In 2014, Mayor Phil Cernanec called Littleton the Flowering Crabapple Capital of Colorado. His proclamation can be credited in large part to the Crabapple Route, a stretch of homes and city property that is lined with mature crabapple trees. Each spring, the streets of Littleton burst with bright color, and the city smells of flowers as over 7,000 trees come into full bloom.
Many of the trees found on this historic route were planted nearly 50 years ago as part of a City beautification program funded by the City Council. This program was inspired in 1969 by then Mayor Vaughn Gardinier. Although the City was in charge of the program, homeowners took it upon themselves to plant additional crabapple trees on their own properties, furthering the mission. Over 40 years later, in 2011, the City of Littleton formalized the route by drawing up a map of a loop winding through the most colorful streets and neighborhoods.
Since, citizen volunteers have come together to form a nonprofit organization called “Littleton Crabapple Route, Inc.” Each year, the organization plants new crabapple trees “to continue and promote the appreciation of the springtime color display of flowering crabapple trees in Littleton.” The organization also promotes events to honor the route’s heritage.
The Crabapple Route is best enjoyed during spring and can be accessed by foot, bicycle or vehicle by anyone interested in reveling in its beauty. The seven-mile route is marked by street signs and pink, white and green blooms.
To make a tax-deductible donation or volunteer your support, contact the Littleton Crabapple Route, Inc. at P.O. Box 110, Littleton, CO 80160, send an email to LittletonCrabappleRoute@gmail.com, or call Larry Borger at (303)798-8098.
Jackass Hill Park
If you’re looking for a place to enjoy a sunset picnic, walk the dog or photograph the Rocky Mountains, Jackass Hill Park is the place to check out. Located off Prince Street and Jackass Hill Road, this historic open space is open to the public.
In 1917 during World War I, an entrepreneur bought up scores of mules, hoping to sell them to the U.S. Army. However, after Germany surrendered, the Army refused to buy the mules. It has been said that the animals were left on the hill to starve, giving the location its unmistakable name.
In 1993, Jackass Hill was rezoned for building. Today, a small neighborhood and a 17-acre open space with spectacular views exist on the historical land. From the top of the hill, the views span for miles: from Pikes Peak to Downtown Denver and everything in between. Roxborough State Park, Chatfield Reservoir, Red Rocks Amphitheater and the Boulder Flatirons can all be seen from this Littleton gem.