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Rueter-Hess Reservoir opens for recreation Memorial Day weekend

Partnership expands recreation opportunities to four days a week this summer

Posted on March 29, 2023 2023DC OutdoorsNews and Events


Rueter-Hess Reservoir is foremost a storage facility for drinking water, but, if you’ve been itching to get your paddleboard, kayak or canoe out on that water, you’ll have more opportunities to do so this summer.

During a regular business meeting Tuesday, March 28, the Board of Douglas County Commissioners entered into an intergovernmental agreement with several local partners to assume the responsibility of recreation operations at the reservoir and expand opportunities.

Partner agencies include the City of Castle Pines, the Town of Castle Rock, Douglas County, the City of Lone Tree, the Town of Parker and Parker Water and Sanitation District. Each agency will have a representative on the Rueter-Hess Recreation Advisory Board, which will continue to implement the Recreation Master Plan to expand recreational opportunities. This advisory board will replace the previous Rueter-Hess Recreation Authority.

With the new IGA in place, the reservoir will be open for non-motorized water activities including paddleboarding, canoeing, and kayaking from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset Fridays through Mondays from Memorial Day to October. Due to parking limitations, reservations will be required.

Sign up for updates to be the first to know when reservations open in early May. Choose “Rueter Hess Recreation.”

The reservoir began storing water in 2012. In 2015, partner entities began planning for recreation at the reservoir. In 2016, your input drove the creation of the Recreation Master Plan, and in 2017, public access began with limited paddle days and guided hikes. By 2020, the 132-step Incline Challenge with Rosie Rueter Trail loop opened, and by 2022, a total of 6.5 miles of soft surface trails were completed.

Learn more about recreation at Rueter-Hess on our website. Learn more about the reservoir’s role in providing drinking water on Parker Water and Sanitation’s website.









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