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Elbert County, Colorado Hidden Gems: Top 5 Must-Visit Spots

Elbert County is full of hidden gems waiting to be discovered, including small-town charm, great places to explore, hiking trails, and excellent schools. Beyond its serene landscapes and historic towns lies a world of under-the-radar attractions, from quaint local eateries serving up home-cooked delights to secluded natural wonders that promise adventure and tranquility.

These include the rural lifestyle, hiking trails with stunning views, and a great place for those seeking both. This guide shines a light on those special places in Elbert County, like hiking trails and several community events that only the locals know about but are welcoming to all who seek them out.

Dive into our curated selection of Elbert County’s most cherished secrets, from its great place town to its community trails, and find out why this corner of Colorado deserves a spot on your travel bucket list. Keep scrolling for reviews of our top picks.

Key Takeaways

  • Exploring Elbert County, Colorado, reveals a treasure trove of hidden gems perfect for nature lovers, history enthusiasts, and those seeking peaceful getaways.
  • Castlewood Canyon State Park offers unique geological formations and hiking trails, making it a must-visit for outdoor adventurers.
  • The Elbert County Museum is a gateway to understanding the rich history and heritage of the area, ideal for those looking to dive deeper into Colorado’s past.
  • Taking a drive along the Scenic Byway of Highway 86 provides breathtaking views and an opportunity to appreciate the natural beauty of Elbert County from the comfort of your car.
  • Golfers will find the Spring Valley Golf Club to be a serene and challenging course, highlighting the area’s commitment to providing quality recreational activities.
  • Visitors can learn the difference between bison and buffalo at Buffalo Groves in Kiowa.

1. Castlewood Canyon State Park

Castlewood Canyon State Park, with its trails, stands out as a hidden gem near Elbert County, Colorado, cherished by the community as a remarkable place. This park offers an escape into nature with its rugged canyon trails. These paths, or trails, are not just walks but adventures, providing breathtaking views and opportunities to encounter local wildlife such as deer, foxes, and various bird species, making them a place for the community to connect with nature.

One of the park’s unique features is the ruins of the historic Castlewood Canyon Dam, a place cherished by the community and surrounded by trails. When this dam burst in 1933, it caused a significant flood in Denver. Today, visitors can explore these ruins, connecting with a pivotal event in Colorado’s history while enjoying the surrounding natural beauty and trails.

For those seeking adventure or relaxation in nature, Castlewood Canyon State Park, with its trails, delivers. Visitors can engage in rock climbing to test their limits, enjoy picnicking by serene spots for a peaceful break, or indulge in bird watching along the trails to spot some of the park’s avian residents.

2. The Elbert County Museum

The Elbert County Museum stands as a hidden gem for those interested in delving deep into the local history and heritage of this quaint town. This venue offers an extensive array of exhibits that vividly bring to life the area’s agricultural, ranching, and railroad past. Each artifact tells a story, offering visitors a glimpse into the daily lives of Elbert County’s early settlers.

For individuals eager to engage more actively with history, the Elbert County Museum doesn’t disappoint. It hosts several community events and educational programs throughout the year. These gatherings are not only informative but also serve as a bridge connecting residents and visitors with the rich cultural tapestry of Elbert County.

They offer a unique opportunity to deepen one’s understanding of local history in an interactive setting. Moreover, for enthusiasts keen on tracing their lineage or conducting detailed historical research, the museum’s research library is an invaluable resource. It houses a wealth of information on Elbert County and its residents, catering to both amateur genealogists and professional historians.

3. Scenic Byway of Highway 86

Highway 86 offers stunning views that capture the essence of Colorado’s diverse landscapes. This hidden gem stretches through Elbert County, showcasing the rural lifestyle and natural beauty of the area. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely drive, witnessing the eastern plains’ picturesque landscapes and high-elevation terrain’s unique charm.

The byway of Highway 86 is not just for driving; it presents numerous opportunities for outdoor activities. Hiking trails, biking paths, and spots for horseback riding are scattered along the route, making it a haven for adventure enthusiasts.

Each season brings its own magic to Highway 86. Spring adorns the landscape with vibrant wildflowers, while autumn wraps the plains in golden hues, offering a strong sense of connection with nature.

4. Spring Valley Golf Club

Spring Valley Golf Club stands out as a must-visit destination for golf enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. This 18-hole course is not just about the game; it’s an experience wrapped in the stunning beauty of Elbert County, Colorado. Players get to enjoy scenic views that stretch across lush landscapes, making every round memorable. The presence of wildlife along the fairways adds a unique touch, transforming a regular game into an encounter with nature.

The club doesn’t stop at offering a great golfing experience. It extends its hospitality with a full-service clubhouse where visitors can relax after a game. The pro shop caters to all your golfing needs, ensuring you’re well-equipped before hitting the greens. Dining facilities are available, too, making it easy to grab a bite in between sessions or to wind down once you’re done playing.

For those looking to test their skills, Spring Valley Golf Club hosts golf tournaments and events throughout the year. These gatherings are perfect for golfers wanting to challenge themselves in a competitive yet friendly atmosphere, regardless of their skill level.

5. Buffalo Groves in Kiowa

In Elbert County, Colorado, near the small town of Kiowa, you will find Buffalo Groves. Bison farmers David and Marlene Groves, turned their lifetime dream of owning a buffalo ranch into a reality they share with others. They have thousands of acres of green grassy fields where “the buffalo roam,” and visitors can visit them.

For the past decade or so, these two have raised not just buffalo but two children and several grandchildren in Kiowa, where everyone knows them as the Buffalo Groves. Over the years, their buffalo have won many awards, including several trophies, and have been featured on many different shows, including The Food Channel.

Visitors can learn about the history of buffalo, from their Pleistocene Ice Age ancestors to the Rocky Mountain buffalo, which are actually bison. While there, you can also learn the difference between the two species.

From the State Park to the Buffalo Groves

Elbert County, Colorado, offers a treasure trove of hidden gems that beckon both locals and visitors to explore its natural beauty and historical depth. From the tranquil allure of Castlewood Canyon State Park to the rich narratives preserved within the Elbert County Museum, these landmarks provide a diverse range of experiences.

The scenic byways of Highway 86, Spring Valley Golf Club, and the Buffalo Groves each contribute to the county’s unique charm, offering picturesque landscapes and recreational opportunities that cater to a variety of interests. Local residents take pride in these attractions, recognizing their importance in promoting tourism and preserving the area’s heritage.

They encourage others to discover these hidden gems, ensuring that Elbert County’s wonders are appreciated by future generations. As explorers seek out new adventures, they are invited to delve into the beauty and history of Elbert County, enriching their understanding of this remarkable region.

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