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Colorado's Incredible Backcountry Trails
by David Day (Rincon Publishing)
If you are interested in Colorado’s early settlers and want to learn more about how and where they lived this hike will be of special interest to you. Homestead Meadows was added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1990, and it is now a protected area managed by the Forest Service. The area contains no fewer than eight century-old homesteads. Many of the original buildings are still standing, and the trails leading to the homesteads are the old wagon roads that residents once used to access their homes. The sites provide a fascinating window into what life on the frontier was like at the turn of the last century. To make the hike even more interesting the Forest Service has placed plaques at each of the eight homesteads to provide information about who lived there.
Best Hikes Near Denver and Boulder
by Sandy Heise and Maryann Gaug (Falcon Guides)
Several hiking options allow you to explore the peaceful and quiet remains of different farms and ranches in Homestead Meadows National Historic District (including one with a sunken bathtub!). Old relics like stoves and cars lie abandoned in the flower-filled meadows. Cattle ranching, farming, and logging provided income to the families who settled here. A newer and easier access to this outdoor history museum is through Hermit Park Open Space, opened in 2008 by Larimer County. The USDA Forest Service manages Homestead Meadows, a unique property that provides an insight into the past as well as critical winter habitat for elk.Homestead Meadows today is quiet and full of flowers and wildlife. Trying to visualize life as a farmer or rancher here in the early 1900s without electricity, plumbing, high-speed cars on good roads, cell phones, and computers challenges the imagination.
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