Hot Sulphur Springs purchases 270 acres; parcel connects town to Arapaho National Forest |

Hot Sulphur Springs purchases 270 acres; parcel connects town to Arapaho National Forest

Hot Sulphur Springs now owns the 270-acre Himebaugh Valley, seen here looking north toward town. The property will provide public recreational opportunities and a corridor to the nearby Arapaho National Forest.
Courtesy Hot Sulphur Springs

Hot Sulphur Springs has officially purchased 270 acres of the former Jones Creek Ranch with plans to open the land to the public.

The property is tentatively called Heimbaugh Valley for the creek that runs through it. It lies on the south side of town and provides a corridor for public access to the adjacent Arapaho National Forest.

The property offers opportunities for non-motorized recreation including hiking, biking, horseback riding, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, bird watching and more. In addition to its recreational value, the property serves as a wildlife migration corridor for elk and deer.

According to Grand County records, the town bought the property for $499,920. Town officials said Hot Sulphur Springs was able to purchase the property thanks to grants from the Grand County Open Lands, Rivers and Trails Fund, Great Outdoors Colorado, Gates Family Foundation, and the town’s Conservation Trust funds.

The previous owners, Max and Kathryn Webel, wanted the town to own this property in order to protect its natural and scenic values and to open it for outdoor recreation, according to town officials.

The 270-acre Heimbaugh Valley connects Hot Sulphur Springs to Arapaho National Forest.
Courtesy Hot Sulphur Springs

In order to ensure the long-term protection of the property’s natural and scenic values, the Webels put it into a conservation easement held by the Colorado Headwaters Land Trust.

“We are grateful to the Webels for their interest in conserving the property and making it available to the town, and also to the donors for making this possible,” Hot Sulphur Mayor Bob McVay said in a statement. “This property will be a major asset to the town providing additional space for the public, especially town residents, to enjoy the outdoors.”

With the conservation easement and the town’s stewardship, officials hope the open space, scenic views and natural values will be protected. The property fits into the town’s 2015 Parks, Open Space and Trails Master Plan along with the Headwaters Trails Alliance 2019 Strategic Plan, officials added.

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