The Sand Creek Regional Greenway is a jewel in the necklace of trails that has made the metro Denver area a national model for linked t... more »rail systems. This 14-mile public greenway connects the High Line Canal in Aurora with the South Platte River Greenway in Commerce City. Along the way, it passes through Denver and the newly formed 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. Motorized vehicles are prohibited.
The Greenway runs through industrial, residential, and scenic areas in the Denver metro area. Bluff Lake Nature Center and Morrison Nature Center are both located directly off of the Greenway, as well as the Urban Farm at Stapleton, Sand Creek Park, and Star K Ranch Natural Area.
For an everytrail.com guide to the 42 mile NE Denver Loop (the Sand Creek Greenway, South Platte Greenway, Cherry Creek Greenway, Highline Canal loop), please visit http://www.everytrail.com/guide/northeast-denver-loop.
The following is a play by play of the trail, starting in Commerce City and ending in Aurora.
PARK (your car, if you need to) at 60th and York.
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 (on bridge over South Platte River).
FOLLOW THE TRAIL as it goes along the south side of I-270, then turns right at the Burlington ditch. Keep following the trail as it goes left over the Burlington Ditch – and 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 a great place to park your car.
Commerce City Wetland Park. In the early morning and late afternoon, egrets, herons, ducks, foxes, muskrats, and many other natural friends can be seen.
After you CROSS THE BRIDGE to the south side of the creek, at the Wetland Park, look for the restroom building to your right. If you follow the unpaved trail around the wetland areas, you will come to a new paved parking lot at the end of 52nd Avenue. If you go to your left at the bridge is the newest section of off-road trail and it is beautiful! Enjoy this last mile of paved trail all the way to 47th Avenue Drive at the Denver city line.
There is a TRAILHEAD on east Smith Road (to reach it by car, turn onto Smith Road from Havana).
FOLLOW THE TRAIL east, past the Urban Farm on the north, down to the creek and up the hill to Havana. Go on the sidewalk over the Sand Creek bridge on Havana and look for the detour signs on your right. Follow the trail off to the right, down under the bridge and up on the other side of Havana. Follow the trail that goes along the road (with Bluff Lake Nature Center on your left) all the way to Peoria.
BE CAREFUL - New and improved roads are being built along Havana and Martin Luther King Blvd. There are sporadic construction activities in the Denver section. Please do not go around barriers on the trail.
SMOOTH RIDING - The trail is open and beautiful from the underpass at Peoria in Sand Creek Park past Airport Boulevard. Stay on the trail through the northern section of Sand Creek Park. Go under I-225 and continue past Sable and Chambers. Enjoy the beautiful section from Chambers to Star K Ranch – especially this time of year.
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).
OR continue on the Sand Creek trail until it ends near Colfax Avenue.
Happy trails! less «