The Bachman passive park/open space land was an integral part of the Bachman family ranching operations.
For over 80 years the Bachman family owned the land in the South Area of Golden that at one time included the Heritage Dells and Tripp Ranch neighborhoods, the former Heritage Square/Magic Mountain site, Martin Materials quarry land as well as the Golden Terrace West mobile home park and East to the 6 & 40 Business Center. They raised 100 head of Hereford cattle and owned two registered cattle brands. Milk was sold in Denver from 20 milk cows. They also raised chickens and horses.
In 1937, the family first moved into the old rock house built with rock quarried from the hog back in early 1860's. Prior to the Bachman's ownership, the 720 acres of aired range land was known as the Apex Ranch. The old rock house is associated with the early town of Apex that was located in what is now the lower and upper parking lots of the Apex Trail head.
In 1865, the first U.S. Survey party drew a handmade map of the area that shows the former Bachman parcels with a trail going around the Hog Back (now part of West Colfax/U.S 40) and a trail going North and South (now Heritage Road).
Content contributed by Preston Driggers
This 28 acre parcel of Golden Open Space contains a National Natural Landmark called the "Early Bird Site". The site is off limits to visitors due to hazards from early mining operations. The Dakota Sandstone at the Early Bird site contains the first bird and crocodilian footprints ever reported from the Cretaceous period (about 100 million years ago). The footprints decorate the walls of the historic clay mines found here. The original finds date from the 1930's but more recently paleontologists rediscovered the site and found more fossil bird and crocodile trackways and dinosaur "bulges".
The Cressman Gulch Trail along the southern and western edge of the open space allows access to individuals who want to explore the diverse plant life or view the ridge from the west. Social trails on the east side of the ridge take you past interesting rock formations and mining vent holes left from another era.
Thank you to Dr. Donna Anderson for providing "hard-to-find" documentation about the Early Bird site.
Cressman Gulch and Tucker Gulch are narrow bands of open space with 8 foot wide concrete paths that give pedestrians and cyclists an off-rode route to/from the north end of Golden. These trails provide a link between neighboring communities and open space.
The Tucker Gulch Trail runs from Vanover Park in downtown Golden north and west past Norman D. Memorial Park to highway 93 at Golden Gate Canyon Rd. The 1.10 mile trail follows an abandoned railroad bed as it climbs steadily uphill as you go north. The eastbound Clear Creek Trail can be accessed from just north of 10th Street.
The Cressman Gulch Trail runs along Ridge Rd. from Mesa Dr. north to Pine Ridge Rd. The slightly uphill trail is .6 miles long. Another small section of the Cressman Gulch Trail traverses the southwest side of Dakota Ridge. There are several access points to these trails from residential areas and main roads.
The Lower Chimney Gulch Open Space is a 13.7 acre segment along 6th Avenue adjacent to Parfet Estates and Colorado School of Mines property. During warm months this open space is used as a hang glider landing field.
Note: The Chimney Gulch Trail is part of the Jefferson County trail system and is connected to the Windy Saddle Trail and Park. The trail climbs to 2,000 feet in 2.5 miles from Highway 6 to the summit at Lookout Mountain Nature Center.
This 5.8 acre segment of Golden Open Space is located between Clear Creek and Church Ditch just south of Clear Creek Canyon Rd. The western extension of the Clear Creek Trail can be accessed from this point and construction is underway to extend the Peaks to Plains paved trail to the mouth of the canyon.
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