Hopping on a bike is a healthy and sustainable way to commute and recreate, which has made it a favorite mode of transportation among Denverites.
The Denver Metro area has a network of well-maintained bike trails that criss-cross the city and its surrounding area, offering an array of experiences for all skill levels.
In this guide, you’ll get a breakdown of the best bike trails in Denver. Whether you’re in search of scenic Rocky Mountain views, serene natural settings, a taste of urban adventure, or just some Mile High perspiration, these trails are sure to scratch the itch!
Cherry Creek Bike Path
The Cherry Creek Bike Path is a gem of Denver’s urban trail system, offering a delightful journey through the heart of the city’s green spaces. Stretching over 40 miles, this trail is a testament to Denver’s commitment to creating a cyclist’s paradise within an urban environment.
Location and Accessibility
The Cherry Creek Bike Path starts at Confluence Park in downtown Denver, making it easily accessible to both residents and visitors. From there, it winds its way southeast along the Cherry Creek, eventually reaching Cherry Creek Reservoir in Cherry Creek State Park.
Scenic Beauty and Attractions
One of the trail’s standout features is its scenic beauty. As you pedal along the path, you’ll be treated to picturesque views of the Cherry Creek, with plenty of opportunities to stop and admire the serene waters. The trail also takes you past several parks, including Four Mile Historic Park, where you can explore Denver’s rich history.
Amenities and Services
The Cherry Creek Bike Path boasts a range of amenities, including well-maintained rest areas, picnic spots, and drinking fountains. Cyclists will appreciate the convenience of multiple bike rental stations, allowing you to hop on a bike even if you don’t have your own.
Historical and Cultural Highlights
Along the way, keep an eye out for art installations and sculptures that add an artistic touch to your ride. Additionally, you’ll pass through diverse neighborhoods, each with its own unique character and charm, providing a glimpse into Denver’s cultural tapestry.
South Platte River Trail
The South Platte River Trail is a testament to Denver’s commitment to preserving and showcasing its natural beauty. This scenic bike trail in Denver follows the meandering path of the South Platte River, offering cyclists a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Location and Starting Points
The South Platte River Trail can be accessed from various points throughout the city. Many cyclists choose to start their journey at Confluence Park, where the South Platte River converges with Cherry Creek. From here, you can embark on a riverside adventure.
Diverse Landscapes and Natural Beauty
What sets this trail apart is its diverse landscapes. As you pedal along the riverbanks, you’ll encounter a variety of environments, from lush greenery to rugged terrain. This trail is particularly breathtaking during the fall, as the foliage along the riverbank bursts into a symphony of autumnal colors.
Recreational Activities and Points of Interest
Along the South Platte River Trail, you’ll find numerous opportunities for outdoor recreation. Whether you’re into birdwatching, fishing, or picnicking, there are designated spots to indulge your interests. The trail also passes by Denver’s REI flagship store, a must-visit for outdoor enthusiasts.
Considerations for Bikers
While the South Platte River Trail is accessible for riders of all skill levels, some sections may feature unpaved paths or moderate inclines. Cyclists are encouraged to plan their route according to their abilities and preferences.
High Line Canal Trail
The High Line Canal Trail is a hidden gem in Denver’s extensive network of biking trails. This historic and serene trail follows the path of the High Line Canal, providing cyclists with a tranquil escape through a tapestry of natural beauty and suburban charm.
Location and Unique Characteristics
This bike trail in Denver spans approximately 71 miles, making it one of the city’s longest continuous urban trails. It meanders through multiple neighborhoods, parks, and open spaces, creating a unique blend of urban and natural surroundings. Unlike many other trails, the High Line Canal Trail is relatively flat, making it suitable for riders of all skill levels.
Tranquility and Greenery
What truly sets this trail apart is its tranquil ambiance. As you pedal along the canal, you’ll be enveloped by lush greenery and the soothing sound of flowing water. It’s the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, offering a sense of serenity that’s hard to find elsewhere.
