Sunday, December 12, 2010

Pella Crossing

Distance: 1.5 mile loop around Sunset Pond and Heron Lake
Elevation: 5,095 ft
Elevation Gain: None
Critters: Water fowl
Dogs: On leash (this is a Boulder County Open Space Park)

Looking west from the far end of Heron Lake in the Pella Crossing Open Space Park

Pella Crossing is a lovely open space park near Hygiene that is popular with runners, birders, and fishermen. In October, I took my parents there on an afternoon stroll. I took a picture every few feet and every one was a keeper.

Map of the Open Space Park. We took the route counter-clockwise. The inset in the upper right of the maps shows the lakes on the other side of N 75th St.

Faded Yellow Rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus) clings to the side of Sunset Pond

A panoramic view. I don't know what this area is like in the spring, but in the fall, it is sublime.

The entire route is as wide, flat, and appealing as this shot.

The area consists of several adjacent lakes with a well-groomed, handicapped-accessible trail that winds around them. Open fields and Cottonwood trees line the route and skydivers were seen jumping from a plane overhead to land in a nearby airport.

Sun glints through a very large Narrowleaf Cottonwood (Populus angustifolia )

A seed pod from the Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) cracks open in the warmth of the Indian Summer sun.

The fibers of the Milkweed plant were used in WWII to stuff life preservers and are now used in many other products since it is better than down in insulating properties.

Fishing for Large Mouth Bass is encouraged and belly boats are common. There are actually 5 lakes, 3 on the east side of N. 75th Street and 2 on the west side. We only walked around the lakes on the east side (Sunset Pond and Heron Lake), but a longer route is possible by crossing over and walking the other side.

The back side of Sunset Pond

Long's Peak (14,259 ft) is barely visible through the clouds that hang over the mountains.

Fisherman in a belly boat drifts serenely on the west end of Sunset Pond. The lazy movement of his fins did not disturb the glass-like surface of the water.

2 comments:

Julien said...

What pleasant autumnal bucolic scenes. Have you checked out this open space not far away: http://goo.gl/IJo5W ?

Stevie T said...

Sadly, because of the 2013 floods, this is closed. Here is the link to the website to check for updates:
http://www.bouldercounty.org/os/parks/pages/pellacrossing.aspx