Rabbit Mountain Open Space is located east of Lyons, Colorado. From Longmont or I-25, take CO-66 west, turn right on North 53rd Street, and follow it 2.9 miles to the trail head on the right. On CO-66, 53rd street and the park are not well marked so you have gone too far if you get to US-36. Primary activities include mountain biking, horseback riding, hiking, and hiking with leashed dogs. Camping and motorized vehicles are not allowed in the park. Parking is free and includes restrooms and enough space for horse trailers but does not include water fountains. Cell phone service was strong while in the park.
Rabbit Mountain Open Space has 5.6 miles of multi-use trail. The first 0.5 miles of trail connects to the three main trails: Eagle Wind, Overlook, and Indian Mesa. The park is unique because it includes a transition from prairie to montane ecosystems. Wildlife at the park includes prairie dogs, deer (white-tailed and mule), hawks, coyotes, golden eagles, and bobcats. Further, rattlesnakes can be seen from March to October. In addition, seasonal closures from February through July can be in effect to protect nesting birds but do not affect trail use. The first 0.5 miles is a mildly rocky 200 foot climb from 5,500 to 5,700 feet; as can been seen in the following picture.
Eagle Wind trail is 2.0 mile loop with 0.5 miles of trail leading up to the loop. The ride on Eagle Wind totals 3.0 miles with less than 200 feet gain in elevation; from 5,700 to 5,850 feet. From the trail head, the total round trip ride is 4.0 miles with 350 feet in elevation gain. The trail is level to start and then turns right up a long straight hill.
The following picture was taken looking west and highlights how surprisingly scenic Rabbit Mountain is considering how far east it lies.
Eagle Wind trail is a loop than runs along the top of a ridge so views in all directions are visible and include the continental divide and Longs Peak.
The Eagle Wind trail has nothing exceptional about it (e.g, grade, rocks, switchbacks) but at 3.0 miles it is long enough to generate a substantial cardio workout. I rode Eagle Wind after a long ride at Hall Ranch so my fatigue from Rabbit Mountain may be overstated.
The Eagle Wind trail only has a few sections of trail that are smooth but the rocky sections contain small rocks so the ride was not too bumpy on my fully rigid mountain bike. The following picture shows the rockiest section of trail and includes some of the flora: Plains Prickly Pear Cactus, Rocky Mountain Ponderosa Pine, and True Mountain Mahogany.
Returning to the trail head is a fast descent that is mildly rocky and includes a few switchbacks.
In sum, Rabbit Mountain Open Space is a small park that includes short, fun trails that are ideal for frequent visits after work or class. Check out our list of other Colorado mountain bike trails along the Front Range.