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Carolyn Holmberg Preserve at Rock Creek Farm
Carolyn Holmberg Preserve at Rock Creek Farm

Carolyn Holmberg Preserve at Rock Creek Farm

A trail detour is in place along the Cradleboard Trail. Learn More

An oasis of calm in the midst of urban life, Carolyn Holmberg Preserve offers a tranquil setting for both humans and wildlife.

Cradleboard TrailHiking Allowed Dogs Allowed Bikes Allowed E-bikes Allowed Horses Allowed
1.3 miles – Easy
Lac Amora LinkHiking Allowed Dogs Allowed Bikes Allowed E-bikes Allowed Horses Allowed
0.3 miles – Easy
Mary Miller TrailHiking Allowed Dogs Allowed Bikes Allowed E-bikes Allowed Horses Allowed
1.5 miles – Easy
Ruth Roberts Connector TrailHiking Allowed Dogs Allowed Bikes Allowed E-bikes Allowed Horses Allowed
0.9 miles – Easy

Rules & Regulations

Day Use Only
Bikes On Designated Trails Only
Pets On Leash
No Camping
No Swimming
No Boating

All Parks & Open Space Rules & Regulations

Trailhead Amenities

13 car parking spots
1 ADA van accessible parking spot
Restroom near main trailhead
25 person group shelter located near main trailhead
2 horse trailer parking spots

See Photos

Trail Detour

A detour is in place along a section of the Cradleboard Trail to protect the territorial bald eagles during breeding season. The trail closure is in effect until July 31, however, the trail will remain closed through Aug. 5 to complete much needed repair and maintenance. The detour will be lifted on Friday, Aug. 6.

Keep In Mind

  • Stearns Lake trailhead can be accessed from Dillon Rd and 104th St. There is no access from 287 through Rock Creek Farm.
  • The Carolyn Holmberg Preserve connects with the Rock Creek Trail.
  • Regional trails and regional trail connectors are open to commuters 24 hours per day. Trailheads close at sunset and parking is not allowed between sunset and sunrise.

Fishing at Stearns Lake

  • Bluegill (limit 20), Channel Catfish (limit 10), Tiger Muskie (limit 1 of 36” or larger), Largemouth Bass (limit 5 over 15″).
  • Artificial and live bait permitted.
  • Boats and float tubes are not permitted.
  • The northwest shoreline is permanently closed.
  • Summer Catfish Nights are held annually at Stearns Lake. Check the Hike & Events Calendar for details.
  • Learn more about Fishing on Open Space

In the shadow of the Rocky Mountains, the Great Plains is dry, windy, and expansive. Receiving only small amounts of precipitation, the 1,136 acres of Carolyn Holmberg Preserve is dominated by grasses. The scarcity of water prevents larger shrubs and trees from growing, except along waterways. However, the soils are rich, allowing a wealth of other plants to thrive. These plants, in turn, support a variety of animal species.


  • 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

Plants & Trees

  • American vetch (Vicia americana)
  • Cattail (Typha latifolia)
  • Curlycup gumweed (Grindelia squarrosa)
  • Scarlet globemallow (Sphaeralcea coccinea)
  • Peachleaf willow
  • Plains cottonwood

When gold was discovered near Gold Hill, miners streamed in to seek their fortune. Most people left broke and disillusioned. Some, however, started a new life farming.

Two of those pioneers were Mary and Lafayette Miller. They came west in 1864 and purchased an 80-acre parcel of land on Rock Creek that included a hotel and tavern and a stage station. They also ran a cattle ranch and meat market in the area.

During the past century, this open space property has been used to raise crops and livestock, and was also home to a dairy farm. Boulder County purchased a portion of Rock Creek Farm in 1980 for agricultural preservation and as a buffer between the growing communities in southeastern Boulder County.

The property is dedicated to Carolyn Holmberg, a former Parks and Open pace director who died in 1998.

Renting the Goodhue Farmhouse

The Goodhue Farmhouse, rehabilitated in 2004, was originally built nearly 100 years ago. It is closed to the public, but is available to rent to municipalities, environmental and historical nonprofits, and other nonprofits that partner with Boulder County government.

Learn more about renting the Goodhue Farmhouse.

Goodhue Farmhouse

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