Enjoy the Sand Creek Wilderness in Denver
Looks like Denver has another little slice of wilderness in the Sand Creek Regional Greenway, 14 miles worth of linked trails that has made it a national model. It has a great combination of paved and dirt trails and some beautiful scenery and a little bit of wildlife added to the mix.
The Sand Creek Regional Greenway is a great venue to enjoy some quality time with nature without having to get out of the city. Whether you just need to take a little stroll to escape the urban setting or do fun activities like cycling or horseback riding, Sand Creek offers the perfect opportunity to enjoy some peace and relaxation without any compromise in convenience.
Activities that can be enjoyed at Sand Creek
Folks who wish to sightsee or catch up on some cardio will definitely get their chance at Sand Creek Regional Greenway whether it's by hiking or jogging. You can also ride bikes or horses if you wish.
Should you prefer to go cycling, it is important to note the trail or route you want to take. While there are some paved trails, there are also some soft dirt trails that may prove challenging for some bikes to run through. If you choose to go through these soft dirt trails, it is recommended that you use a mountain bike.
Other than horseback riding, you can also take your dog for a walk out on Sand Creek. So if you wish to go on a family hike with the kids, there's no need to tell them that their pet pooch has to stay home.
While there are still only a few amenities, there are some areas in Sand Creek where you can enjoy picnics. There are a few toilets available as well as some sources for drinking water. But since drinking water is scarce it's better to be prepared by bringing a pack or something with some supplies depending on the type of activity you want to do.
If you want to encounter some wildlife, there's a beaver den at the Pepper Riparian Area. You can also encounter ducks, herons, egrets, muskrats, foxes and many more at the Commerce City Wetland Park early in the morning and late in the afternoon.
There's currently some construction going on in some parts of the greenway. But if you just follow the construction workers' instructions and follow the detours, you should be just fine and this shouldn't get in the way of having an enjoyable experience at Sand Creek.
Notable parts in Sand Creek:
To sum it all up, there are a number of key locations to take note of when you visit Sand Creek.
- Dalia Trailhead: This serves as the main entrance to Sand Creek in Commerce City where there's a paved parking lot and some picnic shelters.
- Confluence with South Platte Greenway trail: At this confluence, there's a trail going south towards downtown Denver and one going north to Clear Creek trail.
- Commerce City Wetlands Park: This is where you get the chance to see some wildlife like ducks and egrets and is a great place to have a picnic. There's also a parking lot here as well as a public restroom.
- Smith Road Trailhead: Serves as the main entrance in Denver.
- Old Runway Tunnels: These are old tunnels which are the remnants of the old Stapleton Airport.
- The Urban Farm at Stapleton: An educational facility which offers programs in gardening, land cultivation, stream reclamation, conservation, animal husbandry and horsemanship.
- Sand Creek Park: Has a number of paved trails that connect to the Sand Creek Regional Greenway.
- High Line Canal Trail: This trail ends somewhere near Colfax Avenue where it's soon to be linked with the Sand Creek Regional Greenway.
- Bluff Lake Nature Center: Has a variety of habitats wetlands, short-grass prairie, wetland woodland, a riparian zone and a seasonal lake. It also serves as a refuge for wildlife such as songbirds, water fowl, raptors, deer, amphibians, reptiles and many more. Just a little heads-up though, the trails on Bluff Lake Nature Center are for jogging and walking only. Motorized vehicles, bikes, or horses are not allowed. And that includes dogs and other pets, too.
- Star K Ranch: Also has a variety of habitats and wildlife which make it a great place to explore.
- Morrison Nature Center: Has a library where you can find reference books and field guides. There's also an array of activities here that kids will enjoy like puppets and live animal exhibits.
It's easy to see why Sand Creek Regional Greenway serves as a national model with all these beautiful and interesting spots. It's appeal will only increase in the years to come with the improvements being made.