Tread Carefully Colorado – Haunted Hikes and Haunted Places

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Getting scared is shockingly good for your health. The excitement can help alleviate depression by increasing your adrenaline, which increases energy. Also, it’s just fun. Don’t miss a beat this fall. Take advantage of the cooler days and the early evenings to check out some of Colorado’s haunted hikes and haunted places. 

Helen Hunt Falls, Colorado Springs
The hike to Helen Hunt Falls in Colorado Springs is short and scenic but don’t be fooled. It just may be haunted! Hikers report hearing strange voices in the surrounding area at night. Years ago, a woman named Helen Hunt died at this set of waterfalls. Visitors report hearing voices all around the waterfalls at night, even though no one is there.

Fort Morgan Nature Trail, Fort Morgan 
An hour north of Denver, Fort Morgan remains haunted by the ghost of the River Witch, a woman who killed herself in the area after becoming an outcast in society. Hikers report sightings of the witch.

Woodglenn Park, Thornton
Near Adams in Colorado, you can go on a spooky walk through Woodglenn Park. In the 1980s, some friends all came to this park together and played pranks on each other. One of these pranks went horribly wrong, and two of the friends died in a raging fire. According to visitors in the park, you can hear a boy screaming on windy days, asking for help. Sometimes it feels as though someone is following you.

Carter Lake, Berthoud
Hundreds of years ago, a settler named Mr. Bennet lived in this area. He was shot and killed by a rival settler on Bennet Road, over a land dispute. Sometimes visitors can see a man dressed in old fashioned clothes walking down this road and carrying a bag.
When they get closer, he disappears from view and does not reply.

Horse Thief Canyon, Fruita/Grand Junction
West of Grand Junction and near the Colorado National Monument, you can see a woman in a white dress wandering between the canyon walls. In the 1800s, this passage was popular for horse smugglers, who would bring their stolen horses through this canyon before making a tidy profit. One night they were riding through this canyon, when one of them accidentally trampled a young woman. Her ghost still wanders around on the canyon floor.

Grand Lake
The hikes in Colorado around Grand Lake are always haunted, so be careful if you choose to visit there. Years ago, there was a huge battle between the Ute and Cheyenne Native Americans. The Ute sent their women and children across the lake in rafts to keep them safe, but a huge storm rose up and the rafts all capsized. Now the spirits of these women and children still walk around the lake at night and look for their family.

Sand Creek, Eads
Make sure to stop by Sand Creek in Kiowa County. The terrible story of the Sand Creek Massacre is true, and people still see ghosts from the battle to this day. In the 1800s, more than two hundred Native Americans were killed in an ambush, mostly women and children, even though they tried to escape. Their bodies were treated disrespectfully and left unburied, so their spirits haunt the area around Sand Creek.

Brown Palace Hotel, Denver
This century old luxury hotel is said to host a number of spirits in its historic rooms and hallways. The ghost of an old railroad ticket manager walks directly into a wall, a baby is heard crying in the basement, an ethereal waiter rides the service elevator, and a long dead string quartet has been known to practice their music here.

Capitol Hill, Denver
Once the neighborhood of Denver’s wealthiest citizens, Capitol Hill continues to wear its decadent image with honor, blending the past with the present, as ancient Victorian mansions and contemporary condos and apartment complexes dot the neighborhood. Also here in this historic neighborhood, are a bevy of ghosts. Ghost tours of the area tell of numerous entities who continue to inhabit this historic neighborhood. At the old Governor’s Mansion, ghosts are said to walk the halls, at the State Capitol buildings, a phantom woman in a long dress is often known to appear.

Read more
Legends of America, Colorado
7 Haunted Hikes in Colorado
10 Most Haunted Hikes in Colorado

It’s Time: Prepare Your Garden for Autumn

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The kids are back in school, the nights are getting darker earlier, and the cool morning air reminds you that summer is coming to an end. It’s time to plan for a day in the garden soon, so you can prepare it for the fall. Taking a little time earlier in autumn will save you precious time in the spring when you’re ready to bring your flowers and vegetables to life again. Here are a few simple tips for making the most of a weekend in the yard and garden at the end of summer.

Prepare your lawn. Your lawn may be the most resilient part of your yard, and a little fall fertilizing will help it come back even better in the spring. Fertilize your lawn while it is still green, and as long as it remains green, continue to mow it to about a 3-inch height. Never cut your lawn too short while it’s green. Continue to water your lawn while it is green and then water it once a month in the winter if there is little snow or rain.

