A place of conservation, preservation – and celebration.
A mere 30 minutes south of Denver stands the most unique venue in all Colorado: Scottish-inspired Cherokee Castle & Ranch. Rising high above 3,400 protected acres, the awesome 200-mile views – from Pike’s Peak to Long’s Peak and beyond – are renowned as best in the West. From its vantage point atop a promontory, Cherokee Castle appears as if in command of the host of wildlife and glorious terrain that surrounds it. If there is one word to describe this setting of natural wonder, it is: Extraordinary.
Visitors enter our realm of the extraordinary along a winding, two-mile rustic road in which an abundance of wildlife freely roam. Hundreds of elk and dozens of wild turkeys often greet visitors along the way. This preserve is also home to antelope, bears, cougars, mountains lions, wild turkeys and porcupines – along with the glorious Santa Getrudis cattle that make up our successful cattle ranch.
When Tweet bought this land in 1954, her vision was to utilize it to broaden Colorado’s cultural life with activities devoted to education, conservation, entertainment, the arts and wildlife. She especially enjoyed inviting school children and scout groups for impromptu lectures. During these gatherings, she would sit cross-legged on the floor with the children, like an old-time storyteller. One neighbor said, “Tweet was mother and mentor to many people, especially the children. She taught them to be citizens of the world, to be involved in large issues, not petty problems.”
In 1996, Tweet created the non-profit Cherokee Castle & Ranch Foundation to preserve the natural landscape, abundant wildlife and restoration/re-purposing of the historic structures in perpetuity. Upon forming the foundation she said, “We’re going to teach things here, not just show them to people. With this foundation, I’m not giving anything up. I’m guaranteeing its future. Now its natural beauty will be here forever for all to enjoy.”
Today the land itself serves as a remarkable outdoor laboratory and classroom for environmental education and research. A setting rich in natural beauty and ripe for exploring, every summer formal classes and informal adventures are conducted for kids and adults, led by experienced guides and cultural partners such as the Denver Botanic Gardens.
Cherokee Castle provided a big canvass for Tweet’s varied pursuits from wildlife conservation to storied social events. As one friend observed, “She made everyone – right down to the cattle buyers who spent the night at the Castle – feel at home.” You’ll feel at home as well in this wondrous place of conservation, preservation and celebration.