Parks and Recreation

Check out our NRPA Gold Medal Award application!

The National Recreation and Park Association's National Gold Medal Award celebrates communities throughout the United States that demonstrate excellence in long-range planning, resource management and innovative approaches to delivering superb park and recreation services with fiscally sound business practices.

The Town of Castle Rock was selected as a finalist in the Class IV (population 30,001 - 75,000) category. The Town, along with three other Class IV finalists, must develop and share a short video that helps support the information provided in the National Gold Medal Award application.

Take a moment to view the things that make Castle Rock Parks and Recreation unique and outstanding!

About us

Castle Rock is known for its small-town charm, family-friendly community events and abundant parks, open space and trails. Established in 1977, the Parks and Recreation Department served a population of merely 2,000. Through robust community planning, nearly 65,000 residents now enjoy 87 miles of trails, 50 well-planned parks - including the reimagined Festival Park - and more than 6,000 acres of open space that define the region’s most prominent features. 

According to recent U.S. Census data, Castle Rock is the 7th fastest growing city in America, which tasks the Department with being a dynamic, progressive agency. We achieve community-driven strategic direction using interactive planning as our foundation. 2017 Community Survey results documented that maintaining strong parks and recreation services is nearly equal to ensuring public safety as the top strategic initiative. National publications like Money magazine, American City and County and others have listed Castle Rock as a great place to live and raise a family, and Douglas County is the second healthiest community in the nation. 

The annual operating and capital budget for the department is approximately $18 million. Staff consists of 55 full-time employees and nearly 500 seasonal employees. In addition to parks, open space and trails, the department manages a robust volunteer program, two full-service recreation facilities, a maintenance service center, a championship golf course, a state-licensed preschool, inline hockey and tennis courts, a disc-golf course, natural and synthetic-turf athletic fields, indoor and outdoor pools and three splash pads. Beginning last fall, residents are now able to enjoy the reimagined Festival Park at the heart of Downtown Castle Rock. 

Each year, we host hundreds of special events, cultural opportunities, programs and activities for families, youth and adults. Through partnerships, we offer zip lines and adventure courses at Philip S. Miller Park and recreational opportunities at the Rueter-Hess Reservoir. We strive to ensure all have access to recreation through our Adaptive Recreation and scholarship programsand promote health and wellness through high-quality fitness programming, equipment, personal training options and self-directed recreation opportunities. 

Stay up-to-date

Sign up for Castle Rock Parks and Recreation email newsletters, check out upcoming events and public meetings on our calendar, research project updates, or check out what's new

The Parks and Recreation Commission typically meets the third Wednesday of each month at 5 p.m. at the Millhouse at Philip S. Miller Park, 1381 W. Plum Creek Parkway. 

The Castle Rock Parks and Trails Foundation works to enhance Castle Rock's parks, trails and recreational spaces. We believe these amenities make Castle Rock unique, and as a community, we can make our recreational spaces even better.

The Public Art Commission identifies priorities and goals concerning the acquisition of art for public buildings and parks within the Town. Appointees shall be residents and / or artists in the metro community. Meetings are typically held the second Thursday of each month at Town Hall, 100 N. Wilcox St.

Named Best of the Best by Colorado Community Media

  • Best Family Entertainment - the MAC
  • Best Hiking/Biking Trail - Ridgeline Open Space
  • Best Park - Philip S. Miller Park 
  • Best Kids Summer Camps - Rock Rec Camp
  • Best Swimming Lessons - Castle Rock Recreation
  • Best Swimming Pool / Waterpark - the MAC
  • Best Workout / Fitness Center - Castle Rock Recreation Center
Best of the Best 2018 logo

2015 CAPRA Accreditation

The Department was accredited in 2015. The Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) recognizes park and recreation agencies for excellence in operation and service. Charged with providing high-quality services and experiences, park and recreation agencies across the United States turn to CAPRA Accreditation as a credible and efficient means of achieving these goals, while providing assurance to the public that the agency meets national standards of best practice.

2012 National Gold Medal Winner 

The National Recreation and Park Association Gold Medal Award honors communities nationwide that demonstrate excellence in long-range planning, resource management and agency recognition. Each agency is judged on its ability to address the needs of those it serves through the collective energies of residents, staff and elected officials.