Southeast Colorado Cycling Tourism

QUALITY OF LIFE

“I was struck by the beauty of the land and the collection of the fabulous historic buildings." - Dana Crawford

 
 

Las Animas County is 4,798 square miles in size. It is the largest county in Colorado, and fifth largest in the continental U.S.

The western boundary is the Culebra Range of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The geography of the county is mountainous west of Trinidad, with several cold water lakes. East of the city, you will find the canyons and plains of southeastern Colorado.

There is abundant wildlife (deer, elk, bear, mountain lion, etc.) ideal for wildlife watching, fishing, and hunting. Within the county there are privately owned ranches, as well as state and federally owned public lands.

All of this means Trinidad-Las Animas County provides businesses, residents, and visitors with wide open spaces to enjoy a quality of life that revolves around creativity, heritage, recreation, and great weather.

 
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Trinidad is home to a growing community of artists and entrepreneurs from around the state and beyond, attracted by its affordability and livability.

 

ART & CULTURE

 
 

Trinidad-Las Animas County is a unique mashup of worlds. Rural, industrial and arty, historic and hilly. It has the feel of a European village, with brick-lined streets. Trinidad possesses one of the last intact old west downtowns with old masonry buildings dating back to the late 19th century. Today newly painted murals share wall space with the former outlines of signs for drugstores and furniture makers long gone. It's a hybrid, both edgy and rustic, which is one of the reasons why a growing community of artists from Colorado and beyond are calling it home. With a scene set by architectural treasures, art galleries, museums, and events, there is plenty to enjoy year round in Trinidad-Las Animas County.

El Corazon de Trinidad (“the heart of Trinidad”) National Historic District covers a particularly well-preserved portion of downtown Trinidad that includes many blocks of adobe and brick buildings from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Mine closures and economic decline in the twentieth century ended up saving many of the city’s historic buildings, which have been the target of preservation efforts since the 1960s.

Trinidad Historical Society placed the historic markers and published a walking tour guide to the Corazon De Trinidad National District. Purchase a guide book at the Carnegie Public Library, 202 North Animas, and at the museum and selected shops within the Corazon de Trinidad National Historic District.

A great way to explore the city is on the free Trinidad trolley, which operates from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The trolley leaves just about every daylight hour, on the hour, Monday through Friday from the Colorado Welcome Center. A trolley ride is a fun-filled tour that takes visitors to the main city attractions.

 

Architecture 

 

With impressive historic buildings, brick streets, and meandering alleys, downtown Trinidad is an architectural treasure. Historic markers placed throughout the city, highlight people and places of early Trinidad. View the Victorian architectural jewels of such greats as Bulger and Rapp.

Following the self-guided tours, the map and information below tells about the major buildings and some of the incidents that occurred on the streets of historic Trinidad. The guide describes dates and facts about 42 buildings in the Historic District including Holy Trinity Church, the West (Fox) Theater, Columbian Hotel, Trinidad Water Works and Schneider Brewery and some of the interesting stories behind them. Proceeds from the book's sale benefit the Trinidad Historical Society. Fifteen historical markers are located in the Corazon de Trinidad (Heart of Trinidad) beginning at the northeast corner of West Main and Beech Streets and continuing down Main Street to the southwest corner of East Main and Walnut Streets and down Commercial Street to the west side of the Commercial Street Bridge.

 

Art Galleries

 

Gallery Main/Trinidad Area Art Council

The purpose of TAAC is to promote a cultural, social and economic climate in Trinidad in which the artistic heritage and creativity of all people may find voice. This includes an emphasis on art appreciation and education targeted at the youth at no cost in accordance with the TAAC’s exempt purpose.

TAAC was formed in 1989 as a 501(c)3 non-profit cultural arts center, celebrating the visual, written and performing arts. TAAC continues to offer classes in the arts to children of the community at no charge since the inception of the Summer Youth Arts Academy in 2005.  

TAAC runs Gallery Main for students from the art classes to display their work in a professional setting.

130 E Main Street

Galerie Vivante

Galerie Vivante is the studio/gallery of internationally noted artist Rodney Wood. The gallery also features the work of other artists during special exhibitions.

214 E. Main Street

Trinidad Corazon Gallery

Trinidad Corazon Gallery is a cooperative, professional fine arts gallery, showing a variety of works by talented local artists:  Photography, ceramics, paintings, jewelry and more.  Each artist presents his or her work professionally within the warm and welcoming atmosphere of the gallery.  Depending on which day you visit, you may have an opportunity to meet any one of the numerous artists, who work in the gallery on a regular basis.

Special shows are hosted by the Corazon Gallery, including the TALAS show in April. The Artist of the Month showings give each artist an opportunity to show more of their work in the gallery and to offer special prices on selected works. 

149 E. Main Street

 

Southern Colorado Repertory Theater

 

The SCRT is considered southern Colorado’s theatrical jewel. It produces a professional summer season, a year-round resident season, and youth-oriented programs throughout the year.

Their mission is to bring diverse entertainment and cultural enrichment to southern Colorado as a whole. They seek to provide a link between the educational and artistic elements of our city and provide education and performance opportunities for local residents of all ages.  While serving as an anchor to our continual downtown renovation, the SCRT strives to bolster the local economy by bringing tourism to Trinidad and reinvigorate our local pride.

The goals of SCRT are to:

  • become a nationally recognized professional theatre

  • transform Trinidad's historic downtown district

  • bolster the local economy

  • elevate the quality of life

  • enrich the lives of the area's youth

  • be a launch pad for young and upcoming artists

The SCRT maintains a steadfast belief in collaboration and cooperation, diversity in staffing and theatrical subject matter, cross-generational activities, teamwork and a true sense of ensemble.

 

Museums 

 

Trinidad History Museum

Explore Trinidad’s past its place in the American West at the Trinidad History Museum, which is administered by History Colorado. The museum features several attractions on one block in Trinidad’s acclaimed historic district.

What to see:

Bloom Mansion

Bloom Mansion is being restored by History Colorado and is an example of Second Empire architecture constructed in 1882.

Baca House

In 1873, Felipe and Dolores Baca traded 22,000 pounds of wool for an unusual adobe house built for Santa Fe Trail entrepreneur John Hough. The Baca House boasts two stories, a widow’s walk, and Greek architectural details. Colorful Rio Grande textiles, Victorian furniture, and other period furnishings evoke the lifestyle of this prominent family.

Santa Fe Trail Museum

The Santa Fe Trail Museum displays historic photographs, commercial goods, and family heirlooms from trail days through Trinidad’s heyday at the turn of the century. A fringed buckskin coat that Kit Carson gave to a pioneer mayor is a local treasure.

Barlow Building

Four Doric Columns and Greek Pediment Porch Frame the entrance to the Barglow Building, built in 1906 as a medical office and family apartment. Today the building houses an education classroom and a Creative In Residence live and work space.

Baca-Bloom Heritage Gardens

Colorful Victorian flowers, antique roses and grape vines adorn the Bloom yard where you can relax with a game of croquet. Heirloom herbs and vegetables flourish in the Southwest Kitchen Garden and Annual Ethnic Garden. Native flowers, cacti, and grasses thrive throughout the heritage gardens. This oasis in the city is a Plant Select site featuring water-wise plants certified for Colorado’s climate.

Tribal Paths Online

This online exhibit looks at major events in the history of American Indians in Colorado over the past five centuries, including trade networks; encounters with newcomers; the removal of tribes to reservations; the children’s experience with boarding schools; and the American Indian civil rights movement.  

Louden-Henritze Archaeology Museum

The Louden-Henritze Archaeology Museum is located on the Trinidad State Junior College campus in the Samuel Freudenthal Memorial Library. It offers visitors a unique look at millions of years of the area’s history.

On display are:

  • Early geological formations

  • Plant & marine animal fossils

  • A dinosaur track exhibit

  • Artifacts pertaining to the culture, food, and tools of prehistoric man during excavations in the Trinidad area

  • Winners of the Archaeology Week art competition

Bizarre Car Garage

The growing popularity of the annual Artocade art-car festival, which takes place in September, has lead to the creation of Trinidad’s newest museum. Bizarre CAR Garage, is a year-round art-car museum where tourists can stop and see the rolling works of art instead of motoring past the town on their way elsewhere.

