Updated: Sep 3
DeKoevend Park is a very large park in Centennial, Colorado. Measuring over 100 acres, there are playgrounds, 4 multipurpose fields, a baseball field, 6 tennis courts and a basketball court, 4 shelters, restrooms, miles of trails, and open space of dozens of acres. Goodson Recreation Center is right next door, too. In this blog, we’ll talk about everything there is to know about DeKoevend Park.
This stream video shot by Donna Davis is such a beautiful and isolated spot in the park. Go spend some time there!
Julia DeKoevend Park, as it is sometimes called, is named after Julia DeKoevend. She sold much of the land that is now the park all the way back in 1962.
We’ll start off with the 3 large parking lots next to the park. The first one is on the eastern side of the park along Southern University Boulevard. There are more than 80 spots and 4 handicapped spaces here. This parking lot is best for those going to the DeKoevend Park Tennis Courts, DeKoevend Playground, baseball field, or Multipurpose Fields #6, #7, and #8.
The parking lot next to Goodson Recreation Center has more than 250 spaces and a dozen handicapped spaces. This is the best place to park if you are going to the DeKoevend Open Space.
The third parking lot is next to a place called South Suburban - Tennis on the western side of the park (just off South Vine Street). There are hundreds of parking spots and some handicapped spaces. This is the best place to park if you are going to Multipurpose Field #9.
The baseball field is in the southern corner of the park. There are lights, a scoreboard, and outfield fencing. A home run is 280 feet.
Each team has a dugout with a bench and shade. Each team’s parents have 6 rows of bleachers. This may not be enough seating (and there’s little or no shade), so bring a chair and sunscreen. There is a seasonal porta potty next to the field underneath a shade cover; it won’t be too bad in the summer.
Also next to the ballfield is a little bridge going over Big Dry Creek. This is the High Line Canal Trail.
DeKoevend Park Tennis Courts
Next to the smaller parking lot and ballfield are 6 tennis courts. Anyone is allowed to use them unless they are reserved - usually for a tournament or game. There is lighting, benches, and bleachers for spectators.
This is a very popular place to play tennis, so don’t be surprised if there is no room for you. Redstone Park is another park that has a lot of tennis courts. Some of them will usually be empty.
There is a permanent bathroom in between the tennis courts and the smaller parking lot on the eastern side of the park.
DeKoevend Basketball Court
This basketball court is in between the tennis courts and the playground. There are two baskets, but the court is rather small. A game can still be played, but shooting 3-pointers will be somewhat difficult. And if you miss the backboard, the ball can roll into a creek.
Multipurpose Fields #6 and #7 are the northernmost fields, past a little line of trees. Multipurpose Field #8 is next to the smaller parking lot and playground. Multipurpose Field #9 is to the west of the baseball field.
As the name implies, these four fields can be used for many different sports. These fields are 3 different sizes, so age groups will usually be at a certain field or two. There may be some shade provided, but parents should still bring an umbrella.
Multipurpose Fields #1-5 are in Cherry Knolls Park just south. We wrote an entire blog about this park.
Shelters and Pavilions
There are 5 shelters in DeKoevend Park, and all but one are rentable. Each of them has lots of picnic tables to sit at in the shade. One is a playground shelter next to the playground. Another is south of Field #9. A third (Shelter A) is next to the smallest parking lot. A fourth (Shelter B) is next to Field #6 and Field #7. The last (Shelter C) is near the Goodson Recreation Center and on the edge of the DeKoevend Open Space.
The busiest days are the weekends, although DeKoevend Park is busy almost daily. On the weekdays, the most crowded time is 6 PM; on weekends, it's 11 AM. The least busy times are in the early morning or the evening.
One review says, "The presence of large trees makes this park really enjoyable during afternoon hours of hot summer days. The stream next to the fields makes this park even more fun to spend few hours with the kids. Parking lot gets filled up quickly so it can be tricky during weekends and holidays."
DeKoevend Park Playground
DeKoevend Park Playground has lots to offer. There is a twisty rock climbing wall, slides (bumpy, swirly, and tube), monkey bars, games, another rock climbing wall, ramps, a tunnel, playhouses, and a tire swing. The twisting rock climbing wall is one of the best features I’ve seen in a playground.
There are two traditional swings and two swings for younger children.
The playground surface is wood chips, so make sure that you and your children wear some good shoes! There are some benches and tables around the area, too.
There is also a smaller playground nearby for younger children, which we’ll talk about below.
DeKoevend Tot Lot
The DeKoevend Tot Lot is a smaller playground for younger children. It is off of East Panama Drive and there is only street parking.
There are 4 swings in total. 2 of them are toddler swings, and 2 are handicap-accessible chair swings.
There is a very tall rope pyramid (the tallest one that I’ve written about so far). There are some games, slides, a tunnel, and some tree stumps to hop across.
The surface of the playground is rubber, which means fewer injuries. There is one picnic table and some benches. The playground has trees surrounding it, so there will be shade for most of the day.
There’s also a small grassy area next to the playground.
Todd Elliott explains DeKoevend Park as a "Big park. Well maintained! They have a playground. Picnic area, tennis courts, baseball fields, and, presumably, soccer fields too. Lots of places to explore. Just across the Canal is the ice rink too. The rec center is a stone throw away."
DeKoevend Tot Lot Address: 1901 E Panama Dr, Centennial, CO 80121
Hours: 6 AM - 11 PM
Coordinates: 39.602035, -104.965801
DeKoevend Open Space and Trails
In the lower part of DeKoevend Park, there are 1.25 miles of sidewalks and some bridges that cross creeks. Much of this area has dense tree coverage which really connects you with nature.
In DeKoevend Open Space, there are a few miles of trails that will be in both open areas and tree-shaded areas. Many of the trails will go alongside the High Line Canal or Big Dry Creek (one trail is called the High Line Canal Trail).
If you are following AllTrails directions, it takes you to a mall and not to the DeKoevend Open Space (they’re terrible directions if I’m being honest). I recommend walking around Cherry Knolls Park, which will add 1.5 miles.
Goodson Recreation Center
Goodson Recreation Center has so many features that it’s difficult to list them all. There’s an aquatics area, basketball courts, weight rooms, cycling, a dance studio, a gym, a gymnastics facility, an indoor track, locker rooms, a lounge, pickleball courts, a pottery studio, and volleyball courts. This does not include everything. It reminds me of the University of Colorado Boulder’s recreation center but without the wonderful view.
The Goodson Recreation Center can get quite crowded because there are 18 different activities here - and multiple areas for some activities. The recreation center is 2 acres. The parking lot here has hundreds of spots, which probably isn’t enough during peak hours.
Goodson Recreation Center Address: 6315 S University Blvd, Centennial, CO 80121
Hours: 5:30 AM - 8:30 PM weekdays, 7 AM - 3 PM weekends
Coordinates: 39.602787, -104.962981
Cherry Knolls Park
Cherry Knolls Park is another large park only a minute south. There are multiple multipurpose fields, baseball fields, a playground, a creek, and a pond. If you want to take a walk from DeKoevend Park, then adding Cherry Knolls Park is perfect. It only adds on 1.5 miles and takes you through luscious stream habitat.
Cherry Knolls Pond is wonderful if you go in the winter. Although there may not be geese or other waterfowl, it’s a majestic site to take in.
Centennial really does have some of the best parks and playgrounds in Colorado.
DeKoevend Park Address: 6301 S University Blvd, Centennial, CO 80121
Hours: 6 AM - 11 PM
Coordinates: 39.600043, -104.957951
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