Best Destinations For An Afternoon Hike

Grab your boots!

Discover Aurora’s natural landscapes and Rocky Mountain views on a number of these hikes. From hidden wetlands to wide open spaces, you’ll be one with nature!

WETLANDS LOOP AND CREEKSIDE TRAIL AT STAR K RANCH

Known as a hidden gem, Star K Ranch has two distinct trailheads that are perfect for beginner hikers. Linked together by the Sand Creek Regional Greenway, hikers can cover about 2.5 miles of hiking in an afternoon. Wander through the wetlands and large cottonwood forest, it’s perfect for early fall!

SAND CREEK REGIONAL GREENWAY

If you want to hike a little further, continue on the 14-mile Sand Creek Regional Greenway. This paved trail is ideal for longer hikes and nature viewing. Winding through Commerce City, Denver, and Aurora, the trail gives you a great sense of Colorado’s natural landscape.

CHERRY CREEK STATE PARK

With more than 20 mapped trails, Cherry Creek State Park is filled with hiking variety. Head out for a long trip on the Chery Creek Trail, 7.79 miles that cross directly through the park and has wonderful mountain views. Or spring for something a little shorter, like the 2.11 mile Railroad Bed Trail. It's the ideal spot for watching the sun set into the mountains.

PINEY CREEK TRAIL

Grab your walking shoes; Piney Creek Trail is 10 miles of paved trail that runs through the southern portion of Cherry Creek State Park. This semi-reclusive trail has a variety of sights along the way including, Red Tailed Hawk Park and views of the beautiful Saddle Rock Golf Course. It’s ideal for biking, walking, or running.

PLAINS CONSERVATION CENTER

Take a step-back-in-time at this 1,000-acre open space and true-to-life homestead known as the Plains Conservation Center. Remember to bring your boots for the designated trail spaces. You might even spot a pronghorn deer or red-tailed hawk along the way.

JEWELL WETLANDS PARK

Discover one of Colorado’s natural habitat at Jewell Wetlands Park. There are two trail systems, one paved around the park and a boardwalk path that zig-zags through the park’s wetlands and cottonwood trees. These short but sweet trails are great for a quick hike.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN ARSENAL NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE

View nature on an afternoon hike at the Wildlife Refuge. With more than 10-miles of interconnected and easy to navigate trails, you’ll be able to enjoy wildlife right before your eyes. Home to hundreds of local creatures, including bison and coyotes, the Wildlife Refuge is great for getting the true Colorado experience.

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