Douglas County named second healthiest county in the nation
Article and photo by Chris Michlewicz
To those who live here, it’s easy to understand why Douglas County was again named the second healthiest county in the nation.
In late June, U.S. News & World Report came out with its annual list of healthiest counties, and for the second consecutive year, Douglas County was in the No. 2 spot, right behind Los Alamos County in New Mexico. The publication uses a combination of metrics pertaining to population health, food and nutrition, environment, community vitality and other categories to determine its rankings.
Recreational opportunities are a huge draw for those who choose Douglas County as their home. Graham and Corinne Shalvoy founded the Castle Rock Run Club after moving to Castle Rock in 2014.
“There’s a small group of us who are ultramarathon runners and we all gravitated to Douglas County for the exact same reason,” Graham said.
The group – whose 300 members use the club to help train for competitive long-distance races – utilizes the many local running trails to get in two scheduled early morning runs each week. Ridgeline Road and Indian Creek Trail are among their regular spots. There’s terrain in Douglas County to train for all different types of races, said Graham, who has been on the podium in every race he’s run over the last two years.
The County also has considerable notoriety for its cycling opportunities – both on and off road – and open spaces and parks that allow for a host of physical activities, including organized sports. Those opportunities help build a community in more ways than one, and the Castle Rock Run Club is a perfect example of recreation bringing people together.
“It’s more than a club. It’s very much a community,” Graham said. “That’s the best part about the whole thing.”
Douglas County was among five Colorado counties to make the top 10 on U.S. News & World Report’s list; Broomfield, San Miguel, Pitkin and Routt counties were the other four.
When asked if he was surprised by Douglas County’s high ranking, Graham said he’s only “surprised we didn’t get number one.”
To view the full list, go to www.usnews.com/news, hover the cursor over ‘Healthiest Communities,’ and click on ‘Overall Rankings.’