Nearly 71 miles northeast and 140 vertical feet below the headwaters at Waterton Canyon lies the terminus and last head gate of the High Line Canal. As the final link in one of the longest linear parks in the nation, Prairie Retreat Park is a celebration of nature, urban connectivity and the cultural and environmental history of the American West.
Positioned on the western edge of the Painted Prairie Development, this 45-acre open space and is both stormwater infrastructure for the community and integral open space. Conceived as a recreational asset and outdoor educational lab for those living in and around the Prairie areas of Aurora and northeast Denver, the park offers numerous opportunities to celebrate the agricultural history of the canal and educate visitors about the local ecology.
At the southern trail head where the canal alignment is preserved, visitors can the explore the pollinator gardens, paths and custom playscapes of the Prairie Discovery Trails. The Central Pond, which provides stormewater detention for the greater Painted Prairie community, commemorates the canal’s alignment with artful vertical totems that contain engraved stories of the past. And anchoring the north end is The Farm and Head Gate Plaza, which will provide productive urban farm land to serve the community’s town center restaurants, rentable space for the community, and a terminal plaza to commemorate the final head gate of the High Line Canal.