, restaurant, and indoor tennis center, the Lone Tree Golf Club & Hotel, which includes an Arnold Palmer, par-72 championship course, restaurant, wedding venue, event rooms, 15-room hotel and tennis center, and the South Suburban Golf Course, which includes a 9-hole, par-3 course, a full 18-hole regulation course, and a new clubhouse.
The four recreation centers are Buck Recreation Center in Littleton;
Goodson Recreation Center in Centennial; Lone Tree Recreation Center in
Lone Tree; and Sheridan Recreation Center in Sheridan. All recreation
centers, except Sheridan, have indoor pools. Daily admission includes
drop-in fitness classes, cardio equipment, and access to weight room,
free weights and bar bells, pool, gym,
Pickleball, an indoor track and racquetball courts. Each recreation center has its own personality.
- Buck Recreation Center,
located just east of downtown Littleton, features the area’s only warm
water therapy pool and is headquarters to the District’s Older Active
Adult Program, which offers programs, classes and trips and tours for
those age 50+. Buck also is home to the STAR (South Suburban
Therapeutic Adaptive Recreation) Program for people with disabilities
and offers year-round programming and social events.
- Goodson Recreation Center
is centrally located within the District and is just steps away from
deKoevend Park and the High Line Canal Trail. The District’s Pottery
Studio is located here, along with the Goodson Pottery Guild. Goodson
has the largest enrollment of SilverSneakers® in the state. The program
is available through many health plans and offers a variety of fitness
classes for free to those 65+. Child Discovery Time, a licensed
preschool program for children ages 2½ - 5 is operated at Goodson.
- Lone Tree Recreation Center
is our newest recreation center and features a lap pool, leisure pool,
water slide, and lazy river. Summer camp is offered here, and Child
Discovery Time, a licensed preschool program for children 2.5 – 5 years
of age runs during the school year. Free summer concerts and other
activities take place at Prairie Sky Park next door.
- Sheridan Recreation Center
features The Creativity Lab; a dedicated room filled with a variety of
mixed media, art materials and found objects for creating a variety of
art projects, including sculpture, collage, sewing, painting, drawing
and more. Adjacent to the Center is the Sheridan Skate Park and Sheridan
Community Park and ball field.
Some recent figures from those facilities include:
- South Suburban Ice Arena had 200,000 visits to its facility in 2016 with 125,000 participants out on the ice.
- Family Sports Center had 225,000 patron and spectator visits in 2016, not including golf.
- For the 21 years that the Sports Dome has been operational, the
staff has collected enough used athletic tape on the field to cover the
entire Sports Dome ceiling.
- On average there are 1,077,500 rounds of mini golf played each year
at Colorado Journey, which equates to over 431,000 miles walked on the
- From Jan - Aug 2017, the Goodson Pottery Studio sold over 4 tons of 25 lbs. bags of clay, the same weight as a male hippo!
We offer thousands of recreational programming for all ages each year.
These programs cover a variety of areas: active aging, arts, aquatics,
childcare/day camps, dance, education and enrichment, fitness, golf,
nature, sports, and therapeutic and adaptive recreation.
Some highlights of those activities include:
- South Suburban’s Adult Hockey program serviced over 1,700 adult skaters in 2016.
- Over the course of our annual six-race series, our participants have run enough miles combined to go from Denver to Oklahoma City, OK.
- If you took all the summer camp supplies used this year at The
Creativity Lab to make wind chimes and placed them end to end, you would
almost make it out of Sheridan Recreation Center’s doors to Buck
Recreation Center – 15,000 feet of waxed string, 2980 keys, 69,930
plastic beads and 700 hot glue sticks or 3.27 miles worth for over 1,500
To see our recreational programming, visit our online catalog.
Other Facilities and Amenities
In addition to the parks and recreation offerings described above, South Suburban also has an orchard, an Administrative office, a service center and maintenance center, and 23 school partnerships/shared use agreements for a total of 75 acres.
The District also has an entity that is fiscally dependent upon it, The Hudson Gardens and Event Center.
Hudson Gardens operates 16 separate display gardens, an event center
which hosts programs on educational and cultural activities, numerous
weddings, and a summer concert series. The District purchased the land,
including certain permanent structures on which Hudson Gardens operates,