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City of Denver accepts donation of 450 acre ranch to transform into mountain park

Axton Ranch
Posted at 5:53 PM, Mar 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-03 19:53:33-05

DENVER — Surrounded by mountains on each side, Axton Ranch provides the natural beauty many people were searching for when they moved to the Denver area.

"It’s beautiful, it’s quiet. Believe it or not, there’s not a lot of traffic you’re going to get up here — usually it’s just the residents," said Robert Anthony, who has lived in the area for about two years.

But the fear of many in this community is the impact of the land surrounding Axton Ranch after its 450 acres were donated to the City of Denver and will be used as a mountain park.

"I just see all the other parks that we go to, and I’m just imagining that there are going to be a lot of cars on the side of the road," Anthony said. "Sometimes they’re going to be on the side of the road not even because there’s no parking, just because they want to sightsee,"

Some of the worries neighbors face are maintenance of the park, speed limits not being followed and parking issues. On the other hand, a new mountain park could also provide more open space for people who live in the metro area.

"I look at that area as being able to have hiking trails, biking trails and also being able just to see nature — what people move to Colorado for," Anthony said.

This is Denver’s first new mountain park in more than 80 years after the donation is fully complete sometime in fall 2021.

In a statement, the city says, in part:

“DPR [Denver Parks and Recreation] intends to manage Axton Ranch as a conservation area meaning that we will be prioritizing open space, forest, wildlife and resource protection, and limiting the development of facilities and public access and recreation so that those values and resources are protected.”

A master plan will also be conducted to help determine the long-term future of the park.

The park is not expected to open before this coming fall.