Park Hours: 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM
Location: 6254 Goldfield Dr, Colorado Springs, CO 80911
Bluestem Prairie Open Space offers 646 acres of prairie grassland and bird watching paradise. Home to over 200 bird species and several mammal species, Bluestem Prairie Open Space has become a refuge for a variety of native wildlife and vegetation. Roughly 9 miles of flowing, dirt single track trail make it an ideal location for beginner mountain bikers. The area has no shade, bring plenty of water if you visit in the summer, we recommend visiting early in the morning or evening.
NOTE: No dogs allowed, due to native wildlife.
History: Located just south of the Colorado Springs Municipal Airport, this land once belonged to the Banning-Lewis Ranch. Here ranchers relied primarily on rich soils and thriving grasslands to survive. This land remains home to varied mammals such as the Pronghorn, the Black-tailed prairie dog and birds like the Red-tailed hawk, Burrowing owls and Migratory Shorebirds.
In the fall of 2000, the Trust for Public Land purchased the Big Johnson property from Cygnet Land, LLC and then conveyed the property to the City of Colorado Springs. The City used funds from its Trails, Open Space, and Parks (TOPS) sales tax and a grant from Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) to acquire the property. View BIG JOHNSON OPEN SPACE MASTER PLAN.
The namesake “bluestem” highlights the tallgrass species found in northwest portion of the property, while the more predominant shortgrass community in the bowl-shaped valley surrounds the privately-owned Big Johnson Reservoir. The Bluestem Prairie Open Space Management Plan was adopted by the Park and Recreation Advisory Board on March 10, 2016.
Bluestem Open Space is managed by City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services (719) 385-5940