New Castle has a Plethora of Outdoor Recreation Opportunities — Trails, Parks and Open Space Abound.
Colorado is the place for people who love to be outdoors, whatever the season. New Castle provides countless opportunities for outdoor recreation, both within the town limits and on nearby public land. Have a meal in town, replenish your backpack, and enjoy the western edge of the Rockies!
- Alder Park: Nearly 3 acres located adjacent to Alder Lane in the Castle Valley Ranch area. It contains two “micro” (1/4 regulation size) soccer fields, fishing pond, a restroom, several trails and a large parking area.
- Burning Mountain Park: 1/2 acre located in downtown New Castle at the corner of Jasper Ward Avenue and Main Street. It has playground equipment, a gazebo, picnic tables, a public restroom and a beautiful monument honoring the miners who died in three coal mine explosions.
- Coal Ridge Park: 12 acres on the South side of the Colorado River includes approximately 2 developed acres with and a boat ramp to access the Colorado River. Coal Ridge Park is home to our popular 18 hole FIRE MOUNTAIN Disc Golf course. There are bathrooms and picnic tables with grills, a large parking area and access to the new Talbot trail.
- Grand River Park: Our newest park, with 12 acres located on the south side of the Colorado River. The park features a regulation soccer field, playground, river beach, fishing pond, wetlands and a half-mile trail with interpretive signs.
- The Hogback Skate Park: 1/2 acre located south of Castle Valley Boulevard near South Wild Horse Drive. The site includes a skateboard park, seating areas and parking.
- Hot Shot Park: Located between South Wild Horse Drive and Castle Valley Boulevard, is approximately 3.3 acres with playground equipment, basketball courts, pickleball court, a small picnic shelter and lawn area.
- Kay Williams Park: A small playground adjacent to Alder Park.
- Mattivi Plaza: A small downtown space with planters and sculpture.
- New Hope Park: A public/private venture with New Hope Church. The park is open to the public and includes a horseshoe pit, volleyball court and a pickleball court.
- Ritter Plaza: Approximately 4,800 square located on Main Street between Vanderventer Avenue and Jasper Ward Avenue. It contains several benches and tables.
- Rollie Gordon Park: Located between Elk Creek and 7th Street. It is 7,100 square feet with a lawn area, planters and a creek-side trail.
- Town Hall/Library Plaza: Located in between these two public buildings on Main Street.
- VIX Ranch Park: 9 acres, adjacent to North Wild Horse Drive and Riverside Middle School in Castle Valley Ranch. It has a full-size soccer and baseball field, a restroom, 2 picnic shelters and a 8′ wide walking path that is .30 miles long.
Museum on the Street
Recently, the town completed the installation of the “Museum on the Street.” This project was inspired by a citizen ad-hoc committee called the Downtown Group whose mission is beautification of the downtown area. Funding of the project came partially from an Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado grant. Click here to go to the Museum on the Street page.
William “Pyro” DuBois, Jr. Memorial Statue
A memorial Statue by sculptor John Kobald was unveiled in New Castle’s, Grand River Park, on September 10th, 2016. Captain DuBois, a lifetime, 30-year-old resident of New Castle, was killed in action December 1st, 2014 while on active duty with the 77th Fighter Squadron. He was a graduate of Rifle High School and the University of Colorado at Boulder. He trained with the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training at Sheppard Air Force Base and received F-16 training at Luke Air Force Base. He was twice named the top fighter pilot in his class and earned two top gun awards. He had been stationed at Kunsan, Korea and Shaw Air Force Base before joining Operation Inherent Resolve, where his plane crashed while returning to base to assist his wing man with a mechanical problem.
Mishaps can Happen even on a Short Hike. A Little Planning can Ensure a Safe and Enjoyable Hike.
- Tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to be back.
- If possible, hike with a partner.
- Wear a hat and sunglasses. A hiking pole is a good accessory to carry.
- Stay on the trail. This not only protects delicate wilderness plants, it also lets you retrace your steps with confidence.
- If you do venture off a marked trail, or take a trail fork, mark your way with brightly colored ribbons so you can find your way back.
- Carry your trash out with you.
- Hike in the morning. Thunderstorms, which can come up in mid-afternoon, are very dangerous in the mountains.
Carry a Backpack. Even on a Short Hike, you should have Necessary Supplies. Pack your Backpack with:
- Clothing: The weather can change quickly. Carry fleece, rain gear, dry socks, gloves.
- First Aid: Sunscreen, Band-Aids, ace bandage, antihistamines.
- Food: Nutrition bars, granola, trail mix, dried fruit.
- Safety Gear: Loud whistle, mirror or silver space blanket to attract attention, compass, flashlight.
- Water: Carry twice as much as you think you’ll use.
IN TOWN TRAILS
- Colorow Trail: The Colorow trail, named for the Ute Chief Colorow, makes a loop of approximately three miles through BLM land. There are two trailheads, with a roughly laid-out trail through town connecting them. One trailhead is on Lariat Loop, in the northwest corner of Castle Valley Ranch. To reach the other, take North Wild Horse Drive to Buckskin Circle, then turn onto Mustang Trail. Hike up to the water tower and find the trail behind it. Most of the trail is not too difficult, though there are some challenging sections. Don’t miss the overlook turnoff on the eastern side of the trail. The short spur opens up to a panoramic view of Lakota Canyon Ranch and the hills beyond.
