Navigating the Trail

DSC_0048From west to east, the trail begins in Commerce City, continues through Denver, and concludes in Aurora. The directions below, which are organized by city, will give you a basic idea of how to navigate the trail.

Please make sure to check our construction webpage for up-to-date information about trail detours and closures before heading out on the Greenway.

 

Closures: Sporadic construction. Refer to the construction webpage for details.

Trail Surface: Paved.

Snow Removal: Trail is plowed after snow storms.

Directions:

PARK your car (if you need to) at 60th and York along the South Platte Greenway.

RIDE north on the South Platte Greenway until you see the bike/pedestrian bridge over the South Platte River at the Sand Creek confluence (just before the South Platte Greenway goes under I-270).

TURN east on the Sand Creek Regional Greenway onto the bridge over the South Platte River.

FOLLOW THE TRAIL as it goes along the south side of I-270, and then turns right at the Burlington/O’Brian ditch. Keep following the trail as it goes left over the Burlington/O’Brian Ditch – then you have smooth sailing.

CONTINUING to the east, stop and enjoy the cool 5-acre Pepper Riparian Area just west of the Colorado Blvd bridge. Look for the beaver den.

The TRAILHEAD at Dahlia and 56th is open and also a great place to park your car.

In the early morning and late afternoon, egrets, herons, ducks, foxes, muskrats, and many other natural friends can be seen at the COMMERCE CITY WETLAND PARK.

After you CROSS THE BRIDGE to the south side of the creek at the Wetland Park, look for the restroom building. The restroom was moved about the flood and is on the south side of the Wetland Park. If you follow the trail around the wetland areas, you will come to a parking lot at the east end of 52nd Avenue. If you go to your left after the bridge, you will find the paved off-road trail- it is beautiful! Enjoy this paved trail all the way to 47th Avenue Drive at the Denver city line.

Closures: Sporadic construction (see construction webpage for information).

Trail Surface: Soft surface/crushed fine gravel in Denver and Aurora.  If biking, please use a bike with thick tires.  Be careful with skinny road bike tires and consider carrying a tire patch kit.

Snow Removal: The trail in Denver is not paved, and therefore it is not plowed after snowstorms. Please report any problems to us as soon as possible so we may try to solve them.

Directions:

Starting at 47th Avenue where SUNCOR recently funded a beautiful new underpass, enjoy the smooth ride on paved trail to the tunnels under I-70.

After the I-70 bridge over Sand Creek, the trail continues eastward on the north side of Sand Creek. The trail is not paved until Central Park Blvd.  The trail goes under Central Park, Smith Road, and three railroad tracks!  Keep riding on the paved trail through the former Stapleton Runway Tunnels (huge concrete walls on either side of the trail and Sand Creek).  Near the east end of the former Runway Tunnels, the trail is not paved.  To the north, you will see the Smith Road TRAILHEAD.

The Smith Road Trailhead is not well signed because of the light rail construction in the area, but it is open!

To reach it by car, turn west onto Smith Road from Havana.  At the Smith Road Trailhead, turn south over Sand Creek to the new Westerly Creek North Park.  Follow the paved trail to the southeast, over Westerly Creek and then due east to Havana.

 

For runners and mountain bike riders, there is a beautiful soft surface trail going due east from the Smith Road Trailhead.  It goes past the Urban Farm on the north, down to the creek, and up the hill to Havana.  Go on the sidewalk along Havana over the Sand Creek bridge and look for the trail SCRG trail that goes under Havana.  From the underpass at Havana, follow a soft surface trail along the boundry of Bluff Lake Nature Center, following Havana on the east side of the road.  The soft surface trail (with Bluff Lake Nature Center to the north and east) goes all the way to Peoria.

 

In the Summer/Fall of 2017, sections of this trail will be closed due to the construction of the Martin Luther King Blvd extension to Peoria—please watch for detours.  As you go down the hill towards the underpass of Peoria, you have entered the Aurora portion of the trail—which is a soft surface for the next six miles!  The current trail has few paved sections at the underpass and other areas that are prone to flood.

Closures: None.

Trail Surface: Soft surface/crushed fine gravel in Denver and Aurora.  If biking, please use a bike with thick tires.  Be careful with skinny road bike tires and consider carrying a tire patch kit.

Snow Removal: The trail in Denver is not paved, and therefore it is not plowed after snowstorms. Please report any problems to us as soon as possible so we may try to solve them.

Directions:

SMOOTH RIDING – The trail is open and beautiful from the underpass at Peoria into Sand Creek Park all the way to Colfax Avenue near Airport Boulevard. Stay on the trail through the northern section of Sand Creek Park – FasTracks construction is occurring along Fitzsimons Parkway on the south side of Sand Creek Park and access to Fitzsimons is very limited. Follow the trail through the construction fences under Peoria Street. Cross over Sand Creek going north just east of the underpass at Peoria. Go under I-225 and continue past Sable and Chambers. Enjoy the beautiful section from Chambers to Star K Ranch.

AFTER Chambers Road, you will enter the 200-acre STAR K RANCH with the trailhead and beautiful Morrison Nature Center to the left. Look for the trails heading north (left) off the greenway trail and follow them to the parking lot and nature center (about ½ mile).

OR continue through Star K Ranch to Airport Blvd and go south (right) on the sidewalk/road of Airport Blvd. to where the High Line Canal Trail crosses Airport Blvd. (about 1 mile). Look for the new trail that links the Sand Creek Regional Greenway with the High Line Canal Trail – it is about 1/2 mile west of Peoria!

OR continue on the Sand Creek trail until it ends near Colfax Avenue. The new Colfax Avenue bridge has been completed. Aurora is working on the plan for the new trailhead southeast of Colfax, which should be built by 2016.

Happy trails!

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Sand Creek Regional Greenway Partnership

About the Greenway

The Sand Creek Regional Greenway is a jewel in the necklace of trails that has made Denver a national model for linked trail systems.

This 14-mile public greenway connects the High Line Canal in Aurora, Colorado with the South Platte River Greenway in Commerce City. Along the way, it passes through northeast Denver and the new Stapleton community.

The Sand Creek Regional Greenway is open every day from dawn until dusk. Runners, walkers, nature viewers, horseback riders, and leashed dogs are encouraged to enjoy the trail. We invite you to become acquainted with our wilderness in the city.

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