Rock Park

  1. History
  2. Maintaining our namesake
  3. Rock Park Rezoning
Our beloved Town monument has always been a part of the community's history. For years, the Town along with dedicated residents have helped acquire land around the Rock that would honor the surrounding natural area.

The current Rock Park site of 62.3 acres consists of eight previously separate parcels, acquired as public open space between 1947 and 1991. The prominent Rock received its Castle Rock name in 1859 from David Kellogg, a gold seeker, due to its resemblance to a castle.

The Town of Castle Rock was settled and grew around the Rock from its early settlement days in the 1870s, beginning with the Craig and Gould addition in 1874. The area on the south side of the base was claimed and platted by Philip Wilcox in 1871, but the top of the Rock was originally claimed in 1875 by one of the first European settlers to Castle Rock, William Cantril. The land patent was transferred to Daniel Fitch in 1890, then George Stewart purchased it in 1922, and he retained ownership until his death in 1943. At one time, George Stewart owned part, if not all, of what is now Rock Park and other areas in Castle Rock. In 1947, George Stewart’s heirs deeded the Town 20 acres north of the Rock, and in 1953 they conveyed the top of the Rock to the Town. 

In 1957, a trustee conveyed the lots surrounding the top of The Rock. In 1987, the Town acquired approximately 24.4 acres north of the Rock from Columbia Savings & Loan by waiving development fees for 14 single-family home lots. Shortly afterwards, that agreement was extended to include 3.6 acres on the east side for $123,000 (compensation for tap fees from the originally proposed 14 homes). There are two platted tracts on the east side of the park that were acquired by the Town through plat dedications in 1977 and 1991 and a small strip acquired in 1978 from an access easement.

Becoming a park

The acquisition of the 24.4-acre and 3.6-acre parcels in 1987 to create this public open space parcel was partly encouraged by two local residents, Paul Hill and John Emerson, along with other residents and the Town Board of Trustees. Paul Hill was an adjacent landowner and John Emerson was an active volunteer community member. Both individuals were also instrumental in the creation of a special advisory committee in 1988, the Rock Park Committee, which developed funding methods to manage the park and supervised the initial planning and management of the site and its trails. 

In recognition of Paul and John’s service and dedication to Rock Park, the two main trails on the property were renamed in their honor.

Park amenities

View Rock Park's amenities, trail map and additional details on the Rock Park Facilities page