Carolyn Holmberg Preserve at Rock Creek Farm

An oasis of calm in the midst of urban life, Carolyn Holmberg Preserve offers tranquil beauty in the Great Plains. Tucked between Broomfield and Lafayette, the wheelchair-accessible trails allow you to come here to fish, walk your dog, or enjoy a beautiful mountain view.


Cradleboard Trail

1.3 miles
Dogs Allowed Bikes Allowed Hiking Allowed Horses Allowed

Lac Amora Link Trail

0.3 miles
Dogs Allowed Bikes Allowed Hiking Allowed Horses Allowed

Mary Miller Trail

1.5 miles
Dogs Allowed Bikes Allowed Hiking Allowed Horses Allowed

Trail Connections

The Carolyn Holmberg Preserve connects with the Rock Creek Trail.

Picnic Areas

  • Shelter near the trailhead available on a first-come, first-served basis


  • Located at Stearns Lake trailhead


  • 15 cars and 2 horse trailers at Stearns Lake trailhead
    • Stearns Lake trailhead can be accessed from Dillon Rd and 104th St. There is no access from 287 through Rock Creek Farm.


Keep in Mind

  • Swimming is not allowed
  • Hiking, horseback riding, bicycling, and dog walking are permitted


Management Plan


Plants & Animals

In the rain shadow of the Rocky Mountains, the Great Plains are dry, windy and expansive. Receiving small amounts of precipitation, the land is dominated by grasses. The scarcity of water prevents larger shrubs and trees from growing. However, the soils are rich thus allowing a wealth of smaller plants to thrive. These plants, in turn, support a variety of animal species. Temperatures on the plains fluctuate enormously from very cold winters to hot summers. Nevertheless unique plant and animal adaptations have allowed life to prosper in plains ecosystems.


  • Black-tailed prairie dog
  • Coyote
  • Desert cottontail
  • Muskrat
  • Raccoon
  • Red fox
  • Striped skunk
  • Western harvest mouse


  • American avocet
  • American kestrel
  • American widgeon
  • American white pelican
  • Barn swallow
  • Burrowing owl
  • Canada goose
  • Common goldeneye
  • Common merganser 
  • Common nighthawk
  • Great blue heron
  • Great horned owl
  • Killdeer
  • Mallard
  • Mourning dove
  • Northern oriole
  • Northern shoveler
  • Red-tailed hawk
  • Red-winged blackbird
  • Ring-necked duck
  • Snowy egret
  • Song sparrow
  • Swainson’s hawk
  • Western grebe
  • Western kingbird
  • Western meadowlark


  • Bluegill
  • Channel catfish
  • Tiger muskie


  • American vetch
  • Cattail
  • Gumweed
  • Peachleaf willow
  • Plains cottonwood
  • Scarlet globemallow
  • Three square bulrush
  • Western wheatgrass



In the late 1800s, after pioneers came west to strike it rich, this land was used for farming. Several families lived here, including Mary and Lafayette Miller. Mary Miller established the town of Lafayette in 1888, naming it for her husband who died 10 years previously.

Carolyn Holmberg

Former open space director Carolyn Holmberg promoted the acquisition of Rock Creek Farm Open Space in 1979 until it was acquired in 1980-1982. After her death in 1998, the property was rededicated to include her name.

Historic Buildings

The Goodhue Farmhouse, rehabilitated in 2004, was originally built nearly 100 years ago. It is closed to the public, but is available for use by Boulder County departments, local municipalities, environmental and historical non-profits, and other non-profits that partner with Boulder County. ("Partners" are defined as those who receive funding from Boulder County Commissioners).
Learn more


Parks & Open Space

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Parks are open sunrise to sunset
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