Volunteers staff the garage, and more are always welcome. Stop by the garage or call: 719-334-0087 if you would like to help out. The garage’s staff is working on some fun programs for kids that will fully engage them in art car-related silliness. It’s all a part of having fun, and that’s what Artocade has always been about ever since the first festival weekend in September 2013.

Currently the museum is temporarily housed at 121 E. Main Street, but will be moving into a permanent home at 200 W. Main Street in 2018. It will become part of the Trinidad ArtSpace Space to Create project.

Get more information by visiting the Bizarre CAR Garage Facebook page.

 

Festivals & Events

 

Trinidadio Blues Festival

Join us in August for the Trinidaddio Blues Fest.

Steeped in the traditions of Chicago Blues and New Orleans Trinidaddio’s Line up always provides a powerful mix of artists and an abundance of Talent.

There is also a PreFest Party, free event, that kicks off the weekend held downtown at Main & Commercial Streets.

ArtoCade

Trinidad, Colorado presents the wacky and wondrous Artocade, a family friendly Art Car festival and parade. This event was presented the Governor’s award for best festival in 2015.

On a weekend in September, Trinidad’s historic architecture proudly presides over a very fortunate series of events. An explosion of creative energy in the form of artfully enhanced vehicles.

Cars, motorcycles, bikes, trikes, scooters, tractors, golf carts and rolling conveyances beyond your wildest imagination roam our brick streets. There is a grand autocade & parade along with related art exhibitions, special events, and competitions throughout town.

Come one and all to the largest, funnest, silliest, wonderfullest art event ever to happen in southern Colorado or northern New Mexico.

Calendar

To learn more about events taking place throughout the year, please visit Discover Trinidad.

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COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE

A CSA is a relationship between farmers and community members who pay annual membership fees to help cover the production costs of the farms. In return for being a member, individuals and families receive a weekly "share" of the farm's production during the growing season.

CSAs provide farmers with direct outlets for farm products, strengthen local economies by keeping food dollars in local communities and provide a fun way for producers and buyers to connect.

Trinidad-Las Animas County is tapping into its farming and ranching roots to improve and expand on it's food hub offerings to residents and visitors.

 
 

Earth Mtn Education Farm 

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Earth Mountain Education Farm is a working permaculture farm and recognized Ecovillage.  It is a 501C-3 non-profit organization that is very active in promoting positive social change through initiating dynamic local sustainable community projects.

Philosophy:

Coming to Earth Mountain, you will gain an unforgettable experience in natural simplicity.  To take away the excess in our lives gives us a clear picture of ourselves and the world around us.  Through self-discovery and hands-on experience one can realize the integral role we play within the world, both socially and environmentally.  Learning to live our lives in a more efficient manner will assure that future generations will be able to live healthy and happy lives.  Those equipped with independence, understanding, balance and compassion shall succeed greatly and carry humanity on towards a healthy sustainable future.

 More information →

Trinidad Farmers Market 

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The goals of the Trinidad Farmers Market are to continue increasing the availability and diversification of high-quality local foods and the customer demand for these foods. Contribute to the growth and success of local food growers and producers, while educating the community about local healthy food options for a healthier lifestyle, while providing a setting for community gatherings and shared resources.

Products sold at the Market include: vegetables, fruits, berries, nuts, flowers, plants, honey, meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products.

Seventy-five percent of the products sold are grown, raised produced, or gathered by vendors in the State of Colorado or in Counties bordering the State.

The Trinidad Farmers Market is open June to October.

 More information →

 

Comida Market Co-Op

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Comida Market is a locally owned and operated cooperative (owned & sustained by its members) grocery store. They sell organic and non-organic natural foods, and house a juice/coffee bar, cafe & deli. While membership does have its benefits, we are open to the public.

You'll find it to be a fun and friendly place, staffed by knowledgeable volunteers who share your interest in healthy living and sustainable solutions.

 

 More information →

 

Las Animas County Fair 

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The Las Animas County Fair has been held in July since 1911. It features fun for the entire family, including a variety of food vendors, midway rides, livestock competitions and exhibits, commercial exhibitors selling their wares and music entertainment. The event is supported by the Colorado State University Extension program.

