Watch CBS News

New interactive map aims to help new visitors enjoy and respect Colorado's outdoor spaces

New interactive map aims to help visitors enjoy, respect Colorado outdoors
New interactive map aims to help visitors enjoy, respect Colorado outdoors 02:52

Most weekday mornings at Crown Hill Park in Wheat Ridge can be quiet, but longtime Colorado resident Nancy Hall says it can definitely get busy.

"It's more like on the weekends and holidays, but more in the evenings where people get off work," Hall said. 

She likes to help anyone who wants to find new things at the park. Fish occasionally get stocked in the lake and there are plenty of birds and wildlife around.

"If they ask me questions, I'll answer them," said Hall. "I'll tell them how far the park goes around and what they can be looking at."

But now, it'll be easier for those just discovering open spaces on the Front Range. NoCo Places is an interactive map highlighting all the outdoor activities available.

"This interactive map is targeted to those new visitors," Matt Robbins, community connection officer for Jeffco Open Spaces, explained. "This app would tell you more about the experience you're gonna have and the expectations we'll have of you if you visit.

In a way, the map can be likened to Fodor's Guide for Colorado Parks. It's significantly different than the CoTrex app, which shows recreators trail maps and parking availabilities. NoCo Places is more geared towards explaining to people what their experience at various stops like Crown Hill Park or Brainard Lake might be like.

With so much new foot traffic in outdoor spaces in the last four years, various open space agencies worked together to address the need to educate the populace coming into the state for the first time.

"At the pandemic, when everyone was encouraging, if you're going to go someplace, go outside, we saw a dramatic shift, not only in visitation, but the types of visitors we have coming to our parks," Robbins said.

Each area on the map corresponds to a different piece of education. A pawprint icon will teach you about the wildlife you may find in a certain area and the ethics of being a human in an active habitat. An icon with leaves will teach visitors about "leave no trace" and other ways to be a good steward of the land. Info boxes labeled 'i' are full of tips of what to know before you go. It's all to keep open spaces clean, available and enjoyable for all -- from residents to new travelers.

"It's really important that people know before they go and it's easier said but not often done for new visitors and those coming out of state and that's really where our focus is," Robbins concluded.

While the map is not in mobile app form, you can still find an interactive map online and on a mobile browser.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.