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5 amazing metro area hiking and biking trails

by | May 20, 2020 | Blog, Denver Activities

Feeling cooped up? Why not plan a hiking or biking outing along one of the Denver area’s many stellar paths?

The city boasts a network of trails that interconnect and can take you all the way from Denver to Golden or as far south as Chatfield Park. You can find a spot to picnic along the way, or set off for a thigh-busting workout on trails that offer uphill climbs.

Below, the most prominent trails, as detailed by the Visit Denver website. Remember to keep your distance from others and avoid popular days and times, when trails can be overcrowded.

South Platte River Trail: Long before there were Nikes and mountain bikes, Native Americans used this trail that follows the South Platte river north to Brighton and south to Chatfield State Park. Nowadays, you’ll wind through the Confluence Park area, where you can stop for a picnic or watch kayakers in the whitewater. You might also consider stops at Riverside Cemetery, where many of the city’s famous pioneers are buried, or Hudson Gardens, which features beautiful walks of its own.

Cherry Creek Trail: This popular 40-mile paved trail starts at Confluence Park and follows Cherry Creek south to Cherry Creek State Park and on to Franktown. In the city, much of the trail is below street level (along Speer Boulevard) and riders or hikers can veer off the path to places like the flower-fantastic Alamo Placita Park.

Highline Canal: One of the longest urban trails in America, the High Line Canal path runs 71 miles. Some spots are paved, others are hard-packed dirt—and most are shaded by stately cottonwood trees. Consider heading to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, where as many as 330 species of animals make for fun viewing.

Bear Creek Bike Trail: This trail starts at the South Platte Trail at Riverpoint at Sheridan Shopping Area and follows Bear Creek 12.5 miles west, stopping just outside of Denver’s renown Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Those interested in a more serious workout can take the steep roads up to Red Rocks – and the trail is slightly uphill overall. (Reforming couch potatoes beware!)

Clear Creek Trail: This 18-mile trail connects to the South Platte River Trail, allowing bikers and hikers to go all the way from Denver to Golden. The trail wends past Lowell Ponds State Wildlife area and ambitious bicyclers can take the challenging Lariat Loop on Lookout Mountain.

Download a Denver bike map here.

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