Notable Landmarks and Parks
Along the High Line Canal Trail, you’ll encounter a multitude of parks, including deKoevend Park and Eisenhower Park, each offering opportunities to rest, have a picnic, or simply soak in the natural beauty. The trail also passes through neighborhoods with unique character, providing a glimpse into Denver’s suburban life.
Length and Suitability
With its lengthy stretch and gentle terrain, the High Line Canal Trail is perfect for leisurely rides, long-distance cycling, or even a relaxing stroll. It’s an ideal destination for families, nature enthusiasts, and those looking for a peaceful escape within the city.
Clear Creek Trail
The Clear Creek bike trail in Denver is a beloved biking trail that winds its way through the heart of the city, offering a mix of urban excitement and scenic beauty. This trail follows the course of Clear Creek, providing riders with picturesque views and a unique perspective of the city.
Location and Accessibility
Starting in Golden, a historic town to the west of Denver, the Clear Creek Trail stretches for approximately 20 miles, passing through numerous suburbs and eventually reaching downtown Denver. Its accessibility and connectivity make it a popular choice for both locals and visitors.
Scenic Beauty of the Creek
The trail closely follows the meandering Clear Creek, offering cyclists stunning views of the waterway. In addition to the creek, the path is lined with trees and greenery, creating a refreshing and shaded route that’s particularly enjoyable on warm summer days.
Attractions Along the Way
Along the Clear Creek Trail, you’ll encounter various attractions and parks, including the Clear Creek Whitewater Park, where kayakers and paddleboarders showcase their skills. This trail also passes through neighborhoods and business districts, providing opportunities to stop for a meal, shopping, or cultural exploration.
Challenges and Special Features
While the majority of the Clear Creek Trail is paved and easily navigable, there are some sections with more challenging terrain. Cyclists should be prepared for occasional inclines and unpaved areas, particularly in the more natural segments of the trail.
Bear Creek Trail
The Bear Creek Trail is a hidden treasure nestled in the outskirts of Denver, offering cyclists an idyllic escape into nature. This scenic trail winds its way through picturesque landscapes, providing riders with a taste of Colorado’s stunning beauty.
Location and Trailheads
Starting in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, the Bear Creek Trail stretches for approximately 15 miles, making it a perfect destination for those looking to experience the natural splendor just beyond Denver’s city limits. Trailheads are accessible from Morrison, providing a convenient starting point for many riders.
Natural Beauty and Wildlife
One of the main attractions of the Bear Creek Trail is its natural beauty. As you cycle through the foothills, you’ll be surrounded by lush forests, open meadows, and the soothing sounds of Bear Creek itself. Keep your eyes peeled for local wildlife, including deer, birds, and the occasional fox, which make this trail a haven for nature enthusiasts.
Parks, Reservoirs, and Outdoor Activities
The trail takes you past notable attractions, including Bear Creek Lake Park and Bear Creek Reservoir, where you can enjoy picnicking, swimming, paddleboarding, or fishing. These stops provide a chance to rest, refuel, and experience outdoor activities beyond biking.
Level of Difficulty
While the Bear Creek Trail offers a serene and picturesque experience, it’s worth noting that some sections of the trail can be challenging due to elevation changes and occasional rugged terrain. This makes it an excellent choice for intermediate to advanced riders seeking a bit of adventure.
The Bear Creek Trail beckons to those who crave a connection with nature and a dash of adventure in their cycling experiences. Although this bike trail is technically beyond the city limits of Denver, it’s a great choice for a longer day trip!
Bike trails in Denver offer a remarkable combination of urban exploration and natural beauty. From the tranquil paths along Cherry Creek and the South Platte River to the serene escape of the High Line Canal and the rugged adventure of Clear and Bear Creek, there’s a trail for every type of cyclist.
As you explore these five outstanding bike trails, you’ll discover the heart and soul of Denver. Each trail tells its own story, offering a unique perspective on the city’s rich history, diverse culture, and stunning landscapes. Whether you’re a local looking for a new adventure or a visitor eager to experience the Mile-High City like a true Denverite, these trails provide an exceptional way to connect with the city and its surroundings.
So helmet up, grab your bike, and embark on your two-wheeled adventure through Denver. Happy cycling!