Colorado Springs, CO

Starsmore: A Free Visitor and Nature Center in a Historic Colorado Springs Home

Colorado Jill

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Photo by the author

(Colorado Springs, CO) The Starsmore Visitor and Nature Center is where history and nature meet.

The center is in a historic home, built in 1922 by William Starsmore and his son, James (Jim), which sits at the entrance of North Cheyenne Cañon Park in southwest Colorado Springs.

The stone structure is one hundred years old and originally sat at the NW corner of Nevada Avenue and Cheyenne Road.

In 1989, McDonald's bought the Starsmore property, and the house was temporarily re-located.

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Starsmore House in Colorado SpringsPhoto by the author

The Colorado Springs Parks and Recreation Department acquired the historic home a year later. It took three days to move the 200-ton structure three miles to its current location at the park entrance.

It is no small task to move a large house, and there are photos of the impressive journey at the visitor center. Read more about the Starsmore family and the home's history here.

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Starsmore Nature and Visitor CenterPhoto by the author

The beautiful two-story house is now an education center with interactive, family-friendly displays about birds, butterflies, wildlife, and nature. There are children's books, puzzles, a coloring station, and a sand table with animal track stamps to entertain and educate younger visitors.

Adults will enjoy reading the history of the area and browsing the displays. There is also a bird-watching window with several bird feeders that attract many feathered friends.

The free nature center can be enjoyed in less than an hour, and it is a nice first stop before hiking. The facility has trail maps, restrooms, and a water fill station.

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Starsmore Nature TrailPhoto by the author

Outside the center is a Hummingbird Garden and a short nature trail through a mostly shaded area next to a flowing creek. A perfect place for a summer picnic.

For those interested in a moderately challenging, longer hike, the Columbine Trail starts behind the visitor center and climbs about four miles up to Helen Hunt Falls, a popular tourist destination for over a century. Read more about Helen Hunt Falls here.

The Starsmore Nature and Visitor Center is a short drive from downtown Colorado Springs and a relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Step into a historic home to learn about the area and then experience it first-hand on a nature hike.

  • Location: 2120 South Cheyenne Cañon Road, Colorado Springs, 80906
  • Hours: The Visitor Center is open daily in the summer (Memorial Day through Labor Day) from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. During the spring, fall, and winter, the center is open Wednesday through Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and closed Monday and Tuesday.
  • Admission is free
  • Website

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Colorado Springs, CO
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