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Cherokee Ranch Summer Nature Hike and Lunch at Old Stone Church

  • Jun 1, 2013 · 7:15 AM
  • This location is shown only to members

Come join us for a hike at beautiful Cherokee Ranch-you can hike here by tour only and the views are stunning. Afterward we'll head over to the Old Stone Church Restaurant in Castle Rock for a delicious lunch! Read details below!

Those lucky enough to have hiked Cherokee Ranch know that there are a wealth of habitats and a rich flora that distract your eyes downwards, even as the vistas of the rugged backbone of the Rockies and distant misty towers of downtown Denver tempt you to look further away. We have experienced toasty winter days that were breathless and surprisingly sunny, as well as blustery days in the summer. One thing is for sure—you will never be bored on a Cherokee hike! This year we are starting much earlier—for better birding. But the plants will already be awake!

At the beginning of Summer the grasses have greened up, although there may still be snow on the higher peaks, when we walk through meadows full of the bounty of early summer this is the peak season for many of the loveliest wildflowers; including One-sided Penstemon (Penstemon virgatus), lupines and Monument plant. It is also peak season for the Broad-tailed Hummingbirds that have made their way back from Mexico and Central America to nest at Cherokee. We will learn how to identify the male Broad-tailed Hummingbird just by hearing it fly as it darts between scarlet gilia trumpets. Two species of bluebirds and swallows will be active at this time as well as the tiny (4 ½ in) Blue-gray Gnatcatcher that has returned from its winter grounds as far away as Central America to nest at Cherokee. Summer is prime time for viewing the plant and bird life at Cherokee, folks!

Tour Guides: Panayoti Kelaidis and Lynn Willcockson

* Plants don’t really care how you dress for the field trips but BIRDS DO!! It is easier to see birds if you DO NOT wear white or other very bright colors –i.e. yellow, orange or red. Also, bring your binoculars; they can be used for both birds and plants

* Please wear comfortable shoes and bring your own supply of water for a 2 hour adventure

We'll meet at a carpool location in Denver around 7:15am and head over to Cherokee which is just south of Denver in Sedalia...only about 30-40 minutes from downtown Denver.

After our hike which ends at around 10am we will head over to nearby Castle Rock to the Old Stone Church Restaurant for lunch-the food is really great here and yes, it is in an old church. Feel free to check out the lunch menu at www.oscrestaurant.com Here's a bit more about this charming place...

Built in 1888, St. Francis of Assisi was the first church building in Castle Rock. The Castle Rock Journal reported that the estimated price would be $1,000.00. Donations from early residents started the building effort. Before the need for the church was realized, priests from St. Mary’s in Colorado Springs and Littleton journeyed around the counties for a term of one month providing mass for the local communities. During these times it was reported that the priests said mass with a pistol hidden nearby. Prior to 1923, the church had irregular services and no assigned priest. Father Walter Steidle was the first priest ordained to the church. He was a fine stone mason and personally built the rock vestibule on the front of the church. The rhyolite stone used to construct the building came from local quarries. The stained glass windows were donated by local families in the 1920’s. Records show there once was a rectory on the grounds but was destroyed by fire, date unknown. In 1966, the congregation left the church for a larger one located east of town. This new church holds the original altar and cornerstone. The building was vacant until 1975 when it underwent remodeling to become a restaurant. The original choir loft was expanded and the confessional became a table for two.

 

We received a special $5.00 off per ticket rate and so your cost covers your ticket for the Cherokee Ranch Hike and your Meetup Fee. Lunch will be on your own.

I hope to see you there!

Andrea

 

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  • A former member
    A former member

    I missed this but am interested to hear how it was. Can you go and do the hike anytime or do you have to buy tickets in advance?

    June 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi, I'm at the village center station and just saw Andrea's message. Anyone else here to carpool? I'm in an aqua blue Camry.

    June 1, 2013

    • Natalie

      Hi Dorthea! I'm meeting you at the Ranch, because I live in Castle Rock. See you in about 25 min!

      June 1, 2013

  • Joyce

    Have we set up carpool locations or just meet at the location?

    May 25, 2013

    • Andrea P.

      Hi Joyce, I'll send an email with meeting and carpool info by Thursday this week. :-)

      May 25, 2013

    • Joyce

      Hi Andrea did you send carpool info? I did not see anything in the email, but may have missed it

      May 31, 2013

  • Heather R.

    How long is the hike?

    May 28, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I think I have work on this day but depending on the time

    May 27, 2013

  • Angela V.

    What time does the the event end? I have a commitment at 2 in Denver. I would love to join you ladies!

    May 26, 2013

    • Andrea P.

      Hi Angela. You should be finished by 12:30pm as we are eating lunch at 11am. Hope you can join us!

      May 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'll be out of town.

    May 26, 2013

  • Jennifer F.

    Is this an easy hike? I'm a beginner :)

    May 25, 2013

    • Andrea P.

      Hi Jennifer. Yes! Super easy! More of a nature walk :-) tennis shoes will be fine. I hope you'll come!

      May 25, 2013

  • Heather P.

    So sad to miss this but my foot won't be quite healed in time.

    May 8, 2013

  • Heather R.

    Will we also get a tour of the castle?

    May 2, 2013

    • Andrea P.

      Hi Heather, A castle tour is not included with this one...however, we will be meeting at the castle. The tours run at different times and are a separate ticket.

      May 2, 2013

    • Andrea P.

      We have done the castle tour before and it is worth doing :-)

      May 2, 2013

  • Janice

    I'd love to go, but I'll be working on the day of the event.

    May 2, 2013

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