Las Animas County Extension is a local information resource. It is part of a nation-wide system that uses the latest research to help residents learn more about gardening, sustainable living, healthy eating, youth development, fraud prevention, and much more. It’s job is to bring these resources directly to you.

 More information →

 

Education 

In Colorado your child has the option to attend any school in the district (called intra-district choice) or outside the district (called inter-district choice), as long as there is space. Students who attend unsatisfactory schools are given preference. Low-income students in grades 1-8 who attend low-performing schools are eligible for transportation tokens to attend a different school. Students can also attend charter schools. Under the federal No Child Left Behind law, students attending a Title I school designated as "in need of improvement" have the right to attend a higher performing school in the district.

 
 

Trinidad School District#1

What is today Trinidad School District #1 was organized in 1866, ten years prior to Colorado becoming a state, this organization represents the oldest public school district in the State of Colorado. At one time there were 131 other school districts in Las Animas County, all organized beginning in 1872-1932. The original districts in Las Animas County included #5-North Garcia Plaza; #7-Jansen; #14-Riley; #18-Cokedale and Bon Carbo; #30-Central Starkville; #32-Morley; #38-Burro Canyon, Bon Carbo; #42-Sopris; #53-North Starkville; #56-South Starkville; and #63-St. Thomas and Las Animas County High School, which was organized in 1921. Over the years, many of these have become part of District #1.

 More information →

Primero School District #2

Primero School District #2 is located in the southwest corner of Las Animas County west of Trinidad, Colorado. The district is approximately twenty miles wide and fifteen miles long with a total area of 300 square miles. The Purgatoire River and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains are two distinctive geographical features of the district. The population is primarily located near the Purgatoire on Colorado Highway 12 which runs parallel to the river. The remainder of the population live in the surrounding canyons.

 More information →

 

Hoehne School District #3

Hoehne School District is nestled at the base of the foothills northeast of Trinidad. It is a K-12 public school that has the advantage of small class sizes, a supportive educational team and the tools to advance and prepare their students for success. They pride themselves as being “the center of educational excellence.”

 More information →

 
 
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Branson School District #82

Branson School is a public pre-K through 12th grade school located in the small town of Branson, Colorado. It has a long heritage of academic excellence and community involvement that began in the 1930s, and photo montages of each graduating class since then decorate the main hall of the high school building. Fueled by a rich past, it is future-minded by providing cutting-edge technology for their student, creating an online school to reach across Colorado, opening students’ horizons through a variety of extracurricular opportunities.

 More information →

 

Established in 1925, Trinidad State Junior College was the first community college in Colorado. With campuses in Trinidad and Alamosa, Colorado, they provide an affordable and accessible education to students in southern Colorado and beyond.

Trinidad State offers unique academic programs in fields such as Aquaculture, Cosmetology, Welding, Nursing and Massage Therapy. They also have an Electrical Line Technician program as well as Nursing, Art, Theater, and Machining in addition to traditional Arts and Sciences classes and a guaranteed transfer program through a partnership with four-year colleges and universities in Colorado. They are also home to one of the first, and by most accounts, the premier Gunsmithing School in the United States.

More information →

Real Estate

Trinidad-Las Animas County features a variety of living possibilities, ranging from deluxe country homes on acreages to older Victorian homes on tree-lined streets to simple apartment efficiency apartments. Trinidad has 13 apartment complexes with units to rent.

A limited number of residential lots are available with an average lot size of 6,000 square feet. Prices vary depending upon surrounding neighborhood areas and proximity to utility services.

Since 2015, there has been a strong demand for commercial and residential real estate in Trinidad-Las Animas County. According to local professionals, 2016 real estate sales soared above those the year before. In 2016 there were 220 home sales in the county, the most in over a decade, generating $32,980,307 in volume for an average sale price of $146,918. These numbers represent a 53% increase in residential sales, and 84% increase in total volume, and a 22% increase in average sale price. 

This upward trend is also being seen in the commercial real estate statistics as well. In 2010, there were no commercial sales in Trinidad-Las Animas County. 2013 saw two, and in 2014 that jumped to 16. By 2015 the county recorded 21 commercial sales, and 2016 saw that number go up to 24.

The City of Trinidad 2017 Comprehensive Plan has identified Reinvestment and Growth Areas within a 3 mile radius of the city for encouraging real estate development, while also acknowledging a Future Land Use Plan.

