Centennial Center Park

Two preschool students walking with their backpacks to a park in Centennial, CO

grayscale photo of two toddlers walking on road” used with permission via Unsplash by guybas

The Centennial area has an abundance of green spaces, but you’ll want to have Centennial Center Park near the top of your list of places to try. Centennial Center Park, which opened in 2012, is the first City-owned park. You’ll find it just next to the Centennial Civic Center.

The award-winning park covers 11 acres and offers a variety of educational and historical elements. Head over to the main plaza for a historical timeline of the Cherry Creek Basin, where you can learn more about the area through facts and a Cherry Creek Watershed map. If you’re into architecture, you’ll want to take a close look at the design of the amphitheater as it includes elements representing the Lithic, Archaic, Formative, and Classic periods of human history.

Look to the Colorado Statehood walk for more interesting facts about our home state, and take a stroll along the Viewfinder Walk for an interactive challenge that takes you through the park and beyond. This park also boasts barbecue grills, bicycle paths and racks, picnic tables, a playground, shady areas, and both paved and unpaved walking trails, so you’re sure to find plenty to do here no matter your mood.

Cherry Creek Valley Ecological Park

Another amazing place right here in Centennial, Cherry Creek Valley Ecological Park is a great place to explore when you want to surround yourself with nature. The natural riparian area right in the middle of town offers an escape where you can learn about native plant and wildlife species. The nature preserve sits right along the Cherry Creek Regional Trail.

You can enjoy trails that take you to overlooks of Cherry Creek or the small pond, or take a leisurely walk on a wooden boardwalk to cross the wetlands and take an up-close look at the pond. You’ll learn more about local cultural and natural history when you take some time to read the interpretive signage throughout the park.

17 Mile House Farm Park

Take a trip back in time when you visit 17 Mile House Farm Park. This Centennial park includes a farm that dates back 155 years. In the 1860s, the farm served as a key resting stop for pioneers that traveled on the Cherokee/Smoky Hill wagon trails, so you’ll get an incredible snapshot into local history.

The park is designated by the county as a heritage area, and it includes a historic house, red barn, silo, milk shed, and two historic windmills. The park also boasts 30 acres of open space, and it features a trailhead that connects to the Cherry Creek Regional Trail. Pack lunch to have at the picnic tables, then explore all this park has to offer.

If you’re yearning for more time in open space, you can also check out the 75-acres Norton Farm Open Space that the town of Park owns or the 107-acre Parker Jordan Centennial Open Space. 17 Mile House Farm Park is situated between those two open spaces.

Parker Jordan Centennial Open Space

Parker Jordan Centennial Open Space makes a great place to visit in its own right. Centennial first acquired 50% ownership of these 107 acres in 2010 in partnership with Parker Jordan Metro District. Thanks to the acquisition, it was possible to complete a significant link in the Cherry Creek Regional Trail.

Along with Cherry Creek Valley Ecological Park and 17-Mile Park, this open space forms an important network of natural areas that lets you enjoy Cherry Creek’s ecosystem. The city acquired full ownership in 2017. Today, you can make use of walking trails and bicycle paths, making it yet another Centennial park you’ll want to explore.

Cherokee Trail Park

A partnership between the City of Centennial and the Arapahoe Park and Recreation District, Cherokee Trail Park offers locals another park area. You can access the park district trail into Cherry Creek State Park from here.

Dove Valley Regional Park

Searching for a nearby park for an active day playing sports? Centennial’s Dove Valley Regional Park is the place to go. This park boasts eight soccer fields, four sand volleyball courts, two baseball/softball diamonds, and one championship multi-use field. That’s just the start, though. The park also features a small playground as well as four picnic pavilions that include barbecues. You can also go for a stroll around the 1-mile loop path, a paved walking path that offers a leisurely place to enjoy the outdoors.

Arapahoe County Fairgrounds Park

If you’re visiting nearby Aurora, make sure you stop by Arapahoe County Fairgrounds Park. There, you’ll find a trailhead that includes parking, a nature play area, multi-use fields, and a picnic pavilion. You can also check out the intermittent small creek, or take a walk on one of the two natural surface trails.

Cherry Creek State Park

The Denver area includes Cherry Creek State Park, a scenic getaway from the bustle of daily life that features an abundance of activities on land and in the water. Open year-round, this 4,200-acre park features views of birds and wildlife with the Rocky Mountains serving as a breathtaking backdrop.

You’ll have plenty of reasons to return to this huge park throughout the year depending on your interests. From biking to birding to boating, cross-country skiing to ice skating and more, Cherry Creek State Park really has it all.

That concludes Crème de la Crème of Lone Tree’s roundup of some of the top parks to check out close to home. Whether you want lots of green space, walking paths, or peaceful places to connect with nature, you’ll find it in the area in and around Centennial. Drop us a line if we missed your family’s favorite local park so we can add it to our list!