Big Thompson Recreational Area
The Big Thompson Recreational Area—located near the Town’s free parking garage, the Visitor Center, and the popular Lake Estes Trail—is a great starting point for downtown recreation activities. The focal point of the area is a large bouldering rock, manufactured right here in Colorado and ready for climbers of all ages and ability. Relax or enjoy a picnic lunch under one of two shelters, at the open picnic table, or at the Flintstones-style table and chairs. Step down to the river for fishing, wading, or rock throwing. This area is the collaborative effort of a Great Outdoors Colorado grant, bouldering rock donation by Visit Estes Park, and the imagination, design, and construction of the Town’s Park Division.
Centennial Open Space at Knoll-Willows
Located behind Town Hall - with a parking area just east of MacGregor Avenue on Wonderview - Centennial Open Space at Knoll-Willows was dedicated on August 5, 2017, at Estes Park's Centennial Celebration. Come view the Birch Ruins to learn more Estes Park history and enjoy the space's trails and benches.
Consisting of 2,500 square feet, Children's Park features open space adjacent to the Big Thompson River as well as a municipal parking lot outside Dairy Queen. Located in the middle of the Riverwalk, the park offers a playground, restrooms, a drinking fountain, river frontage, picnic tables and benches.
George Hix Memorial Riverside Plaza
A focal point of the Riverwalk, George Hix Memorial Riverside Plaza is located at the confluence of the Big Thompson and Fall Rivers behind the businesses on East Elkhorn Avenue. The park features benches, water features, four sculptures (eagle, beaver family, mountain lion, saddle), adjacent parking and river frontage. (The Saddle sculpture may be hot to the touch; check before sitting).
Mrs. Walsh's Garden
A walk along the winding footpath of Mrs. Walsh's Garden leads to a quiet pond. Rest peacefully on a bench or explore the garden during any season and become inspired by the abundant colors of nature. The garden is located on the west end of Elkhorn Avenue, across from Performance Park. Open dawn to dusk, the park is wheelchair-accessible and admission is free. Visit the Mrs. Walsh's Garden page to learn about its upcoming events.
This outdoor amphitheater is tucked back against the mountains on West Elkhorn Avenue, between the Silver Moon Motor Lodge and the Big Horn Restaurant. Parking for Performance Park is adjacent to the theater, which has a full stage as well as lighting and sound equipment. This beautifully landscaped facility opened in 2003.
Riverside / Baldwin Park
Encompassing 60,000 square feet, Riverside/Baldwin Park is located off West Riverside Drive. This space includes river frontage, playground, picnic tables, benches, trees, flowers, and turf areas that beg to be picnicked upon. Other amenities include the Riverwalk, fishing bridge, and parking.
Located at George Hix Riverside Plaza, this Sensory Garden is designed with the purpose of stimulating the senses through plants and the use of materials that engage sight, smell, touch, taste and sound. The garden includes three "flower" musical instruments, one multi-colored xylophone, two bridges over a river made of glass, five brightly colored pots filled with plants that evoke thoughts of pineapple and mint, and hundreds of plants directed at all senses.
Thumb Open Space
This iconic rock formation, located on the southeastern side of Prospect Mountain off Peak View Drive, is the Town's newest recreational destination and is expected to open by the 2022 Memorial Day weekend. Thumb Open Space is a historically popular but once privately owned area that will now be accessible for hiking, climbing, and bouldering for all age groups.
Women's Heritage Plaza
The Town's newest park, Women's Heritage Plaza, is a portion of the Children's Park that runs along the downtown riverwalk near East Elkhorn Avenue and East Riverside Drive. This beautiful monument area invites visitors to learn and reflect on the historical and ongoing contributions of women to the Estes Park community.