The Preservation Park and Trailhead was established in 2007 in response to the growth and development the community was experiencing. To safeguard the Town's cultural heritage and preserve historic structures threatened by demolition, the Town Council dedicated five acres of Town-owned land for a Preservation Park and Trailhead, where Parker's history can be preserved to share with residents and visitors.
The trailhead property was originally purchased in 2004 as a collaborative effort between the Town of Parker, Douglas County, Arapahoe County, Douglas County School District, Cottonwood Metropolitan District and several community residents. Development of the Park will be completed in phases.
In early 2009, the Town moved the the first structures, the historic 1911 Hood House and a 1909 Passenger Train Car, to the Park. Renovations of these two structures will take time, but their value to Parker's history is great.
The Town completed exterior renovations of both the Hood House and the Railcar in 2010 and 2011. Improvements made to the Hood House include exterior framing & construction on all elevations, front porch reconstruction, siding repair, siding installation, and preparation for painting. A professional window restoration company has also completed the restoration and reconstruction of the historic Hood House windows. 'Team Depot', volunteers from our friends at the Parker Home Depot, painted the Hood House in the spring of 2011.
The rail car has a new coat of paint thanks to the Parker Area Historical Society and its volunteers. The addition on the east side of the car has been remodeled on the exterior to replicate the historic 'Parker's Depot' that was once located just north of Mainstreet in the (now) downtown area. Design and architectural services were graciously donated by local resident Kris Belter, AIA, Architect, with Intergroup Architects.
Also, the rail car was the canvas for local artist Craig Davis who was commissioned by the Town to paint artistic murals on the rail car skirting and people in the windows. Craig also stenciled the name Colorado & Southern. Even though the rail car is really a Santa Fe car, it is a very close depiction of the Colorado & Southern Railway cars that came through Parker in the late 1800s.
Construction of the trailhead including a parking area was completed in the spring of 2011. The trail connection west to the Cherry Creek Regional Trail was also completed late fall of 2011. The Town is grateful for the cooperation and funding assistance from Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) who contributed $280,000 towards the construction of the trailhead and Arapahoe County for their $100,000 contribution towards the trail connection project. Their generous contributions made this great project possible.
Future plans for the Preservation Park and Trailhead include construction of a picnic shelter and rest area and the potential for more structures on-site.
The Parker Preservation Park and Trailhead is located at 17710 Valley Hi Drive, adjacent to Parker Road, approximately one-half mile north of E-470 with access from Valley Hi Drive. This location is the northern gateway into Parker and Douglas County. Pedestrian access to the future 17 Mile House Farm Park, a living museum in Arapahoe County will also be provided from the Park.
View additional park and location information.