South Platte Park Carson Nature Center

South Platte Park is a natural oasis within the city featuring 880 acres of open space along the South Platte River and Mary Carter Greenway Trail

Visitors can fish for small-mouth bass and trout in the five lakes; kayak through gentle water or rapids in the river; cycle or run the regional trail, or walk on miles of natural surface trails.

At the Carson Nature Center, re-create the area’s famous 1965 flood at the interactive Water Table or observe live animals in the Center’s museum. Outdoors, search for hundreds of species of wildlife close to home.

Spend a couple hours or an entire day exploring Colorado nature, just a few steps from home.

Programs & Classes

South Platte Park offers programs guided by interpretive naturalists for a variety of ages and interests.  Join us for campfire programs, moonlight walks, school break camps, adult education, and much more!


Our staff are professionally certified through the National Association for Interpretation.  Want to know more about our qualifications to lead you and your children in your nature experience?  Check out our staff profiles.


Volunteers assist in the management of South Platte Park in many capacities from guiding programs to caring for trails or helping in the Nature Center. Find out more by visiting our Volunteer Page.  For the latest edition of our Volunteer Update newsletter with dates of projects and more details, email Skot at

Apply to Volunteer


Sign up for our newsletter, Nature News, either an email version or a mailed printed copy.

Articles published in the National Association for Interpretation’s Legacy Magazine Elise Mulder’s article

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Carson Nature Center
(N of Mineral Ave, W of Santa Fe Dr)
3000 W Carson Drive
Littleton, CO 80120

South Platte Park Supervisor
Skot Latona

Park Hours

Sunrise to Sunset

Parking Map pdfWeekend Parking pdf

Current South Platte River Flow at C470 Boat Chute

Nature Center Hours

Tue - Fri: 12 - 4:30 pm
Sat - Sun: 9:30 am - 4:30 pm
Closed Mondays and Holidays.



Programs Supported in Part By: