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About Palmer Lake

Palmer Lake, Colorado

 

 

 

Palmer Lake is a Statutory Town in El Paso County, Colorado, United States. The population was 2,420 at the 2010 census. Palmer Lake was founded by General William Jackson Palmer in 1871 and was incorporated in 1889.

Palmer Lake is one of three communities in the Tri-Lakes region between Denver and Colorado Springs. The three lakes are Palmer Lake, Monument Lake, and Lake Woodmoor. Located off Interstate 25 near two major metropolitan centers, Palmer Lake is a growing community on the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains.

Downtown Palmer Lake, though small, features cozy restaurants, such as O'Malley's Steakhouse and Pub on Colorado Highway 105. There are also a library, town hall, and an historical museum. Visitors can enjoy a coffee shop, bakery, antique shopping, boutiques, and art galleries.

The town's water comes from two reservoirs in the mountains behind the town and from wells. Both reservoirs and Monument Creek, which flows out of them, are considered part of the town's watershed. The town's namesake lake dried up completely during the summer of 2012 due to ongoing extreme drought conditions,. Local citizens investigated various ways to fill the lake and keep it healthy on a permanent basis. However, the town's Board of Trustees held a firm stance against transferring water from the reservoirs to be stored in the lake, asking "Should our water supply be protected for the health and safety of all of our citizens, or should it be utilized for mostly aesthetic purposes?" They provided no indication of what a valid purpose to keep they lake full might be. Downtown businesses and resident morale suffered greatly due to the lack of any surface water within city limits. By 2014, the lake was nearly dry again 

Library services for the city are provided by the Palmer Lake Branch Library, located at 66 Lower Glenway in Palmer Lake.

 

 

 

Palmer Lake, Colorado
Town
Palmer Lake Town Hall; Yule Log Hunt is held each December.
Palmer Lake Town Hall; Yule Log Hunt is held each December.
Location in El Paso County and the state of Colorado
Location in El Paso County and the state of Colorado

 

 

 

Geography

 

 

Palmer Lake is located at 39°6′48″N 104°54′18″W (39.113371, -104.904933).

The town is bordered by the Greenland Open Space Preserve to the north, Pike National Forest to the west, Monument to the south, and Ben Lomond and the I-25 corridor to the east. Palmer Lake sits at the north edge of El Paso County and offers sweeping views of the Rocky Mountain foothills.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 3.1 square miles (8.0 km2). 3.1 square miles (8.0 km2) of this is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) of it (0.65%) is water.

The town marks the top of the Palmer Divide, a ridge running from Palmer Lake eastward which separates the Arkansas River drainage to the south from the Platte River drainage to the north. The highest point of the divide is about 7,700 feet (2,300 m) above sea level at Vollmer Hill located in the Black Forest. At Monument Hill the elevation is about 7,352 feet (2,241 m). It staggers along the county line between Douglas County and El Paso County. This divide separates the Denver metropolitan area from the Pikes Peak area. The town's namesake, Palmer Lake, is situated at 7,250 feet (2,210 m).

 

 

 

 

Recreation

 

 

 

Palmer Lake is adjacent to the 15-mile (24 km) Santa Fe Regional Trail, which runs south through Monument to the southern boundary of the Air Force Academy and follows part of the oldAtchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. One of the largest continuous trails in El Paso County, the graveled route supports a wide variety of activities such as biking, hiking and horseback riding. Cross-country skiers and snowshoers enjoy the pathway in the winter.

The fishing in Palmer Lake is decent when stocked, but canoeing, kayaking and any other forms of boating are not allowed on Palmer Lake at this time. A solid winter freeze provides the only opportunity to get out onto the lake itself. There is a Winterfest in late winter each year, which features a supervised skating rink out on the pond. There is also a fishing derby each summer, sponsored by the chamber of commerce.

The two reservoirs behind Palmer Lake are accessible by a trail used by hikers, bicyclists, snowshoers and fishermen. The lower reservoir is fenced off from the public, but the upper reservoir has an open shoreline. The mountains behind the town have a matrix of trails connecting visitors and residents to canyons and ridges.Most trails are accessible to hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders. Visitors are advised to bring a map or a local guide when exploring the trails, and should be aware of wildlife alerts and National Forest rules.

 

 

 

 

Palmer Lake Restoration Project

 

 

The namesake lake completely dried up by July 2012 due to drought and manmade changes in water management. In December 2014, the Awake Palmer Lake restoration group began dirt work to clear several feet of sediment from the north end of the Lake, exposing the top of the clay (benzonite) layer and filling the southern marsh with dirt. This served to resort the lake to its historical proportions and also to make it more sustainable for the future. The volunteer group was simultaneously working on a plan to have Palmer Lake refilled with water by spring of 2014. The effort to refill Palmer Lake involves a court battle to win back water rights it said it was granted in the late 1950s. Town leaders in neighboring Monument have objected to Palmer Lake's request. A state Water Court hearing set for February is expected to settle the matter.

 

 

 

Rockin' the Rails Park

 

 

On December 9, 2104 the public received notice that the Awake Palmer Lake committee had received a GOCO grant in the amount of $349,893 to be used for improvements around the Lake. The GOCO money is to be applied to what's being called the "Rockin' the Rails" Palmer Lake Railroad Park including a 90-foot overpass over the railway tracks, a disc golf course expansion, landscaped open space and restroom facilities on the park's west side. The bridge will consist of a flatbed railroad car raised 25 feet above the tracks with a staircase for pedestrians and a ramp on either side for bicyclists, wheelchairs and strollers. The park's overall themed will play up the town's history as a refueling stop for steam engines to be topped off with water between Colorado Springs and Denver. Union Pacific Railroad must first sign off on the engineering plan, as part of a review that could take up to three to four months

 

 

 

Palmer Lake Star

 

 

 

 

"Dizzy" at Palmer Lake City Hall

 

 

In 1935, B.E. Jack and Bert Sloan proposed the construction of a large Star of Bethlehem on the side of Sundance Mountain in Palmer Lake. The five-pointed star, measuring 457 feet (139 m) across and consisting of 91, 40-watt non-glare bulbs, is lit for the month of December and for other special occasions. Construction on the project was a community effort. The property on Sundance Mountain where the star was constructed was owned by Art and Reba Bradley, who donated the property to Palmer Lake in 1966. When Mrs. Bradley died in 1979, her estate provided funds to the Palmer Lake Fire Department for the maintenance of the star. In 1976, the star was completely rebuilt with new cable and steel pole in concrete as part of an American Revolutionary bicentennial project.

Bert Sloan said, "We tried to keep the town from dying and make it a good place to live. We wanted to do something the town could be proud of for many years, and the star did just that." Sloan's dog, Dizzy, helped to take tools and supplies to the workers on Sundance Mountain. Dizzy's statue at City Hall represents the spirit of volunteerism, particularly those who built the shining star. The statue of Dizzy was given to the citizens of Palmer Lake in October 2006 on the fiftieth anniversary of the Palmer Lake Historical Society.

In February 2013, The Star of Palmer Lake was designated as a Colorado Historic site by History Colorado.

 

 

 

 

SOURCE:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palmer_Lake,_Colorado


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