Hot Sulfur Springs purchases 270 acres; plot connects the city to the Arapaho National Forest
Hot Sulfur Springs has officially purchased 270 acres of the former Jones Creek Ranch with the intention of opening the land to the public.
The property is tentatively called Heimbaugh Valley for the stream running through it. It sits on the south side of town and provides a corridor for public access to the adjacent Arapaho National Forest.
The property offers non-motorized recreational opportunities 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 city purchased the property for $ 499,920. City officials said Hot Sulfur Springs was able to purchase the property with grants from the Grand County Open Lands, Rivers and Trails Fund, Great Outdoors Colorado, the Gates Family Foundation and the city’s conservation funds.
Former owners Max and Kathryn Webel wanted the city to own this property in order to protect its natural and scenic values and open it up to outdoor recreation, according to city officials.
In order to ensure the long-term protection of the natural and scenic values of the property, the Webels placed it in a conservation easement held by the Colorado Headwaters Land Trust.
“We are grateful to the Webels for their interest in retaining the property and making it available to the city, as well as the donors for making this possible,” Hot Sulfur Mayor Bob McVay said in a statement. “This property will be a major asset to the city by providing additional space for the public, especially city residents, to enjoy the outdoors.
Through the conservation easement and city stewardship, officials hope that open space, scenic views and natural values will be protected. The property is part of the city’s 2015 Parks, Open Spaces and Trails Master Plan as well as Headwaters Trails Alliance’s 2019 Strategic Plan, officials added.