About Colorado’s Heritage Areas
Take a Virtual Tour!
A National Heritage Area is a site where the historic, cultural, and natural resources combine to create a landscape of national importance. Its significance is like that of a national park, but these are largely lived-in landscapes. Of the 55 National Heritage Areas, Colorado hosts three: Cache la Poudre River, South Park, and Sangre de Cristo. They boast the natural beauty, activities, and Western history Colorado is known for, while also representing Colorado’s many contributions to our nation’s diverse ancestry. Discover and experience Colorado’s culture, history, and recreational activities at all our National Heritage Areas.
During this unprecedented time in our Nation’s history, when over 250 million Americans, including the entire state of Colorado, are under stay-at-home and social distancing orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we would like to offer you a way to continue to learn about and explore the State of Colorado’s National Heritage Areas from the safety and comfort of your home.
Discover and experience Colorado’s culture, history, and recreational activities with virtual resources provided by Colorado’s three National Heritage Areas. To follow Colorado’s Virtual Heritage Journey search for #COVirtualHeritageJourney on social media. Enjoy and stay well!
From the Blog
This week on #COVirturalHeritageJourney check out a video from Visit Alamosa Colorado. Alamosa County is centered in the middle of the San Luis Valley, and offers unique outdoor recreation, majestic views, trail systems, steam engine train rides and quiet dark night skies in a quaint railroad and agricultural town . Walk along the trail systems of the Alamosa […]
This week for the #COVirtualHeritageJourney, South Park National Heritage Area is pleased to present these sketches by A.F. Wilmarth. “A. F. Willmarth was born in Chicago in 1850. He died in Fairplay March 10, 1938. He was married to Cora D. Willmarth. Cora died in Fairplay January 17, 1913, according to the Fairplay Flume obituaries. ⠀ A.F. (Arthur) […]
Today, on the #COVirtualHeritageJourney, Northern Arapaho elders share their stories about the Cache la Poudre River and why this river valley is so important to their tribe’s heritage and culture. “Water is sacred and we respect that. Without water there is no life.” – Crawford White, Northern Arapaho Elder Indigenous peoples have been living in and […]
Three Unique Heritage Areas
The Poudre River played a pivotal role in the development of western water law as well as pioneering unique water delivery methods.
Park County is a place where the past is always present. Learn about Colorado’s Native American and rich mining, ranching, and exploration history.
Cache la Poudre River
Water History, Bike Riding, Fly Fishing, Shopping, Craft Beer, Concerts
Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area begins in northern Colorado, where the river flows out of the Roosevelt National Forest in the Poudre Canyon of the Rocky Mountains, through the town of Fort Collins and extends east to its confluence with the South Platte River, just east of Greeley. The area commemorates the river’s significant contribution to the development of water law in the western United States, the evolution of the river’s complex water delivery systems and the cultural heritage of the region. From beer tasting at 25+ breweries and bike riding along 35 miles of the Poudre trail, to fly fishing the river and enjoying concerts and western rodeos, there’s a lot to experience here.
Be sure to see:
Western History, Hiking, Horseback Riding, Fishing, 14ers
South Park National Heritage Area is in the heart of Colorado. It is here where the past is always present, protecting and promoting its existing historic mining and ranching structures as well its natural resources. It’s less than two hours’ drive from Denver or Colorado Springs, but feels like a journey back in time – to the days of prospectors, trappers and even prehistoric man. In South Park, you can ride horseback, hike in an authentic wilderness area, or fish lakes and rivers all the while enjoying the scenic vistas that include Colorado’s snowcapped 14,000-foot peaks.
Be sure to see:
Sangre de Cristo
Spanish-American History, Sand Dunes, Charming Downtowns, Railroad History
Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area is the gateway to southern Colorado and preserves and protects the unique cultural heritage here. This area is rich in history, religion, culture and bio-diversity protecting and promoting the villages and lifestyles of some of America’s earliest Spanish settlements and early railroad communities. It is among the most unique and well-preserved cultural landscapes in the nation, with stunning natural resources. From scenic drives along Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic Byway, fishing on the Conejos River, sledding down the Great Sand Dunes, or visiting the oldest Catholic parish in Colorado, there’s a lot to appreciate and enjoy here.
Be sure to see: