Hallam Lake in autumn
Hallam Lake in autumn
Historic Hallam Lake entrance
Historic Hallam Lake entrance
Hallam Lake in winter
Hallam Lake in winter
Hallam Lake in autumn
Hallam Lake in autumn
Hallam Lake in spring
Hallam Lake in spring
Steam rises off Hallam Lake on a winter morning
Steam rises off Hallam Lake on a winter morning

About Hallam Lake

Hallam Lake, a 25-acre nature preserve and environmental learning center, was the first location of Aspen Center for Environmental Studies. The property was donated in 1968 by Elizabeth Paepcke when she founded ACES. The preserve is open to the public year-round and provides an inspiring setting for ACES’ many educational and naturalist programs.

Hallam Lake is home to resident birds of prey and lush riparian ecosystems including woodland, meadow, pond and marsh communities. A half-mile loop nature trail is available for all visitors. This trail meanders in and out of wetlands and includes stops at various observation decks. On any given day, a variety of birds and mammals can be seen feeding at the water's edge. During the day, swallows perform acrobatics above the water in search of insects, while the American dipper dives underwater in search of aquatic insects. As the sun sets, fox, bear, and deer prowl the banks searching for dinner, while beaver cautiously feed on willow, aspen, and cottonwood bark around the lake.

Guests of all ages are welcome to borrow a pair of binoculars for a walk around the lake, or pick up a self-guided tour booklet to learn more about the area. Meet ACES resident Golden Eagle, Great Horned Owl, and Red-tailed Hawk, as well as indoor animals like the ball python and bearded dragons. Kids are encouraged to borrow an Adventure Backpack to complete the Junior Naturalist Activity booklet, featuring hands-on, age-appropriate activities. Naturalists are on site and available to answer questions.