If you're looking for a nice, short family hike with history AND a lake, consider Metzger Farm Open Space. The open space park, on the Broomfield/Westminster border, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in March 2013.
The parking lot for the open space is off 120th and Lowell (directions below). Walk from the parking lot to the wide, crushed rock trail/gravel trail. This trail is great in the spring when other trails are muddy.
As you walk this trail, you'll soon see the Metzger Farm buildings -- the farmhouse, the barn, several outbuildings and some old farm equipment. The area was first settled in the late 1800s by the Gay family. John Metzger, a former Colorado Attorney General, purchased the property in 1943, according to the city of Westminster's website. His family sold the property to the city in 2006.
As you walk by the farm, you'll come to a trail split. Turn right here and head around the buildings. Soon you'll spot one of the two ponds and a large covered picnic area. Walk out to the fishing pier and enjoy the scenery here. Let the kids look into the water and see if they can spot fish. Look at the trees on the other side of the pond -- see any birds up there? Maybe some nests?
After taking a break here and maybe some exploring, continue on the path around the family farm. As you walk here, you'll see more of the barn and the pond.
At the end of the first pond is a dirt bank, then a smaller, second pond. The smaller pond is mostly a cattail-filled wetland. Both ponds attract a wide variety of water fowl including ducks, Canadian Geese, white egrets, great blue herons, night crested herons and pelicans, according to Westminster's website.
After passing the second pond, continue walking the gravel path until you reach the parking lot again.
Details: The loop around the farm buildings and past the two ponds is about .5 miles.
Directions: From the intersection of 120th & Lowell, turn north on Lowell Blvd and drive a short distance to the turnoff to the parking lot for Metzger Farm.
Find more family hikes/trails at the bottom of this article. If you're looking for more nearby trails, check out this list of 200+ hikes. Don't miss any of my trip reports, sign for an email alert at the top of this page and follow me on Facebook.