Pull up old vines and vegetable plants. Insects often feed on these plants in the summer and then lay eggs in the fall. Raking and pulling up old vines and leaves will prevent the insects from surviving the winter and hatching in the spring. Insect pests that feed on these plants during summer and fall often lay eggs on the old plants. If the vines are left on the soil surface, insect eggs will survive the winter and hatch in the spring.

Add some organic material to the soil of your vegetables. You can add manure, compost, peat and/or leaves in the fall and then mix this into the soil really well.

Leave some vegetables alone. Your vegetables – carrots, beets, parsnips – will do well after the ground has cooled. Put a straw mulch cover over these vegetables and let them live on. Parsnips turn even sweeter in the cooler ground.

Harvest the fall vegetables with the first light frost. Bring in your winter squash and pumpkins before the first heavy frost damages them. Cut them from the vines, leaving 3 to 4 inches of stem on the vegetable.

Pull your annuals. Fall means it’s time to say goodbye to the summer annuals. Pull your annuals and compost them if you choose. If your plants are diseased in any way, discard them in the trash so they don’t ruin your soil.

Do one more round of weed pulling. Pull your weeds in the fall or spot-spray on some of the green perennial weeds. Perennial weeds, such as dandelion or thistle are easier killed by fall spraying than summer spraying.

Keep watering trees and shrubs. Water your trees and shrubs into the winter. If there is little moisture during the winter water them every few weeks. Dry soil can kill the roots and stress the trees and shrubs. Water early in the day so the water can be absorbed before it freezes at night.

Cut back your perennials to within 1 to 2 inches of the ground and dispose of the cuttings. They may carry diseases that will survive the winter. When the weather gets colder add mulch to the soil of the perennials to keep them warmer and to ensure they don’t get stressed in thawing and cooling weather.

Anticipating our summer gardens is something a lot of us do in the winter. Make sure your ready to go when the weather warms up by taking a few steps as the weather cools down.

10 Dog Hikes that Coloradans and their Best Friends Love

 


Hiker and Dog Sitting on a Rock at Ice LakeAre you and your 4-legged best friend ready to get into gear and get out into the great Colorado outdoors? Grab his leash, grab his water bottle (and yours, too), grab some plastic bags, and get going. Here are 10 of great Colorado hikes that will give you and your hiking companion a taste of what this great state has to offer. Some of these are easy, some are moderate and others strenuous, so make sure you pick the one that is right for you.

Dome Mountain Trail: A strenuous hike near Loveland that climbs to the summit of Sheep Mountain, high above the Big Thompson River and Canyon. The trail is well marked with informative signs that guide you through the plant life, erosions and interesting geology.

Rainbow Lakes Trail: A 2.5 miles out and back trail near Nederland. This hike features a lake and is recommended for hiking from June – October, and is accessible for all skill levels.

Forsythe Canyon to Waterfall and Gross Reservoir: This 2.2 mile out and back trail near Nederland features a lake and waterfall and is accessible for all skill levels. It’s shady, if you’re looking to escape the sun.

North Cheyenne Canon Park: This state park is near Colorado Springs and offers 56 miles of trails, from easy to moderate. Check out the website for a trail guide that can help you decide where to start.

Elk Meadow Park: In Evergreen, Elk Meadow Park is meets the expectations set by its name, providing a likely space to see elk. Your dogs must be leashed at all times for the safety of you, your dog, the elk and other park visitors. This park offers myriad options from easy to difficult.

Alderfer/Three Sister Park: Near Evergreen, you can hike through old stands of Ponderosa Pines, check out landmark rock formations, and view stunning vistas. This park boasts the most trails per acre of any foothills park, with over 15 miles on 1,127 acres.

Red Rocks Trail: The Red Rocks Trail outside Denver is great for a sunrise hike, if you and your dog are early risers. The park includes a cave carved into the sandstone and an interesting geological overlook.

Golden Gate Canyon State Park: Over 35 miles of trails provide something for everyone. Whether you want to spend just an hour or two or make a weekend out of it, you’re going to find stunning views and opportunities for much exercise.

Mount Falcon Park: Hike to an old castle, a lookout tower, and to a site that was intended to be the “Summer White House.” While you’re there, check out gorgeous views of Denver, Red Rocks and the mountains. Close to Denver, in Morrison, Mount Falcon offers this and more.

