Play it safe at South Suburban!

Thank you for being a loyal and supportive patron of South Suburban Parks and Recreation. We appreciate your patience and understanding during our closures due to COVID-19.

South Suburban wants you to play it safe! Several of our facilities are opening in accordance with the Safer at Home guidelines. Learn more at

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

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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

See Current South Platte River Flow at C470 Boat Chute
River Flow and Floating explanation:

  • 50 cfs and below:  River too low, floating not allowed
  • 50 – 600 cfs: Good for families, lifevests recommended, less experienced should scout or portage boat chutes
  • 600 – 2200 cfs: Experienced floaters only, lifevests recommended, scout or portage all rapids
  • 2200 +:  River may be closed to all uses except whitewater vessels

Groups of 15 or more, or if participants are paying a fee, may require a River Use Permit - Contact the Park Manager, Skot Latona at 303.303.730.1022 or
Always Play It Safe! in all river activities.

Nature Center Hours

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

South Platte Park Hours:
sunrise - sunset

Programs supported in part by:

Life is more colorful with SCFD

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