Residents of metropolitan Denver, Colorado and all the cities from Fort Collins in the north to Pueblo in the south have the nearby western horizon of the Rocky Mountain Front Range. Thousands every day escape the densely populated highways and cities of Colorado’s Front Range corridor that runs parallel to the edge of the mountains from north to south of the state. They bike, hike or just get away to the many mountain trails.
Thousands more who live in the busy Front Range corridor know they don’t have to go far to immerse themselves in the Colorado outdoors. Up and down the corridor, trails range from paved to tangled and ancient to new—all of them ready with adventure.
All the way from north at the Wyoming border to south at the New Mexico border, trails twist and turn in sections up and down the Colorado Front Range. More ambitious naturalists will soon be able to hit a trail at any point and traverse without stopping the entire Front Range corridor, like one long back state byway. Colorado State Parks has sanctioned the Colorado Front Range Trail project (CFRT), an enterprising work to link all the trails into one 876-mile multipurpose network. The many trails turned one will connect 15 major cities and 14 counties when complete. Communities up and down the state will flow together with scenic landscapes, parks, historic points and open space.
Trailing Through the Heart of Denver
Colorado’s Front Range list of urban and rural trails from north to south of the state is extensive, but many consider the 28-mile Platte River Trail that runs right through central Denver to be one of the premier routes. The scenery is a study in contrasts. The natural foliage around the Platte River path softens the many angles of downtown Denver’s architecture and even the industrial sites farther north. Along the way is a surprising tapestry of plant and wildlife. Its north destination ends in Thornton, but at some point the trail will forge through for continuous access to Boulder from Denver, Colorado.
For side trips to the east and west from the Platte River Trail, links let you take two very different routes. The Sand Creek Trail link leads east to industrialized Denver’s near the old Stapleton Airport. The Clear Creek Trail link leads west all the way to Golden, Colorado nestled in the foothills.
Turning the many trails of the Colorado Front Range into the one Colorado Front Range Trail is adding ease to the fast lane of metropolitan living across the state and in Denver, Colorado.