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.


NOTICE!  The South Platte Park Management Plan is undergoing its periodic review before the public, the Littleton City Council, and the South Suburban Board of Directors.  A public meeting will be held Dec 15, from 6 - 8 pm to collect comments and input from the public, at the Carson Nature Center, 3000 W Carson Dr.  Littleton, CO  80120.  You can review the 2016 proposed draft plan, which calls out recommended changes.  Comments can also be emailed to the Park Manager, Skot Latona at    The current (2009) version of the plan is available here

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 us!

Application for Volunteering


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Carson Nature Center
(north of Mineral, west of Santa Fe)
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: