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Knoll Willows Open Space Trail

Easy/Intermediate
 3.0 (3)

A short way from downtown with views of town, & surrounding mountains. Loop or lollipop your choice.


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Map Key

0.5

Miles

0.8

KM

Point to Point

7,601' 2,317 m

High

7,527' 2,294 m

Low

75' 23 m

Up

55' 17 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

11%

Max Grade (6°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Description

This trail takes you on a short trip through the Knoll Willows Open Space. As you start out from behind the police station, you'll cross a small bridge over the Black Canyon Creek. Look down and you'll likely see fingerling trout hanging out behind a rock. As you progress through the willow area, be on the lookout for elk. In the spring females often bed down with fawns near the creek. You'll reach the Albert Birch cabin shortly, this cabin was built shortly after the bungalow at the crest burned out and was used by the Birch family until the 1980's

Continue following the creek for views of the Stanley Hotel and the North Trailhead. The trail will turn to the south from the parking lot with a couple of turn offs providing views to the east. As you crest the knoll, you'll find the ruins of the Albert Birch Bungalow with views overlooking Estes Park. The house burned in December of 1907, but the ruins still hold spectacular views of RMNP.

From here, the trail back to the cabin degrades to an unimproved singletrack until you arrive at the back of the lower cabin. You can follow the stream through the meadow back to the South Trailhead.

Flora & Fauna

Elk, like everywhere in Estes Park, lots of elk. Trout in the stream. Locals report seeing owls, hawks, Albert's Squirrels, and ground squirrels.

Shared By:

Rob M.

Trail Ratings

  3.0 from 3 votes

#26209

Overall
  3.0 from 3 votes
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Trail Rankings

#2,180

in Colorado

#26,209

Overall
99 Views Last Month
4,136 Since Mar 13, 2016
Easy/Intermediate

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Photos

View of the Ruins, the Estes Park theater tower, and RMNP in the distance.
Mar 13, 2016 near Estes Park, CO
Another well chosen view.
Mar 13, 2016 near Estes Park, CO
View of Lake Estes to the east.
Mar 13, 2016 near Estes Park, CO
A window with a view.
Mar 13, 2016 near Estes Park, CO
Signage at the North Trailhead.
Mar 13, 2016 near Estes Park, CO
Plaque at the start of the trail.
Mar 13, 2016 near Estes Park, CO

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Check-Ins

May 23, 2020
Teodor Lazarovski
Jul 18, 2019
Jo Coyne
0.5mi
Jun 19, 2019
Emily Goergen
Sep 21, 2018
Ryan Wallace
0.3mi
Sep 21, 2018
Tiffany Wallace
0.5mi
Mar 15, 2018
Dustin Marsolek
0.5mi
Jul 13, 2017
Michael Porvaznik
0.5mi
Jul 9, 2017
Susan Wolfelt