- Grand River Trails and Park: New Castle’s newest park, located south of the Colorado River, features an interpretive trail around its perimeter. The trail provides a great way to view the river, wetlands, birds and mountains.
- Mt. Medaris Trail: Mt. Medaris is the approximately 600’ rise that separates historic downtown New Castle from the newer development to the north. For easiest access to the trail, take C Avenue north from Main Street to the trailhead parking lot. For an easy hike with no climbing, keep to your right and skirt the southern edge of Castle Valley Ranch. If you drove to the parking lot, you’ll need to retrace your steps. Otherwise you can exit the trail at the west end near New Castle’s senior housing. To hike the ridge of the mountain, take the first branch of the trail to the left. After a short steep climb, you’ll get to the top and can view both the old section of New Castle and the newer development. At the west end of the mountain there is a difficult route down toward the trail that leads to the senior housing complex. It’s easier to retrace your steps back to the parking lot.
- Rollie Gordon Trail: Enter at Rollie Gordon Park on 7th Avenue. The trail parallels Elk Creek in both directions.
- South Wildhorse Trail: One of New Castle’s many paved trails for hiking and bicycling. It stretches between the Hogback Skate Park on Castle Valley Boulevard and Pyramid Drive.
- Cherry Creek Trail: From New Castle, take 7th Street/Midland to the Buford Road (CR 245). Look for the Cherry Creek trailhead sign about a mile after the dirt road begins. The trail is challenging for hikers and mountain bikers. Go north to Spring Cow Camp (4.5 miles) and follow the trail west about 1 mile then turn to the south to find the Mansfield Trail. At this point, you will be 5 miles from the Mansfield Trailhead.
- East Elk Creek: The trail along East Elk Creek is New Castle’s hidden treasure. The first mile-and-a-half is along a jeep road, an easy hike in and out, with plenty of beautiful views of the creek. At the bridge that crosses the creek the real trail begins. So does the climbing. The trail extends 18 miles to the top of the Flattops. Assuming you’re not going that far, remember that when you turn around, you have to retrace the same distance you’ve already walked. To reach the trail, take 7th Street/Midland, which becomes the Buford Road (CR 245). About 1.2 miles from Castle Valley Boulevard’s intersection with the Buford Road, take the right branch of the Y onto East Elk Road (CR 241). The road becomes progressively more primitive, but keep going about 4.3 miles until you reach the parking lot.
- Hadley Gulch Trail: Hike five miles into the Flat Tops on the Hadley Gulch Trail, which is rated moderate to difficult. Take 7th Street/Midland north. At the edge of town it becomes the Buford Road/CR 245. Approximately three miles from town, turn right onto Main Elk Road (CR 243). After about six miles the paved road ends and you’ll see the parking lot for Hadley Gulch trail on the left side of the road. The first half mile crosses private property, so please obey the posted signs. As the trail enters the gulch, the terrain becomes steep and rocky. The elevation gain is 3,526 ft.
- Storm King: The Storm King Memorial Trail was established after 14 firefighters lost their lives fighting the misnamed South Canyon fire in July, 1994. The trailhead can be reached from New Castle by driving east on Colorado Route 6 (Main Street in town) past Canyon Creek to the trailhead at the termination of the road (about five miles from New Castle). The trail follows the firefighters’ route and is considered strenuous. About a mile in there is an observation point that overlooks the scene of the fire. About a mile further on you can find the memorials on the sites where the firefighters died. More information about the trail is available at the trailhead. FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN
Winter Sports on the Flat Tops
New Castle is the gateway to the Flat Tops, the large Rocky Mountain range northwest of town. While winter weather in town can be generally mild, you can find plenty of snow just a few miles away. The Buford Road (the continuation of 7th Street/Midland Avenue in town) is the route to take. It’s open all the way to Buford in the summer. In the winter the road closes at a large parking lot about 17 miles from New Castle. The Buford Road parking lot accesses both snowshoeing/cross-country skiing trails and a groomed snowmobiling area. Well-placed signs point snowmobilers to the left (west) and foot traffic to the right (east). The snowshoeing trails lead through beautiful stands of aspens and lead to overlooks limited only by the weather conditions. The beginning of the snowmobile route is pictured to the left. Make your first trip on a weekend, when there will be more people there if you need directions or assistance. Once you’re familiar with the area, you’ll find splendid solitude on most weekdays. Of course, be prepared for rapid changes in weather, and be sure to let someone know where you’re going and when you’ll be back.
White River National Forest
There are a multitude of trails in the While River National Forest and the Flat Tops Wilderness. New Castle is surrounded by thousands of acres of land managed by the US Bureau of Land Management. These public lands provide wonderful venues for camping, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, hunting, mountain biking, off highway vehicle use, and rafting. Consult Forest Service maps, pick a trail and enjoy.