EL PASO COUNTY — Kane Ranch east of Fountain, now adds the words Open Space to the title. “It celebrates the history of what this property was when Mr. Kane owned it,” said El Paso County Parks, Park Planner, Ross Williams. Once ranch property, it is now for recreation. The newly completed park adds nearly 500 acres to El Paso County’s open space park portfolio.
Alexander Kane was a well known rancher in the county. When he died nearly 20 years ago he had specifics in his will for the future of the property. “He was exact in not wanting this for other purposes, but to have for recreation and we were just so pleased that we were able to follow his original vision,” said Williams
Williams said Kane did more than make the property available—the legacy property was donated. “To be able to offer the citizens of the county this experience and to have it gifted to us by a prominent rancher is amazing.”
Even with donated land there is still a cost to build the park. Citizens who voted yes on the 1A excess tax retention measure years back, helped make this happen. It provided $350 thousand to the budget.
The new park is a prairie experience that is different from the more typical wooded mountain-scape type experience in most of the counties other open space parks. It means mostly level trails for hiking, biking, and as former ranch property it is great for riding horses. There are also or expansive views of mountains like the Spanish Peaks to the south and the Sangre de Cristo range to the east.
“As the population of this county booms, and it is booming, folks are wanting more and more to be outside; they want to get away from the booming city,” said Williams. A rancher leaving property as a legacy for all to enjoy helps park planners better serve what locals want.
Kane Ranch Open Space is east of Fountain on Squirrel Creek Road. It is a long way down the road. Keep going until you see the clearly marked Kane Ranch Open Space sign.