 
 

Reinvestment Areas

In these areas, the forces of change are strong, with the need to reverse the process of decline with new development. Reinvestment areas are characterized by high levels of infill development and investment potential. Actions in these areas should focus on strengthening downtown vitality, target infrastructure improvements to help facilitate redevelopment and stimulate private and public sector investment with a focus on high quality, mixed-use development. The redevelopment aspects could include such techniques as the clearing and rebuilding of areas, the use or reuse of lands for new or different purposes, or rehabilitation of buildings for different uses.  

Growth Areas

These areas are characterized by high concentration of undeveloped land where the use of land is in the process of major change, primarily from vacant or rural character to more intensive urban, agro-industrial, and tourism mixed-use land uses. These areas offer the most opportunity for new developments but would require targeted infrastructure improvements to facilitate growth.

 

Future Land Use

The Future Land Use Plan embodies the community vision, illustrating the desired mix, character, and location of future land uses by identifying the distribution of residential (low to high density), parks and recreation, open/rural, mixed use, civic/public, commercial, tourist mixed use, and industrial uses, as well as opportunity areas.

Utilities

The City of Trinidad, which provides the bulk of utility service required by business and industry in the area, has planned well for the needs of an expanding community. Trinidad supplies water, waste treatment, natural gas, and electricity as well as refuse pickup. San Isabel Power Cooperative serves the Trinidad Industrial Park and a majority the surrounding rural areas.

 

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RECREATION 

Trinidad-Las Animas County is one big playground to pursue a host of recreational activities including camping, fishing, hunting, motorcycling, off-roading, snow sports, trail sports, wheel sports, and wildlife viewing. Las Animas County offers residents and visitors with the opportunity to enjoy parks and open spaces under uncrowded conditions, providing access to healthy lifestyle in the Colorado outdoors.

Public Land

Las Animas County contains a microcosm of almost all that is astounding about Colorado. Stretches of plains rise up slowly to the snow-capped peaks of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, with narrow valleys, and mountain streams and lakes.

The Front Range, or eastern face, of the Rocky Mountains is what Colorado most people see when passing through Trinidad. However, in exploring Las Animas County, you'll marvel at the mind-boggling views, deer browsing in mountain meadows, or incredible fishing.

Public land in Las Animas County also offer an intriguing glimpse of the past. Fossils mark where dinosaurs roamed; ancient ruins and petroglyphs dot the canyons and tablelands; and historic mining towns nestle in steep-sided valleys.

The Plains have relatively little public lands, although there are state and federally managed areas that provide a number of excellent wildlife viewing or hunting areas.

 

 
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City of Trinidad

Trinidad has a large network of informal trails to develop open space parks. The city has begun taking steps to develop trails in and around Trinidad that serve the recreational needs of visitors and residents.

These efforts are laid out in the 2015 Trinidad Trails and Greenways Master Plan, which created the objectives of creating connections between trail systems, trails and downtown, along with incorporating new trails into the existing system. All of this will be accomplished by improving access and signage to existing trails, and the creation of an identity for the city’s trail network.

 
 
 

Open Space Parks (Developed)
Boulevard Nature Park
Wormhole
Simpsons Rest
Purgatoire River Walk
Monument Lake
 

Open Space Parks (Undeveloped) 
Acreage - TBD
 

City Parks
Trinidad Golf Course
Trinidad Disc Golf Course
Trinidad Skatepark
Central Park
Kit Carson Park
Cimino Park
Waggin' Tails Dog Park
Los Ninos Soccer
Trinidad Community Center
Southside Baseball Park
Family Aquatic Center
Programs
Adult Sports/Fitness
Youth Sports

 

Colorado Parks & Wildlife

Colorado Parks and Wildlife manages 1 state park and 5 state wildlife areas in Las Animas County which host a number of recreational programs for residents and visitors. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

U.S. Forest Service

The Pike and San Isabel National Forests & Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands (PSICC) make up the most diverse forest throughout the five-state Rocky Mountain Region, covering three million acres.

The Forest Service works within local communities across the landscape to successfully provide recreation opportunities, ecosystem services and resource production on these public lands.