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Photo courtesy of High Line Canal Conservancy

5 Urban Stretches

Escaping Denver’s concrete jungle doesn’t require a drive all the way into the foothills. Explore these five city trails for a quick connection to the outdoors.

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Lake Loop
Like many of the metro area’s best green spaces, Wheat Ridge’s Crown Hill Park is centered around a body of water. The Lake Loop is ideal for a work-break stroll at just 1.2 miles; it’s also paved, making it an accessible route for those using wheelchairs. For a longer outing, hit the 2.5-mile Outer Loop, which encircles the entire park.

Mary Carter Greenway
This eight-mile-long, riverside path travels between Chatfield State Park and Englewood and serves as a connector to other systems, including the South Platte River Trail. Cyclists have to stick to the paved trail, but pedestrians have their own adjacent, crushed-stone route.

High Line Canal Trail
If you’re from Denver, you’ve been striding along segments of this 71-mile-long corridor that stretches from Waterton Canyon to Green Valley Ranch since you were a kid. If you’re not, you’ve still probably found yourself on some portion of it. Get your nature fix along segment 12, where you might spot herons, yellow warblers, turtles, and more as the trail snakes through the Marjorie Perry Nature Preserve in Greenwood Village. (Bonus: Read about our favorite sites along the route here.)

Clear Creek Trail
Want to walk all the way to Golden? You can, on the paved Clear Creek Trail—but keep your peripheral vision peeled for cyclists. The tree-shrouded trail extends more than 20 miles from Commerce City, but you can keep things manageable by starting at Wheat Ridge’s Anderson Park or at the small trailhead parking lot near Kipling Street and West 44th Avenue.

The 5280 Trail
In the works since 2017, this 5.280-mile walkway surrounds downtown Denver, bringing Colorado’s outdoor lifestyle into the city. At least, that’s the goal when the loop is officially completed later this summer.

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