If you have never been or haven't been lately to the Elk Meadow Off-Leash Dog Park in Evergreen, CO, you are in for a treat! This park not only has a fantastic wooded, large fenced-in area for dogs, but in recent years, they have expanded the facilities to include several miles of off-leash trails behind the fence area.
For planning purposes, please reserve around 3.5 to 4 hours for this outing. This will allow time to meet, carpool to the park, spend about 2 hours hiking, then get back to the carpool starting location.
Here's a link to learn more about the park: http://jeffco.us/parks/parks-and-trails/elk-meadow-dog-off-leash-area/
Parking at the trailhead is a bit limited, so let's meet and park at the Wooly Mammoth parking lot at exit 259 on I-70 and carpool. Look for the area of the parking lot marked MM (signs located on the light poles).
This event will have something for everyone. We can start out with a meet and greet in the fenced area and then we can split up into groups as needed for various ages of dogs: for the younger set there are hilly hiking trails; for the golden oldies who may not be spry anymore, there is a crushed-gravel walking loop that is wheelchair-accessible. Some of the hiking trails can get icy, so I'll do some reconnaissance in advance to check out trail conditions. Regardless, plan on wearing shoes with VERY GOOD traction and that you don't mind getting muddy. I'm almost sure there will at least be some ice on the non-gravel trails, so trekking poles may not be a bad idea.
Along the trails, there will be tons of other dogs. The trails go throughout a wooded area and along a creek bed. If your dog is not off-leash trained, you may want to consider hanging in the fenced area or keeping your dog on a leash. There are a lot of doggie distractions on the trails, and almost every time I go to this park, I see owners who have lost their pet and pets who have lost their owners.
A note on children: there are a lot of big dogs at this park. And they are all off leash... And some dogs, including some of our angelic goldens, will be boisterous and basically over-the-top nutzo running through creeks and running into and between people and trees and up and down paths. This may not be the best venue for small children that can easily be knocked down.
If you are coming in from another direction and want to meet us at the park, click the link above for directions to the trailhead and plan to meet us there at 2 p.m. Go ahead and park your car and go to the fenced-in area to meet us. The parking areas are busy as is the road, so going to the fenced area will keep everyone safe while we are waiting to get parked and gathered. The fenced-in area is on the SOUTH side of the road (on the left as you drive up to the park). To get to the fenced area, go into the south side parking lot and look to your right. It is just down the hill - maybe 20 yards away - and isn't necessarily obvious if it's your first time.
If you are not comfortable with others in your car or riding with strangers or you need to leave early, you are welcome to meet us at the Wooly Mammoth lot and caravan together. I will bring maps to the park so that no one gets lost.
One other note: your dog's cleanliness level after this event will likely be super-disgusting. Covering your seats and bringing towels would be a good plan! And maybe even some clean shores for yourself. On the positive side, your doggie will be tired. A tired dog is a happy dog!
What have I forgotten? Let me know if you have any questions by commenting on this event below, and I will post answers as soon as I can.
Hope you can all make it to this event!