With fall approaching, the weather is starting to cool off and it is the perfect climate to take your pooch for a long hike. This is the best time of the year to enjoy Colorado and its spectacular scenery. Lucky for you and Fido, you’ll find many great places to walk together from leisurely walks around a paved trail to stunning scenic hikes in the mountains. Here are some of the best dog walking trails in the Denver area.
701 S. Franklin St.
Denver, CO 80209
Washington Park is probably the best-known dog-walking haven in the city. All the popular pooches hang out at this park. You will have a great time walking the easy trails here. Pick a trail based on how long you need to go to tire out your pal. The longest trail runs along the outside edges of the park and runs a little over two and a half miles. The shorter trails are about a mile long and make a loop around the smaller lakes.
Cherry Creek Reservoir
4201 S. Parker Road
Aurora, CO 80014
If Rover prefers to roam off-leash, then you’ll want to take him to Cherry Creek State Park. The off-leash dog area is nearly 60 acres on the south side of the park. There is a small creek that your pup will love diving in and plenty of wide-open space to run and frolic. Or put that leash back on and explore the other 12 miles of trails around this picturesque park.
Platte River Greenway Trail
7236-7278 Colorado 44
Denver, CO 80233
If you are looking for true wide-open space, farther from the city, check out the Platte River Greenway Trail. This longer trail runs just under seven miles and can take around five hours to complete. The hike will take you through an area that still has a lot of working farms and you can enjoy the scenery as you explore this agricultural home in Denver. Make sure to bring plenty of water for both you and your pup, there aren’t a lot of places to stop on this one.
South Brook Forest Road
Shadow Mountain, CO 80433
When you are ready to venture out of the city and you want some of the most spectacular scenery in Colorado, take this hike.
You can enjoy a shorter, easier hike that is less than a mile or you can take the longer and more difficult terrain that hits around the four mile mark. It’s all about how you and your pup are feeling. If you start at the upper trailhead, it’s less than half a mile one way, or you can start at the lower parking area and it’s about two miles one way. Either way, you’ll find yourself among some of the most amazing scenery and in the kind of nature you can only find in Colorado.
The Highline Canal was built in 1883 to deliver water and Denver Water owns it today. You can get a full map of the entire 66 miles of this huge trail at the Denver Water website and pick your spot to jump in and go for a walk. The Highline Canal starts near the South Platte River and ends at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, going through Denver, Arapahoe and Douglas counties, so chances are you are close to this trail pretty much anywhere you are. There is a lot of beautiful scenery along this well-kept trail, and you’ll find lots of people out with their dogs and even a lot of horseback riders.
Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.