Recreational & Family - Where are the family-friendly trails in CO?
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04-02-05, 12:13 PM
My son and I moved from flat-as-a-pancake Delaware to Denver, CO and I got my son a new mountain bike so we can hit the trails in the beautiful Rockies. Gosh, they're steep!!! So where can we find easier sloping trails that are more family-friendly (The slope won't kill my 9-year-old's legs and I won't need to bring extra oxygen with me.) but are not surronded by houses and zooming cars? Since for every mountain top there is a valley, aren't there any trails in the flatter valley areas for us to build up our stamina?
04-05-05, 10:56 AM
Where are you located? I've ridden a lot of fun, but not steep, trails in Chatfield SP down south of C470 on Wadsworth. Also in that area is the Waterton Canyon multi-use road, which has great scenery, pretty damn good fly-fishing (for being 20 minutes from south Denver), and an easy climb for 6.2 miles (300' change in elevation?). It's an old railroad grade that only allows Denver Water Board manager's cars, bikes and hikers. It's kinda busy this time of year, but is the perfect ride to do with your son- easy and scenic. I've combined Waterton with Chatfield in the same day to get the singletrack experience (Chatfield) and then go up the canyon to add mileage. As you get more accomplished, you can do the singletrack loop at the end of the RR Grade (Strontia Springs Dam), or continue on to the Colorado Trail.
I also know of some great learning trails (short, but with some whoop-de-doos and corners) along the Cherry Creek Bike Path, east of Monaco. Littleton offers some fun trails east of the South Platte- I've forgotten what drainage exactly they run up, but poke around an you'll find them.
As you find your legs and lungs, a lot of the front range open space parks have some great trails. Mt Falcon down to Morrison is one great ride that you can do as a "one way" (down) if you go with two cars and park one at the bottom, one at the top. Finally- The Elk Meadow loop in Bergen park, above Evergreen, is a blast and has some hills, but nothing too brutal.
My son is only four, and I need to spend as much time with him as possible to compensate for a new baby sister, or I'd offer to meet you and yours for a ride. We could meet for Waterton some evening, as I can Trail-a-bike with my son on that ride. PM me if you're interested. :)
04-05-05, 11:08 AM
Waterton Canyon, as slooney said, is great! The wildlife is wonderful. You can see big horn sheep and more on the service road. Let your son know that they're more scared than he is.
Elk Meadow bottom portion is great.
Mt. Falcon at the top is fun.
Matthews-Winters is a good option.
Flying J is relatively flat with good twisty sections thru trees... tho visibility can be limited, so have him ride in front so some fast rider doesn't slam into him. There are some technical sections, so have your kid just take it easy the first few times.
South Valley seems to get less biking traffic.
04-05-05, 01:54 PM
For building stamina, there are miles and miles and miles of interconnected trails all through Adams, Denver, Jefferson, and Douglas counties. From Denver you can ride paths into Douglas County, up to Brighton, Westminster, Arvada, Golden and points in between and leave the path system for only very short distances -- and these short distances are all on very calm roads.
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