Three Mile Creek Trail: Be prepared to spend the day with your best friend. This hike, outside of Bailey, is 14-mile trail through a dense deciduous and conifer forest. You’ll cross over a shallow stream several times.

This is just the tip of the iceberg for all Colorado has to offer for hiking. This dog-friendly state makes it easy for you and your best friend to spend time together in the great outdoors. Check out more hikes here and read how to keep you and your dog safe. And have a favorite hike that you and your best friend take? Let us know!

Colorado’s Best Wildflower Hikes

Wildflowers in the Gore Range

If you’re new to Colorado (or even if you’ve been here a while), you may not realize that our states is not only home to gorgeous mountains housing icy blue lakes and rivers, but Colorado is also home to some of the most awe-inspiring wildflowers. Spring, summer and even early fall in Colorado are all about the colors of these oft-forgotten gems.

When the wildflowers start popping up, it’s time for you to start planning your hikes. Here some Colorado favorites that are close to home and some that give you a reason to get away for a weekend.

Littleton, Chatfield Farms, Denver Botanic Gardens, Peak bloom May – August
Belvue, Lory State Park, Peak bloom late May – June
Fort Collins, Cathy Fromee Prairie Natural Area, Peak bloom, June
Leadville, Mayflower Gulch, Peak bloom, Late May – July
Crested Butte, Multiple Locations – Check out their annual Wildflower Festival, Peak bloom, Late May – October
Durango, Engineer Mountain Trail, Peak bloom, July – August
Nederland, Hessie Trailhead, Peak bloom, July
Colorado Springs, Garden of the Gods, Peak bloom, April – July
Aspen, Hunter Creek Valley, Peak bloom, Mid July
Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, Peak bloom, June – July

Whether you want to stay close to home, take a day trip, or go for a weekend, surely these ideas have given you reason to lace up your hiking shoes and get out into the wild.

Good Neighbors Build a Good Neighborhood

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Are you ready to get outside for some spring mixing and mingling in the neighborhood? Here are a few reminders on how you can be the best neighbor ever!

Invite your neighbors over. Host a backyard barbecue or have a few neighbors over for some appetizers on a Friday night. You may be surprised at what a great time you have and how often you hear, “We should do this more often.”

Let your neighbors know if you see anything “out of the ordinary” while they are away. Your gut knows. If you see strange cars or other odd activity at a neighbor’s house, call them or text them. Is the garage door open and no cars are around? Let them know.

Drive slowly in your neighborhood. It’s important to be aware of the speed limit on neighborhood streets. Kids are playing, pets are outside, and the streets are often narrow. Slow down and take your time.

Mow your lawn. No one wants to be the person whose yard is overgrown. If you don’t have time to mow or weedwhack, hire a teenager from the neighborhood. Hiring from inside the neighborhood when you need some yard work or a pet sitter or babysitter…that’s being a good neighbor, too!

Don’t shine too brightly. Make sure your outside lights face your house and aren’t too bright. There’s nothing worse than a light shining in your house at night, especially when it’s not your own.

Pick up your neighbors’ newspaper and mail when they are out of town. It’s an easy task and helps keep the neighborhood safe. Mail and newspapers that stack up let others know someone is out of town.

Close your garage door. This may not seem like it has anything to do with being neighborly, but no one wants to look inside your garage. The neighborhood just looks nicer when garage doors are closed. In addition to being a good neighbor, you’ll be protecting your home from would-be burglars who often walk in through open garage doors. So be an even better neighbor by telling your neighbors when they accidentally leave their garage doors open.

Don’t let your dog bark. Besides being less than polite, your barking dog could get you a ticket. If your dog is a barker, hire a trainer to help you deal with the problem or bring your dog inside. And it goes without saying that a good neighbor cleans up after her dog!

Turn your music down. If you like to have the radio on when you wash your car, that’s great. But don’t play it so loudly that everyone can hear it. And don’t forget to turn it off when you go inside.

If you have an issue with a neighbor discuss it in person. Don’t wait until your neighbor’s barking dog makes you crazy or his speeding through the neighborhood makes you mad, discuss the problem in-person with your neighbor. And never leave an anonymous note in the mail box.

And the easiest way to be a good neighbor – Say hello. It’s amazing how far a smile and a hello can go in the neighborhood. It’s the easiest way to create a happy, warm environment. Welcome to the neighborhood!