17 Mile House Farm Park
- ADA Accessible (optional)
- Parking (optional)
- Picnic Areas (optional)
- Restrooms (optional)
- Trail Access (optional)
Residents can step back in time during a visit to 17 Mile House, a 155-year old farm which served as an important resting stop for pioneers traveling on the Cherokee/Smoky Hill wagon trails in the 1860’s.
This County-designated heritage area includes a historic house, red barn, silo and milk shed, which were restored to their known condition in the early 1900's, as well as two replica windmills and 30 acres of open space. The Farm Park also features a trail head to connect to the Cherry Creek Regional Trail, picnic tables, a parking lot and restroom.
The property is situated between the 75-acre Norton Farm Open Space owned by the Town of Parker and the 107-acre Parker Jordan/Centennial Open Space.
Open House and Tours
Experience what life was like in the 1860’s through the 1950’s from living historians, interactive interpretative displays and viewing the home’s extensive collection of artifacts and photos during free monthly open houses. Walk through time as you explore Arapahoe County’s original farm house. Activities for children and adults!
Make it a day excursion with a picnic lunch under the windmill or stroll along the Cherry Creek Regional trail just steps from the house. No registration is required.
Otherwise, the house and barn are open by appointment only.
2019 Open House and Tour Dates
All 2019 Open House events are 9 a.m. to Noon.
(Dates and times are subject to change)
- January 12
- February 9
- March 9
- April 13
- May 4
- June 8
- July 13
- August 17
- September 14
- October 12
- November 16
- December 7
School Tours - In partnership with the Cherry Creek Valley Historical Society and Cherry Creek Stewardship Partners, we are happy to create a curriculum and schedule that fits your class studies and needs. From tours of the house to history and nature lessons and guided hikes, we've got something for all of your students.
Photography is allowed at the 17 Mile House Farm Park
• Please stay on the paths to protect the landscape.
• Vehicles, trailers, horses or large props are not permitted.
• Dogs are allowed but must remain on a leash.
• Please dispose of trash properly.
• We cannot block access to the general public.
Note: Access to 17 Mile could be closed off due to maintenance, tours or construction without any advanced notice.
Weddings or Special Events
Unfortunately, we are not currently renting out the facility for public use.
History Colorado, State Historical Fund: Provided grant funding to support historic structure assessments for the 17 Mile House and the Barn. Grant funding also partially supported the rehabilitation/restoration of the 17 Mile House.
Colorado Historical Foundation: Supports the ongoing monitoring and management of the façade easement on the property’s historic buildings.
Cherry Creek Valley Historical Society: Supports operations of the facility by offering tours of the house and historical programming.
Cherry Creek Stewardship Partners: Offer outdoor education experiences to our community along the Cherry Creek.
Town of Parker: Supports the ongoing monitoring of the property’s conservation easements.
History and Master Plan
The 17 Mile House has a long and significant history. When the 1859-1860 gold rush resulted in large-scale settlement of the state, a series of inns emerged along Cherry Creek to accommodate travelers and freighters.
These 'mile houses' were located every 2-3 miles along the Cherokee/Smoky Hill wagon trails from Kansas, all named based on their distance to the intersection of Colfax and Broadway.
Upon arrival, travelers could get a meal, spend the night, rest their animals and have minor repairs made to their coaches or wagons. Out of the original six mile houses, only 17 Mile House and 4 Mile House exist in their entirety today.
With arrival of the railroad in 1882, pioneer traffic along the wagon trails ended, and so did the need for mile houses. But the name stuck. For over 100 years, hard-working Coloradans lived on the land at 17 Mile House.
In 2001, nine entities collaborated to preserve this valuable piece of Colorado history and provide an open space area for the public to enjoy. Partners included Arapahoe County, Douglas County, Town of Parker, Great Outdoors Colorado, Gates Family Foundation, Colorado State Historical Fund, Urban Drainage and Flood Control District, City of Aurora and the Trust for Public Land.
Arapahoe County has developed the 17 Mile House Farm Park Master Plan to serve as a guide for future management and development of this open space park.