Philip S. Miller Park
Construction on the adventurous Philip S. Miller Park began in summer 2013. Now, this regional tourist destination truly has something for everyone. The 300-acre park includes the Millhouseevents center, an outdoor amphitheater, the Miller Activity Complex fieldhouse, the Challenge Hilloutdoor staircase, an adventure playground and an interconnected trail network. Through a public-private partnership with Castle Rock Zip Line Tours, ziplines and adventure courses also exist.
Place for community celebration
Philip S. Miller Park has already proven itself as an invaluable community asset through the many family-friendly events it hosts. From the free concert series, which began in 2016, to the new offerings of the Millhouse event center and outdoor Amphitheater – in which 60+ annual weddings, graduations, reunions, celebrations of life, corporate meetings, ultramarathons, cycling races and more take place – the park serves as a true hub for community celebration. The Amphitheater and Millhouse also include the events pavilion, stunning pond and water feature, accessible concrete trails, additional parking and scenic landscaping.
Trails and amenities
The 8-mile native-surface trail network consists of single-track trails divided into four different, but interconnected, loops. An additional 1 mile of paved accessible trail also circles the park. The trail's shinning jewel is the 200-step Challenge Hill. Rising 178-feet in elevation, it's a lot tougher than it seems, but the views at the top are hard to beat.
The 2.5-acre Adventure Playground features a 40-foot long slide and many unique play options that blend seamlessly with the natural terrain, Gambel Oak and Ponderosa Pines. A full size synthetic-turf field, concrete pathways, parking and lighting sit adjacent to the playground.
The second phase of construction added The Plaza which houses picnic pavilions, restrooms, a splash pad, plaza area, outdoor fireplace, play features and landscaping. The restrooms, and outdoor fireplaces are operational from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. The splash pad is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. seasonally.
The Miller Activity Complex (MAC)
The MAC boasts an impressive indoor aquatics center with four lap lanes, a winding water slide, a zero-entry section with smaller slide, water table and a vortex whirlpool that simulates rushing currents of water. Adults and kids alike can also play video golf on a 18-hole simulator using real clubs and a life-size projection screen or take a swing at the plate in the indoor batting cages.
Residents and nonresidents alike enjoy the park's adventure components. Nearly 80 percent of Castle Rock Zip Line Tours’ revenue comes from those who live outside Castle Rock. 2017 brought 25,000 thrill-seeking visitors; 500 residents and dozens of local businesses who participated in team-building activities. The privately managed operation features a zip line course with 10 lines stretched throughout the park's ridgelines; the Epic Adventure Tower allows users to scale a 40-foot climbing wall, zip and jump from a 40-foot platform or choose to freefall from a 70-foot platform while protected by state-of-the-art auto belay devices; and the Epic Sky Trek, an amazing three level challenge course includes 110+ elements that moves through green, blue and black challenges, including Ninja Warrior elements.
Visitation and general information
In its first year, Philip S. Miller Park saw over 1 million visitors; trail counters show more than 30,000 monthly visits to the adventure-obstacle Challenge Hill. The Miller Activity Complex, featured in Parks & Rec Business magazine, generated 5,600+ hours of field reservations and experienced 105% cost recovery; these revenues exceeded the projections in the Fieldhouse Feasibility Study completed during planning.
Starburst Award received for the Philip S. Miller Park Adventure Playground and Trail System Project!!
The Parks and Recreation Department received a Starburst Award from the Colorado Lottery for the Philip S. Miller Park Adventure Playground and trail system project. The award recognizes project excellence in the use of Lottery proceeds for community and conservation projects. Winners are chosen based on the creativity of the project, the economic and social impact on the community, and whether the project achieved its goal.
A local parks and recreation grant was awarded to the Town in 2013 from Great Outdoors Colorado, a Lottery beneficiary, for the construction of the playground and soft-surface trails at the park. The trails have been open since fall 2014 but construction of the playground was completed and opened for public use in spring 2015. Projects completed within the past three years using Lottery proceeds are eligible for this award from the Colorado Lottery.
This will be the Town’s third Starburst Award recognition from the Colorado Lottery. Previous awards were for the Quarry Mesa acquisition in 2008 and the East Plum Creek Trail (phase four) in 2009. Castle Rock is among 19 other Colorado communities who received the award this year.