Sandstone Ranch, a Longmont community gem, sits just off of Highway 119. The sprawling 313 acre site is only a 5 – 10 minute drive from downtown Longmont but its quiet trails, historic facilities, and well-kept parks and recreation areas give visitors the feel of being worlds away from anywhere. Ten years ago, Sandstone Ranch opened its gates to the community of Longmont for use of its ball fields. Owned and operated by the city, Sandstone Ranch now boasts a beautiful four-complex ball park, unique adventure-themed playgrounds with a seasonal spray pad, a two-course multi-pitch skate park, and an educational visitor’s center. The property borders the St. Vrain Greenway and offers Longmont residents a local getaway for a quick afternoon hike. For small gatherings, groups can rent one of the Ranch’s three picnic shelters which currently cost $35 per day or $25 per hour, depending on the shelter. Sandstone Ranch has hosted numerous school and community groups at their facilities over the last several years and has enjoyed the successful community use of the property. Because of that success and at the request of several community members, this spring, the City of Longmont made even more of the Ranch’s facilities available for community use. The Sandstone Ranch’s Visitor and Learning Center, housed in the historic ranch house, is now open for rental to small groups for weddings, business retreats, memorial services, and other small gatherings.
History of the ranch
The building is the original homestead of Morse and Julia Coffin, second-generation Americans who made the long journey west to stake their claim on the land in 1860. Twenty years later, the Coffins and their five children moved out of their log cabin and into their ranch home they built together out of sandstone dug from the hills behind the home.
The ranch house, dedicated as a local landmark by the city of Longmont in 2000, has been used primarily as an educational center for visitors and local school groups since the opening of the historic site.
Currently, interested parties can rent out the second-floor conference room and two small meeting rooms, seating a total of 26 people. The Visitor and Learning Center’s main floor gathering room is also available for rent and is able to seat 50 people in lecture-style seating. Tables and chairs are available for rental at the facility for an additional fee. The pristine outdoor space around the ranch house can accommodate groups of up to 200 people and is available for large tents for dining and dancing. The ranch house offers the use of the original kitchen for catered events, and music that is in keeping with the preservation and quality of the natural environment of the St. Vrain Greenway is also welcome. Parking at the facility is limited, so carpooling is highly encouraged. Rental fees for the facility vary depending on the size and needs of the group, but fees range from $75 to $150 per hour after a $500 deposit. Though the outdoor space is only open from April through October, the historic ranch house is available for rental year round.
Perfect for your community need
Not only is the facility an intimate setting to hold a small conference or family gathering, but the Sandstone Ranch is an inviting space for community classes as well. This summer, Sandstone Ranch will host three different community nights including a folk music night with Flynn and Company, a nature night featuring live raptors, a history night with the Legendary Ladies. Additionally, the Ranch will offer several adult art classes and several family-oriented “Sandstone Saturdays” including a ladybug discovery and release and a wildlife photography class. For a full schedule of class offerings and events, please see longmontcolorado.gov/departments/departments-n-z/parks-open-space-trails/sandstone-ranch/activities-at-sandstone.
Sue Jacobson, Recreation Center Supervisor for the City of Longmont, calls Sandstone Ranch Longmont’s “best hidden jewel.” She says that the place is ideal for nature lovers and that the City of Longmont is very excited to extend this new use of the beautiful Visitor and Learning Center to the community of Longmont. According to Jacobson, many Longmont residents know about Sandstone Ranch because of the ball fields, but many do not know about the wonderful resources available in the Visitor and Learning Center. As a representative for the city of Longmont, Jacobson is glad to see the facility and grounds to be utilized more and for the Sandstone Ranch to be known and valued for more than a just a sports complex. She sees the newly renamed Visitor and Learning Center, in both its new and old capacities, as a new opportunity for the community of Longmont discover and explore the ranch.
-By Zandree Stidham, Longmont Magazine