Walnut Creek Open Space
Walnut Creek Open Space – West of U.S. 36 and east of Wadsworth Boulevard.
A 14.6 acre continuous open space parcel exists between U.S. 36 and Wadsworth Boulevard along pretty Walnut Creek. A .7 mile trail extends from the Big Dry Creek to Wadsworth Boulevard along Walnut Creek and provides nice glimpses of the creek and wetland areas.
About half of the creek channel east of Church Ranch Boulevard was reconstructed in 1989 and has vigorous wetland areas. Concrete trails on both the north and south side of the creek provide nice views into the open space and are popular with persons staying at the nearby hotels. East of the Springhill Suites, the creek meanders in its natural condition across a grassy meadow. Cottonwood and willow trees thrive near the creek. Wildlife is attracted to this area including fox and coyotes.
West of Church Ranch Boulevard, the trail passes by a pretty pond and right next to the creek before reaching Sensory Park. Past the park the creek veers away from the sidewalk. This well vegetated area provides a nice respite from the abutting development. The property was acquired in 1992, 2003 and 2008.
To access the trail along Walnut Creek, park along 103rd Avenue, just east of Church Ranch Boulevard and follow the Church Ranch Boulevard sidewalk north to the creek.
Walnut Creek Open Space – West of Wadsworth Boulevard and east of Wadsworth Parkway.
The city owns 36.5 acres of open space in this area. Plus an additional 14 acres of land are owned by the Nature Conservancy (the Chambers Preserve) and are managed by the city. This is one of the most beautiful and dramatic open space properties in the city.
There are no formal trails on this property. However, several informal narrow trails follow Walnut Creek. To access the trails, park near the corner of 104th Avenue and Dover Street.
East of Dover Street, the creek mostly flows at the north edge of the open space land bordered by a 60 foot tall ridge on the south side of the creek. This hillside has a rich variety of native plants undisturbed by past farming activities. The mountain views from the top of the ridge (accessible from 103rd Avenue/Barber Drive, west of Zephyr Street) are stunning! Further to the east near Wadsworth Boulevard is an interesting grove of trees growing on the hillside and next to Walnut Creek. The non-wooded areas and valley areas are covered with a thick blanket of grass. This verdant area provides wildlife habitat for coyotes and fox.
West of Dover Street the valley widens and flattens allowing the creek to meander in wide areas. The creek area is overgrown with native trees, shrubs and wetland plants. Several huge cottonwood trees provide interesting subjects for photography, especially in the winter.
This open space area preserves over 1,070 feet of frontage along the east side of Wadsworth Parkway. The property was acquired through various acquisitions in 1995, 1996, 1999, 2004 and 2004. The pastoral views from the road to the creek valley are quite attractive. Enjoy this very special open space!
Walnut Creek Open Space – West of Wadsworth Parkway and south of 108th Avenue.
The city owns 42.7 acres of land in this area plus an additional 6.1 acres for a future park site. This open space preserves 1,060 feet of frontage along the west side of Wadsworth Parkway and 1,210 feet of frontage along the south side of 108th Avenue.
This open space coupled with the one east of Wadsworth Parkway provides some welcome “breathing room” along busy Wadsworth Parkway and protects nice meadow vistas to the west. The gravel Walnut Creek Trail extends from 108th Avenue to Wadsworth Parkway through the meadow area and along the creek. The trail forms a loop near Wadsworth Parkway. To access this open space, park along Johnson Street south of 108th Avenue.
Walnut Creek Open Space – North of 108th Avenue and east of Simms Street.
This open space totals 43.4 acres in size and forms a continuous and sometimes narrow corridor between Westmoor Drive and Simms Street. The gravel Walnut Creek Trail extends 1.5 miles through this area and offers pastoral views of the creek area.
The Heritage at Westmoor Golf Course abuts the open space sometimes on the south side and sometimes on both sides of the open space creating a huge protected ecosystem. Solitary and small groves of huge cottonwood and willow trees line the creek. A large cottonwood tree just west of Westmoor Drive is located on a small island in Heron Pond and is a rookery (nesting place) for up to 8 Great Blue Heron nests each spring. The herons can be observed from the nearby Walnut Creek Trail.
The trail rises up a short hill about midway between Westmoor Drive and Simms Street. The views to the west are quite dramatic. The trail also crosses tiny Walnut Creek twice. The water is very clear, except after a rainfall. The trail is very popular over the noon hour on week days with employees of the Westmoor Corporate Park and patrons at the Westview Recreation Center.
Most of the open space is covered in native vegetation including yucca plants which have distinctive white blossoms. Stay on the trails as rattlesnakes are residents of this open space! This property was acquired in 1997.
To access this open space, park at the Westview Recreation Center located north of 108th Avenue at Oak Street. A trail connects from the recreation center to the Walnut Creek Trail.