17 Mile House Farm Park
- ADA Accessible
- Outdoor Classroom
- Pedestrian Use
- Picnic Areas
- Public Parking
- Trail Access
COVID-19 Update: We look forward to hosting a series of 17 Mile House Open House events in 2021, including educational programming held outdoors and small tours of 17 Mile House. View the schedule. While the house is closed at this time other than Open House events, visitors are welcome to walk around the farm area and enjoy the property.
Residents can step back in time during a visit to 17 Mile House, a 155-year old farm which served as an important resting stop for pioneers traveling on the Cherokee/Smoky Hill wagon trails in the 1860’s.
This County-designated heritage area includes a historic house, red barn, silo and milk shed, which were restored to their known condition in the early 1900's, as well as two historic windmills and 30 acres of open space. The Farm Park also features a trailhead connecting to the Cherry Creek Regional Trail, picnic tables, a parking lot and restroom.
The property is situated between the 75-acre Norton Farm Open Space owned by the Town of Parker and the 107-acre Parker Jordan/Centennial Open Space.
Photography is allowed at the 17 Mile House Farm Park.
- Please stay on the paths to protect the landscape.
- Dogs are allowed but must remain on a leash.
- Please dispose of trash properly.
- Photographers should not block or limit access of the site to the public.
Note: Access to 17 Mile can be closed off due to maintenance or tours without advanced notice.
Weddings and Events
The site and buildings are not currently available for rental use by the public.
- History Colorado, State Historical Fund: Provided grant funding to support historic structure assessments for the 17 Mile House and the Barn. Grant funding also partially supported the rehabilitation/restoration of the 17 Mile House.
- Colorado Historical Foundation: Supports the ongoing monitoring and management of the façade easement on the property’s historic buildings.
- Cherry Creek Valley Historical Society: Supports operations of the facility by offering tours of the house and historical programming.
- Cherry Creek Stewardship Partners: Offer outdoor education experiences to our community along the Cherry Creek.
- Town of Parker: Supports the ongoing monitoring of the property’s conservation easements.
History and Master Plan
The 17 Mile House has a long and significant history. When the 1859-1860 gold rush resulted in large-scale settlement of the state, a series of inns emerged along Cherry Creek to accommodate travelers and freighters.
These 'mile houses' were located every 2-3 miles along the Cherokee/Smoky Hill wagon trails from Kansas, all named based on their distance to the intersection of Colfax and Broadway.
Upon arrival, travelers could get a meal, spend the night, rest their animals and have minor repairs made to their coaches or wagons. Out of the original six mile houses, only 17 Mile House and 4 Mile House exist in their entirety today.
With arrival of the railroad in 1882, pioneer traffic along the wagon trails ended, and so did the need for mile houses. But the name stuck. For over 100 years, hard-working Coloradans lived on the land at 17 Mile House.
In 2001, nine entities collaborated to preserve this valuable piece of Colorado history and provide an open space area for the public to enjoy. Partners included Arapahoe County, Douglas County, Town of Parker, Great Outdoors Colorado, Gates Family Foundation, Colorado State Historical Fund, Urban Drainage and Flood Control District, City of Aurora and the Trust for Public Land.
Arapahoe County has developed the 17 Mile House Farm Park Master Plan to serve as a guide for future management and development of this open space park.
Volunteering at 17 Mile House
Volunteers lead tours, interpret historical and natural history, and provide hands-on experiences. The property provides a family friendly connection to an 1860's farm. Volunteers also create interpretive displays, maintain the grounds, care for the historic collection of artifacts and keep the house clean for visitors. Download the 17 Mile House volunteer flier.
SIGN UP to volunteer.