Droste Property Opens to the Public

Limited Access While Management Plans Fine-Tuned and New Trails are Built


(Aspen, CO)  Bicyclists, hikers and equestrians will be allowed access to the recently acquired Droste Property beginning May 16th. There will be limited access through the so-called “Airport Ranch” on Radar Road until a trail is built from Hidden Valley Open Space later in the spring.  The lower portion of Radar Road is located on Airport Ranch, which is part of the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport.   Access to the area’s newest Open Space acquisition is allowed by bicycle, foot or horseback only. No dogs are allowed. The nearest parking is available in the Buttermilk Parking Lot.

“The Radar Road is in great shape thanks to the great care and maintenance by airport officials who need to access the radar up there,” said Open Space and Trails Stewardship and Trails Manager, Gary Tennenbaum.  “The grade is about as steep as  Smuggler Mountain Road in some places and when people get up there they’re going to finally see what it is we’ve been talking about. The views are spectacular,” Tennenbaum said.  “The Airport staff has been great to work with since the Radar Road has previously been closed to public access.”

“The Airport is pleased to work with Open Space to provide the community access to this remarkable asset,” said Francey Jesson, Assistant Aviation Director.     

The 845-acre Droste Parcel was purchased last winter for $17 million in a partnership between Pitkin County, the City of Aspen and Town of Snowmass Village. The purchase eliminated the possibility that the property could be developed into a luxury home subdivision for which it had zoning approvals.

There is an Interim Management Plan in place that is making it possible to open the property on a limited basis to the public. The Interim Plan can be viewed online at www.aspenpitkin.com/openspace. Maps of the property are also available online. A Long-Range Management Plan will be completed over the summer with lots of opportunity for public input.

“We are particularly sensitive to the wildlife and vegetation on the property,” Tennenbaum said.  “It has long been home to large herds of elk and all sorts of other critters and the food they eat. We plan on treading lightly.”

The public is encouraged to study the Interim Management Plan and maps at www.aspenpitkin.com/openspace.

Call 920-5232 for more information.

Posted on Tuesday, May 03, 2011