Happy Trails – Lagerman Agricultural Preserve

By Suzanne Webel

It’s taken more than 25 years for Boulder County and the City of Boulder to cobble together a complex assemblage of nine properties comprising more than 2100 acres, now known as the Lagerman Agricultural Preserve – but it’s done. And the new trail system, comprising the existing 1.6 miles at Lagerman Reservoir and 4.9 miles at AHI (the former “Double Dove”) is now open.

Park at the P shown on the attached map at Lagerman Reservoir, on the south side of Pike Road. This trailhead parking facility has a shelter, picnic tables and a boat ramp, as well as 27 vehicle spaces and 5 designated pull-through Horse Trailer/Boat spaces (!). For a short ride with amazing panorama views of the Continental Divide, proceed clockwise around the lake. Be aware that the western half of this trail is closed seasonally from April 1- August 31 for various bird species; the 2012 management plan included many comments from the public requesting that the seasonal closure be lifted, but the county decided to continue it “at this time” (meaning that if enough additional comments are received the decision might be reversed). As you ride across the dam, we hope you will appreciate the new spillway trail bypass that makes this trail a safer experience for everyone, especially equestrians. The Management Plan calls for another trail, approximately 1.25 miles long, that will connect Lagerman Reservoir south to Oxford Road. Stay tuned for that development, or help make it a reality sooner by lobbying for it with county open space staff.

For a longer ride, exit the parking area and turn east onto the “Open Sky Trail” that parallels – boringly, and unnecessarily — both Pike Road and N75th St. I’ve ridden the trail in both directions, and prefer the counterclockwise route because it offers the best mountain and farm views. After the trail turns west along a large irrigation ditch, the trail adopts a more natural feel, following a farm lane and circling by several very large pivot irrigation sprinklers. Where the trail approaches N63rd St near Prospect Rd there is a 0.4 mile Link Trail that is greatly appreciated by neighbors to the west. You may pass by a herd of cows that move from one pasture to another, and the overspray from the sprinklers may cool you off on a hot summer day. The fine print on the accompanying map warns trail users to “be prepared for trails that have no shade or shelter” and further cautions you to consider “afternoon thunderstorms and lightning that are common during the summer months.” We would add that there’s no protection from extreme winds, either….

Overall, this is a wonderful new trail in a part of Boulder County that had been underserved for decades. Kudos to Boulder County Parks & Open Space, and a thank-you to the Boulder Area Trails Coalition (BATCO) for providing some funding for the new trail and the dam spillway bypass from sales of its Trails & Recreation Map of Boulder County” (available at many retailers throughout the county or via the BATCO website, www.bouldertrails.org).

Total Distance: Approx. 4.9 miles for the Open Sky loop trail; 1.6 mi. for the Lagerman Loop

Total Time:        2-3 hours

Difficulty:           Easy

Dogs:                 Leash

Jurisdiction:     Boulder County Parks & Open Space

Maps:                Available at trailhead

Lagerman Map 17