Ask anyone in town what they like most about Greeley, and they’ll inevitably mention the many parks around the city. There are nearly 45 community and neighborhood parks in Greeley, Colorado, each with its own character and amenities to explore and experience. But with so many to choose from, you may wonder where to begin. Never fear; that’s what we’re here for!
Whether you’re looking for a perfect picnic place, an energizing stroll in nature, or the ultimate playground, consider us experts: We polled families, visitors, and the City of Greeley’s Parks staff to help us put together an expert list of the top parks in Greeley, Colorado.
Glenmere Park and Wildlife Sanctuary
A favorite place for picture-taking, family reunions, weddings, and more, Glenmere is one of Greeley’s oldest and most popular parks. Glenmere Park’s design is based on the City Beautiful movement of the 1900s, where trees weren’t planted in straight lines in order to leave the best views open from the traditional grid block neighborhood layout. Today, the mature stand of trees, gurgling creek, and two ponds provide a rich habitat for wildlife, including reptiles, ducks, geese, turtles, owls, and several rare birds. This is why a two-acre strip was dedicated as a wildlife sanctuary in 1974.
Have a picnic, stroll on a nature trail, and experience more of Greeley’s public art while you’re there. Many unique and distinct homes dating back to the 1930s to 1960s encircle Glenmere Park—a plus for those keen on architecture and historic buildings.
“Glenmere is my favorite park because of all the large trees and diversity in tree species. The park has a lot of spaces that are like rooms for different activities.” —Jim, Parks Maintenance Technician, City employee for 23 years
Named after President Abraham Lincoln, Lincoln Park is one of very few remaining sites constructed during the Union Colony’s first year. (In case you didn’t know, Greeley used to be called Union Colony.) It represents the colonists’ belief that a central public plaza is essential to the health and vitality of residents. The original park included two lakes, Luna Lake and Auricular Lake, and lots of trees. Due to problems with mosquitos and flooding, the lakes went away, but the 10-acre park and its many trees remain.
Lincoln Park has historically been the site of many annual events, ranging from the Arts Picnic and OktoBREWfest to holiday lighting festivities and concerts. Check out the “bee-hive” fountain at the south end of the park; it was once fed by an early Artesian well. If you look closely, you can see various memorabilia attached to the fountain that were supplied by the early settlers, including seashells from Maine and trinkets from Colorado Springs. There is also a petrified snake!
The music-themed playground at the northwest corner is across the street from Greeley’s Union Colony Civic Center. It’s a great place to burn some energy and inspire the next Mozart.
Josephine B. Jones Park and Open Space
Nestled between a bedroom suburb in western Greeley and U.S. Highway 34, Josephine B. Jones offers 37 acres of natural grasses and 2.55 miles of walking paths. Ms. Jones donated the park and open space, known as ‘JB Jones’ by locals, to the City of Greeley with one condition – that it remains in its natural state. Her home on the park’s eastern edge is now the headquarters of the Greeley Forestry Office.
Runners appreciate the park’s soft trails and low volume of people. Two public art sculptures are on site, including four giant “Sunflowers” and a kinetic metal bicycle named “Greeley Sweethearts.” There is a fishing pond, as well as a playground scheduled for a refresh in 2023. The renovated structure will double the playground’s size and give residents a new, innovative place to play.
“The soils are so good that trees thrive here. It has a native and active landscape combination that is conservation-minded.” —Shiloh, Greeley Forestry Manager, City employee for 27 years
Woodbriar Park is nature at its best.
Thanks to a $2.5 million project in 2017-2019 to reduce flooding, the neighborhood around Woodbriar Park can now experience a place of many firsts. In renovating the park, city employees needed to down about 20 trees. Fifty new trees were planted, and the old trees were incorporated into the first installation of a nature playground in Greeley. Visitors can now climb stumps and logs to get to the top of slides, enjoy climbing walls, and play on the swings.
Features at the park also include looped walking trails, a sand volleyball court, a unique amphitheater and shelter facility, native plants, and interactive water play, including an old-fashioned-style water pump. Another first is an environmental art plaza celebrating Greeley’s history as a responsible water manager in the arid west. The plaza features a Parshall flume, slide gate, and diversion runnels that you can operate and impact the flow of Cottonwood Creek.
“My favorite, and my kids’ favorite, is Woodbriar. They love catching crawdads in the stream, there is room to play in the grass, the circle trail is great for learning to ride a bike, and the hills on the west side make for good sledding in the winter. There are some good trees to climb as well.” —Josh, Parks Crew Supervisor, City employee for 10 years
Island Grove Regional Park
Looking for a place that might have it all? It’s right here in Greeley at Island Grove Regional Park.
Beginning as a camping spot for Ute and Arapahoe tribes, Island Grove was a Native American burial ground, a hospital in the 1900s, and once housed a zoo. (Did you know that many zoo animals ate grain grown at Bittersweet Park before it was a park?) It was also the location of Greeley’s first City Hall, at what’s now called the Bunkhouse.
If you visit Island Grove now, you’ll find a hub of activity from concerts to quinceañeras, dog shows to derbies, and sports to a splash park. While there, check out the all-inclusive and popular playground at Aven’s Village. Fun for all ages and abilities, the playground features simple ziplines, a variety of styles of swings, plenty of climbing equipment, and a misting station for hot summer days.
Island Grove is the perfect place to jump on the Poudre River Trail, connecting you to more than 20 miles of paved pathway that stretches across the city and on to Windsor, Colorado. And, if you are looking for more Greeley history, you can drop by Centennial Village Living History Museum right next door.
One of our favorite features? The gigantic dog at the entrance. He’s the perfect pup for a family pic. (Speaking of your four-legged friends, what if we asked them which park is their favorite? We bet Rover Run Dog Park, Greeley’s first dog park, or Waggin’ Tail Dog Park would top the list. Visit both and see which one they would pick. Woof!)
Are you still looking for the ultimate playground? You’re in luck. In 2023, Greeley will see a new playground at Centennial Park and refreshed playgrounds at Sanborn Park, Farr Park, and Josephine B. Jones. And be sure to check out Greeley’s newest park and playground, Longview Park. Learn more at Greeleygov.com/Parks or share feedback about upcoming renovations at SpeakUpGreeley.com.