Colorado is full of historical buildings and locations. Some are well-known both within and outside the state. Others, however, are lower profile. These hidden historical gems are well worth the day trip to learn something new about Colorado's rich history.
Hidden Natural and Historical Treasures
Located in the southeast part of the state near La Junta, Vogel Canyon offers both geographical and historical landmarks. On its four trails, appropriate for beginning to intermediate hikers, you can see petroglyphs etched on the walls of the sandstone canyon as well as remains of a stagecoach stop from the 1870s and what's left of the Westbrook settlement, which dates to the 1930s. You'll also be treated to beautiful views and the chance to spy a variety of wildlife. Plan your outing at http://www.exploresoutheastcolorado.com/vogel.htm.
Railroad Ghost Towns in Phantom Canyon
About an hour away from Colorado Springs, Phantom Canyon Road lies on what used to be the Florence and Cripple Creek Railroad, a nineteenth century narrow-gauge railroad that once connected Canon City, Cripple Creek and Florence. The road passes near ghost towns that boomed during the railroad's heyday and then disappeared, some to economic troubles and others to natural disasters like flash flooding. You'll also see Adelaide Bridge, which passes over Eightmile Creek, and pass through tunnels excavated for the railroad to pass through. Standard vehicles can make the drive, so find more information for your trip at http://www.colorado.com/articles/colorado-hidden-gem-phantom-canyon-road.
Historic Renovation for the Community
Mt. Carmel in Trinidad is not only a hidden historical gem, it's also a facility that serves the local community, providing healthcare and a non-denominational chapel. Formerly known as Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, the building was in bad repair when it was purchased in 2007. Jay Cimino, Mt. Carmel Board Chairman, restored the property, maintaining many of its historical elements while still enabling it to serve as a modern medical facility. Mt. Carmel also offers classes, theater, and other services to enrich the surrounding community. To find out more about Mt. Carmel, its history and mission, visit http://mtcarmelcenter.org/about-us/.
Pioneers and Railroads
The Gunnison Pioneer and Railroad Museum consists of several buildings and railroad exhibits that date back a century or more. Explore nineteenth century town attractions and take a look at vintage railroad cars as well as a depot and water tower. You'll get a real sense of life in Colorado's early settlements as you examine mining equipment, tractors, memorabilia, and many other historical items. Find directions and get a look at what's in store at this unique museum at http://gunnisonpioneermuseum.com.
Castle Rock Walking Tours
See the best of historic downtown Castle Rock on a walking or bicycle tour sponsored by the Castle Rock Historical Society and Museum. Tours are held on the fourth Saturday of the month from the end of June through September. Tours are free and run about forty-five minutes. No reservations are required-just arrive in time for the 10:30 start. You'll see remodeled train depots, the Old Stone Church Restaurant, Douglas County's first courthouse, and other fascinating locations. See http://www.castlerockmuseum.org/tours for more information about the museum and available tours.
This summer, get out and about and learn more about our fascinating state by visiting one of these hidden historical gems.
This article is presented by Perkins Motors in Colorado Springs, Colorado