Pella Crossing in Hygiene, CO

History by Boulder County Parks & Open Space, Photography by Kort Duce, Colorado Exposure

The original 89 acres of property for Pella Crossing in Hygiene, CO, was donated to Boulder County Parks & Open Space in 1992 by Frontier Materials, Inc., which mined gravel from 1975 to 1990. In 1995, the western property was purchased adding another 161 acres of open space. Pella Crossing officially opened to the public in 1996.

Within the 250 acres of Pella Crossing, wetland habitats support aquatic plant and animal life and provide seasonal habitat for large numbers of migrating bird species. These reclaimed gravel pits are biologically diverse both in and out of the water. St. Vrain Creek cuts through about one-third of the property on the south, which is an area of critical wildlife habitat and without public access.

Map courtesy of the Boulder County Parks & Open Space

Hygiene Elementary fifth graders won a competition in naming Pella Crossing. They chose the name because the property is the midpoint between the 19th century towns of Pella and North Pella. Pella Crossing, called “Laramie Crossing” in the 1860s, is where the Overland Trail stagecoach crossed the St. Vrain Creek en route from Denver to Laramie, WY.

Pella Crossing is a day-use only recreation area operated by the Boulder County Parks & Open Space. Pets are allowed, but need to be leashed at all times. Fishing is permitted with only artificial flies and lures; no live bait is allowed. Any bass caught also need to be returned to the water. There are approximately three miles of trails, which are open to hikers, bikers, horseback riders and wildlife viewing.

Amenities include a shelter for 20 people near the parking lot. Three tables are located throughout the westside’s Marlatt Trail system along with a restroom facility. Horse trailer parking is available at the main trailhead along with a restroom facility. Pella Crossing is open from sunrise to sunset seven days a week.

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