Wheeler(credit: Jeff Wheeler)

Avid bike rider Jeff Wheeler may have completed the arduous seven-day bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to help raise awareness for the ongoing flight against HIV/AIDS, but this plastic surgeon turned Cenegenics physician has his favorite Denver rides as well. From easy, scenic routes to more challenging rides, we bring you the top bike rides in Denver.

Courtesy of Jeff Wheeler

Washington Park
Denver Parks and Recreation
701 S. Franklin St.
Denver, CO 80209
(720) 913-1311

“This is a very picturesque and enjoyable ride on the weekends,” relates Wheeler, “Very lively with people walking their dogs, joggers, rollerbladers, and cyclists.” The two-mile loop for bikers is easily accessible and near downtown Denver. Wide lanes allow for easy pedaling or a quicker pace around the track. From the twin lakes to pick-up games of basketball and dog walkers, Washington Park is a great ride in Denver.

Cherry Creek Trail
Arapahoe County Open Space
Cherry Creek and S. Platte
Denver, CO 80202

“Heading east along the trail, the divided trail is a great moderate distance ride,” explains Wheeler. With several drop-in points, the ride affords a divided bike trail/rollerblade path and separate running/walking trail to alleviate traffic. The gently flowing water allows the mind to wander and several places to stop and enjoy the scenery, such as Confluence Park, afford much-deserved respites. While there are various places people can start running, biking or walking the trail, some easy and accessible parking spots can be located at Confluence Park or Cherry Creek Mall for start-up points where you can head onto the trail.

RelatedTake a Free Ride With Denver’s B-Cycle Program

Dinosaur Ridge
16831 W. Alameda Parkway
Morrison, CO 80465
(303) 697-3466

“For a more difficult ride, check out Dinosaur Ridge near Morrison,” advises Wheeler, “Riders can loop up around Red Rocks and through Morrison for a 10-mile ride. The views are gorgeous from the top of Red Rocks Amphitheater.” The natural historic spots include everything from megalithic sandstone structures to dinosaur footprints in the stone. Over the ridge, cars are currently not permitted allowing for worry-free bike riding over the hogback. Make sure to bring plenty of water as temperatures can soar on the sun-soaked earth.

Courtesy of Jeff Wheeler

Platte River Trail
Denver Parks and Recreation
1416 Platte St.
Denver, CO 80202
(720) 913-1311

For a long-distance ride, try the Platte River Trail along the Mary Carter Greenway. “This is a lovely ride from Confluence Park,” explains Wheeler, “If you start at REI, the trip is around 25 miles. At 12 miles, stop at Hudson Gardens for a break. It has a snack bar to refuel.” Experienced cyclists can continue all the way to Chatfield Reservoir, a 45 to 50-mile roundtrip ride. Park at REI at Confluence Park for convenience if you’re unsure of where to leave your car.

High Line Canal Trail
Denver Water
(303) 628-6390

“This is one of the most enjoyable and picturesque places to ride, anywhere” says Wheeler, “I often see owls, foxes and coyotes.” The paved and dirt trail is more challenging and suited for mountain bikes. Wheeler advises parking off of Colorado Boulevard and 285. If riding from that point to Goodson Recreation Center, the ride is 20 miles roundtrip. The course runs through Cherry Hills and Greenwood Village for a fantastic scenic trip.

Related: Top Mountain Biking Trails In The Denver Area

Chad Chisholm is an avid globetrotter and brings the best of travel secrets and expert insights to his readership. A Denver-based travel writer and photographer, Chad’s travels have taken him to five of the seven continents in a passionate love affair with the world of travel and the outdoors. His work can be found at Examiner.com.