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Colorful Colorado: Buffalo Herd Nature Preserve

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If you're looking for a free, family-friendly activity close to Denver, a visit to the Buffalo Herd Nature Preserve is a must.

 The preserve is maintained by the City and County of Denver and is located in Genesee Park in Golden, a short 20 mile drive west of Denver. 
Despite what the name would lead you to believe, the herd at Buffalo Herd Nature Preserve are not actually buffaloes at all. Early American settlers mistakenly called bison 'bufello' due to the similar appearance of the two animals, and the name stuck... so much so that many believe 'buffalo' and 'bison' to be one in the same. The American bison lives only in North America, while the two main buffalo species roam Africa and Asia.
The bison herd at Buffalo Herd Nature Preserve are direct descendants of the last wild bison herd in the United States. Their ancestry stems from a herd of 7 bison brought to Colorado from Yellowstone National Park back in 1914.
I am a huge animal lover and nature geek. I get excited every single time we so much as pass cows along the road, so viewing these peaceful animals up close in their natural habitat was a real treat. 
It must have been something to have lived when the bison outnumbered the people and when people coexisted with nature and only took from it what was needed. How incredible must it have been to feel the ground shake as a herd of bison passed?
Viewing the herd can unfortunately be hit or miss, but don't be discouraged. They roam a large area and aren't always visible near the road. I've personally had the best luck viewing them up close at dusk near the fence on the north side of exit 254 along I-70.
Stop by and admire these massive, powerful creatures that once roamed the American West by the millions the next time you're in the area, and feel free to share pictures of your experience over on the Homesick Wanderlust Facebook page or with #HomesickWanderlust on Twitter or Instagram!

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