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 multipurpose fields. Some parks also include baseball fields, tennis courts or basketball courts.
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.
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.
Through an agreement in 2020 with the City of Lone Tree and Rampart Range Metro District, South Suburban took over the responsibility of Belvedere Park, Don Bounds Park and portions of Promenade Park in the Ridge Gate area.
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 land and over 115 miles of trails.
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 resources.
Recently South Suburban has worked with SEMSWA, Southeast Metro Stormwater Authority, and Mile High Flood District on the following drainage projects within our open space areas:
- Spring Creek
- Big Dry Creek – Reach 12, just north of Dry Creek Road.
- Big Dry Creek at Easter Avenue
- Big Dry Creek at Progress Park
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 over 115 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 recreating.
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 amenity.
In addition to the major trails below, the District has local trails and park trails, as well as some District parks that 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
South Suburban Park and Recreation District offers four full-service recreation centers (Douglas H. Buck Community Recreation Center, Goodson Recreation Center, Lone Tree Recreation Center, and Sheridan Recreation Center); a community center, the Lone Tree Hub; 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.
In addition to the facilities above, South Suburban opened the 206,000 square-foot South Suburban Sports Complex in January 2021. The complex includes three sheets of ice, a fieldhouse with two synthetic turf fields, two gymnasiums with pickleball courts, two basketball courts, administrative offices, and a restaurant. The complex was a true community-driven project, born from visions in the 2017 Master Plan.
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 the Carson Nature Center at South Platte Park.
South Suburban 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, and a full 18-hole regulation course.
We offer thousands of recreational programs 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.
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, in 1998.