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Bayou Gulch Open Space, Parker. Photo by Daliah Singer

Parker: Perimeter Trail To Two Bridges Trail

Bayou Gulch Open Space is your ticket to a long but relatively flat jaunt.

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Perimeter Trail to Two Bridges Trail, Bayou Gulch Open Space in Parker

Distance: 6.6 miles round-trip
Difficulty: Easy/moderate
Cost: Free

From the Bayou Gulch Dog Park, you’ll circumnavigate a bike park, stride past some horses munching on grass, and follow a wide path across two roads to reach the Perimeter Trail. There, the real fun begins, as Bayou Gulch’s clearly established route is the perfect place for a meditative, forget-the-world jaunt. The Perimeter and the Two Bridges trails seamlessly connect, meandering lazily around several hills, giving you the opportunity to actually notice the birds singing and the grasshoppers chirping. The two trails form a series of loops; the final one, which we left undone in the late morning heat, adds an additional 3.3 miles, so keep an eye on the smartly placed signs to make sure you swing past it if you’re short on time (or water or energy). If traveling clockwise, you’ll encounter your first and only real ascent about four miles in—but it’s short, so don’t worry.

Who Will Love This Trail: Anyone looking for a longer trek without much elevation gain

Shortcut: If you read the map closely, you’ll notice there’s a parking lot off of Bayou Gulch Road, about a quarter-mile past the Fox Sparrow Road turnoff. A short connector path leads to the Perimeter Trail. Start there, instead of at the dog park lot, to avoid crossing roads.

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