WeeCasa Is Your Basecamp To The Rockies, And A Full Nature Experience
This side of the Great Divide, Lyons is the only gateway to the Rocky Mountain National Park and all its glory in between. Area recreation includes mountain biking, hiking, camping, fly fishing, climbing and excellent class II-V whitewater kayaking.
Lyons is bordered by Hall Ranch Open Space and Heil Valley Ranch Open Space. Hall Ranch provides over 12 miles of multi-use trails and consists of 3,206 acres of back country. Heil Valley Ranch consists of 4,923 acres of back country. Trails are open to hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians. Picture Rock Trail opened in September 2008, connecting Heil Valley Ranch trails to Lyons and to Hall Ranch trails. Picture Rock is 5.5 miles and well designed and built by volunteers. The north end of Picture Rock is at Red Gulch Road, then Old St Vrain Road and Highway 7 lead to the Hall Ranch Trailhead or Lyons. The south end of Picture Rock is 4.5 miles from the Heil Ranch Trailhead off Lefthand Canyon. Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park are a short 30 minute drive up US 36 or Highway 7.
World Class Mountain Biking
Hall Ranch has something for just about everyone. The most commonly ridden trail (Bitterbrush) has a challenging technical Rock Garden that only fit expert riders can clean bottom to top. The Nelson Loop up top has some beautiful views of the Arapahoe range and Longs Peak in addition to beautiful, flowy singletrack. Intermediate riders can find some suitable terrain by starting on the Antelope Trail, that also leads to the Nelson trail, but bypasses the technical Rock Garden on Bitterbrush. Check out Redstone Cyclery while you’re here!
Music and Festivals
Two major concerts in Lyons are held at Planet Bluegrass (across the street from WeeCasa). WeeCasa hosts musicians and other guests at the Riverbend grounds where hundreds will camp (book your tiny homes well in advance if you want to be a part of that).
RockyGrass A famous bluegrass festival that draws people from across the nation because of its nationally known lineup and its general seating in open grassy, treed grounds, at the base of a red sandstone mountain along St. Vrain Creek.
Folks Festival – A folk music festival featuring world renowned acts and local beer.
Wildflower Series – The Wildflower covered pavilion allows for smaller year-round concerts by single musicians. Check Bluegrass.com for all events and sign up to receive news about upcoming acts.
Burning Can Festival – Hosted by Oskar Blues Brewery, this is the perfect blend of extreme sports, beer, and bands.
The Sounds of Lyons – A concert series that began in 2009, bringing in highly acclaimed classically trained musicians, including founder MinTze Wu, to perform over one weekend in the spring.
High Street Concerts – Began in 2001, and concerts take place during the winter months bringing national and local acoustic and Americana acts.
Oskar Blues – The famous brewery hosts an amateur jam night during the week, and high-end folk, rock, blues, and bluegrass bands weekly.
Annual Halloween Parade – There are more people dressed up in the parade than there are spectators! Join us the Thriller Zombies or march to your own rhythm down Main Street.
Annual Christmas Parade – This may be the quintessential essence of Lyons pride and love, ending with an amazing fireworks display. WeeCasa hosts “Wee Winter Fest“ during this weekend to showcase tiny homes and simplified living.
Other Events – In addition, there are sporadic community concerts and dances throughout the year, including weekly summer concerts in Sandstone Park and occasionally at Lyons High School. The Red Rock Ramblers, founded by the LaVerne Johnson family and friends, began square dancing in Lyons in 1958 and offer dances every Saturday during the summer.
Jump in the cold ice melt waters of the Saint Vrain river located on the WeeCasa property.
Kayaking – Lyons Playpark is being rebuilt after the flood in 2013 and will be better than ever by Spring of 2016.
Tubing – Two amazing rivers meet in the heart of Lyons, providing the perfect backdrop for river adventure. Be sure to note the water flow as it changes throughout the season.
Fly Fishing – WeeCasa guests have access to more than 1000 feet of private river frontage along the North Saint Vrain – excellent for catch and release fly fishing. The river abounds with brown, rainbow and cutthroat trout! State fishing licenses may be purchased in town at Clarke’s Hardware. Pick up a private tour in Estes, or visit Southcreek Ltd shop on High Street to witness hand made custom bamboo fly fishing rods by Michael D Clark.
Currently, there are more than 30 craft breweries, distilleries and wineries within a 20-30 minute drive from Lyons making the area a prime spot for touring and tasting beer, spirits and wine.
The closest ski resort, Eldora Mountain Resort, is a 45 minute drive from Lyons. It’s the perfect mountain for avoiding the interstate 70 mayhem. It’s off the beaten path, tucked in the nostalgic town of Nederland. Skiing Eldora is affordable, the lines are shorter, and it’s family friendly.
Trail rides can be accessed in Estes Park.
Art and Culture
Stroll Main Street and interact with art and sculptures that line the sidewalk. For a small Colorado town, Lyons boasts the most sculptures per square feet in one main street area. The Lyons Arts and Humanities Council is a group that is instrumental in helping to promote art in downtown Lyons and its artists’ works. There are several pieces of permanent public art, including sculptures made of local sandstone, such as giant eggs, flower containers, a fountain, a small performance stage, and more. In 2008 and 2009, the town renovated its two main streets to include sandstone sidewalks and features, floral decorations, seating areas and sculptures. It won a Governor’s Award for Downtown Excellence in 2010. As a public community art project, a mural depicting life in Lyons, called “Lyons Past, Present and Future”, was placed on the outdoor wall of the Visitor Center in June 2003. At that time, the group gave itself the name Confluence Community Arts (CoCoA). It is mainly run by Cathy Rivers and Priscalla Cohan, who have gone on to start a second project, called The Clarifier Project, which involves the community painting tiles to decorate the old circular cement building next to St. Vrain Creek. Notable cultural arts residents include artist Barbara Stone, poet George Moore, author Ann Ripley, writer/photographer Kathleen Spring, sculptors John King and Bruce Campbell, and artist Candace Shepard, who reside in the Lyons area. Recent exhibits at WeeCasa have included the works of these local artists:
SALLY WHITE KING:
Sally White King was born in 1950 in Akron, Ohio. She currently lives and works in Lyons, Colorado. Sally graduated from Miami University in 1972. Her bear works have become iconic in town, representing the spirit and beauty of wildlife around the area. www.sallywhiteking.com
Mike Shea’s background is mainly in printmaking. He received a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and then worked as a fine art printer of museum quality intaglio and lithography for a variety of established artists. After many cities Mike settled down in Lyons, Colorado. The majority of his work is done using recycled and/or reclaimed materials and tools. www.mikesheartist.com
Brent Hollingead is a Lyons, Colorado based impressionist artist whose multitude of works play with texture, layering, abstraction and spontaneity. A graduate of Wittenberg University’s Fine Arts program, he has translated his lifelong passion for art into his professional career as a graphic designer which is often reflected back in the dimensionality of each painting. From her serenity to her wrath, all expressions of nature inspire the core of Brent’s work. www.BrentHollingsead.com
Daniel Strawn is a Lyons, Colorado artist whose work focuses on excellence in craftsmanship and inspired design. With a background in furniture design and wood working, he believes beautiful and creative form can integrate with the functional use of furniture. www.arcadiadesignstudio.com