We recently went for a great family-friendly hike just outside Breckenridge, Colorado. We parked at the Reiling Dredge Trailhead and crossed the road to start the easy Reiling Dredge Trail.
We walked through a beautiful pine forest and then crossed an impressive footbridge over a bustling crystal clear stream.
This area was heavily mined in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Piles of rock were processed through a dredge and left in this valley in the search for gold. We are learning about the Gold Rush this Fall in our homeschool so it was wonderful to get a real close-up view of what an operation like this would look like.
We saw the dilapidated dredge in a murky pond rotting and slowing deteriorating. We tried to imagine what it would have looked like during the height of operation. We read the signs around the historic site and found out that they found gold worth an estimated $75 million in this valley!
There was a family of ducks swimming in the pond surrounding the dredge.
We found a tree house someone had built and the kids had fun hiding out inside.
We took a left onto the B & B Trail as it gently sloped up the valley. About a half mile up the trail, the trees parted and we turned around. We ate a snack here and enjoyed the views down the valley to the Breckenridge ski areas.
Along the trail, the miners had left behind materials from the site and we saw many cabins that were just about rotted into the ground.
It was a fun hike through a tall pine and aspen forest. We learned a bit more about Colorado history and enjoyed seeing it first hand. We will definitely revisit this one in the fall when the aspen forest turns bright gold. I guess there are two kinds of gold in these hills! 🙂