Trail Name: Miller Ranch Open Space.
Mileage: A couple of miles if you do all the loops.
With the past few weeks of cold days, and storm after storm hitting our valley—it doesn’t take too much effort to find a winter wonderland! During these colder weather patterns, many lower elevation trails right in our backyard fill in with snow, and become great places for a quick outing. If you’re looking to try out snowshoeing for the first time, or get a breath of fresh air on a lunch break, one of the best places is Miller Ranch open space!
Park at June Creek Elementary (or Mountain Recreation if school is in session, and follow the train tracks) and head toward the Eagle River, across the train tracks adjacent to Edwards’ blue bridge.
The Miller Ranch Open Space is a 32-acre parcel, owned by Eagle County and forever held in a conservation easement by the Eagle Valley Land Trust. What this means, is that the short trail system that exists now and the incredible beaver, heron and deer habitat will remain in a similarly natural state for forever.
The trail starts out on a narrow easement between the Eagle River and the old train tracks. From here, it opens up into the first of two meadows, the first dominated by sage, and the second by encroaching aspen stands. Closer to the river, hikers and snowshoers will see a larger variety of broad leaved trees — think cottonwoods — and evidence of muskrat, beaver and even the occasional bald eagle.
The trail system dead ends at private property belonging to the Arrowhead Golf Course.
Please respect the private property and turn around at the fencing. Toward the end of the trails, hikers and snowshoers will pass by remnants of the railroad drainage systems that carried water from the northern hillsides into the Eagle River. The trails here are commonly packed, so your choice of traction—be it micro spikes, yak tracks, or snowshoes, should all work well on these trails!