We started at the trailhead at 12:40pm, intending to take a 4.75 mile loop hike to visit the two remaining ponds at Mueller State Park I’d yet to visit: Cahill and Rule Creek Ponds. As you can see from the photo of the route we took above, we got a little off tack, but only for about 1/3 of a mile. The trails at Mueller are wonderfully market with numbers. Unfortunately the post for the switch off said Trail 17 went left and right. Since we were looking for 34 we were confused (until we came to 32 and noticed our mistake). The positive part of this blunder was I got an extra 2/3 of a mile in (making it over a 5 mile hike), and the way back was all uphill! Woot!
I don’t know much about the history of Mueller except it was Homesteaded in 1870, then passed through several families (cattle ranchers) until the Mueller Family bought it as a game preserve. It became a Colorado State Park in 1990. There were no clear signs indicating who this home belonged to, but it couldn’t have been that old as it had a concrete foundation and evidence of glass windows.
The building was dilapidated and had a “keep out” sign. It was obvious the roof had caved in some time ago (and was littering the floor, along with barbed wire. I didn’t go inside.
It was pretty close to Cahill Pond, so I’m assuming maybe it belonged to the Cahill Family?
Directly to the East of Cahill Pond is a large meadow. I couldn’t help but stop and take a picture of the grass and rolling hills.
There was another building located inside an Aspen grove just before the Cheesman Ranch trail. It looked to be an old hay loft and root cellar.
Rule Creek Pond lined Highway 67, and we came upon it almost accidentally. I’ve seen it from the road frequently, but never realized it was a Mueller State Park Pond.
The rest of the trail followed a service road. The trail was pretty to look at, but I noticed some of the leaves were already starting to change color! It’s only August 20th: way too early for the leaves to change!
Completing this hike means I’ve now visited all the ponds in Mueller State Park, most of which you need to hike at least 3 miles round trip to see:
- Rule Creek Pond
- Cahill Pond
- Peak View Pond
- Geer Pond
- Lost Pond
- Dragonfly Pond
- Rock Pond
- Brook Pond
- Never/Never Pond
- School Pond