Wellness & Nature

Run wild! The top 12 trails to conquer in Denver

Looking for the best running trails in Denver? Look no further! Denver is home to a plethora of trails that cater to runners of all levels.

Whether you're an experienced runner or just starting out, there's a trail out there for you.

With over 200 parks and 85 miles of paved trails, Denver is a runner's paradise. Whether you prefer running through the city or exploring the surrounding mountains, Denver has something for everyone.

From scenic views to challenging terrain, the trails in Denver are sure to impress.

One of the best things about running in Denver is the variety of trails available. From flat and fast to steep and challenging, Denver has a trail for every type of runner.

Whether you're looking for a quick morning jog or a long-distance run, Denver's trails offer a range of distances to choose from.

So, whether you're a local or just visiting Denver, be sure to check out some of the city's best running trails.

With so many options to choose from, you're sure to find a trail that suits your running style and fitness level.

1. Highline Canal Trail

Highline Canal Trail
Denver, CO 80224 (Google Maps)

The Highline Canal Trail is a fantastic resource for runners.

This 66-mile trail winds through the city, providing a flat and scenic route for those looking for a leisurely jog or a more intense workout.

The trail is well-maintained and offers separate paths for runners and cyclists, making it easy to share the space.

The trail also offers plenty of shade and beautiful views of the Rockies. Whether you're a seasoned runner or just starting out, the Highline Canal Trail is definitely worth checking out.

2. Lake Mary Loop Trail

Lake Mary Loop Trail
Lake Mary Trail, Denver, CO 80239 (Google Maps)

The Lake Mary Loop Trail is a beautiful and well-developed trail system that offers stunning scenery and wildlife sightings.

The trail is short enough for novice hikers and perfect for little kids.

The lake is mesmerizing and offers great photo opportunities. The trail is a catch and release fishing spot with barbless hooks only.

The trail is free to enter and open from sunrise to sunset daily.

3. Cherry Creek Hike/Bike Path

Cherry Creek Hike/Bike Path
N Downing St, Denver, CO 80218 (Google Maps)

Cherry Creek Hike/Bike Path is a must-visit for runners and bikers. The well-maintained path offers a great workout and allows visitors to cover a lot of ground. The trail is particularly enjoyable in the morning hours.

While the path can get busy on nice days, it's a green oasis in the heart of the city. Visitors can enjoy cool murals along the way, but should be aware of occasional encampments of people experiencing homelessness.

The path is very bike-friendly, but can be a bit sketchy for walkers. The city does a good job of keeping up with maintenance, and while there may be the occasional homeless person, they typically won't bother visitors.

All in all, Cherry Creek Hike/Bike Path is a great option for anyone looking to get some exercise and enjoy the outdoors.

4. Twin Lakes Park

Twin Lakes Park
226-318 W 70th Ave, Denver, CO 80221 (Google Maps)

Twin Lakes Park is the perfect spot for a leisurely jog. The 1.5-mile trail is level and easy, with just the right amount of shade and scenery to make for a pleasant walk.

The park is well-maintained, with clean walking paths and plenty of trash cans.

There's even a playground and picnic tables for families to enjoy. Dog owners will appreciate the port-a-potties and dog poop bags available throughout the park.

Twin Lakes Park is a beautiful getaway inside an industrial area, and it's highly recommended for those seeking a peaceful outdoor lunch break.

5. Wagon Trail Park

Wagon Trail Park
Denver, CO 80123 (Google Maps)

Wagon Trail Park is a charming neighborhood park that offers a pleasant running trail. The park features concrete trails that may be a little too rough for young bike riders.

The park is surrounded by fenced housing and fields, making it a safe and quiet place to run.

The playground equipment is designed for rock climbing, and there is one picnic bench with a roof for a shaded lunch.

The park is clean and well-maintained, and the playground is perfect for younger kids. The trees provide shade, allowing visitors to enjoy the park for longer periods without getting too hot.

6. Platte River / Cherry Creek Confluence

Platte River / Cherry Creek Confluence
Colorado Front Range Trl, Denver, CO 80204 (Google Maps)

Platte River / Cherry Creek Confluence is a great running trail for those who love to be by the water.

With a small sand beach and plenty of cement steps to sit and relax, it's a perfect spot to unwind after a long day.

The trail is also pet-friendly, so bring your furry friend along for a jog.

Plus, if you're feeling adventurous, you can even tube down the side chute of the Platte River. It's a great little park with friendly people all around.

7. Barnes Hiking Trail

Barnes Hiking Trail
2100 E Iowa Ave, Denver, CO 80210 (Google Maps)

Barnes Hiking Trail is a great running trail that offers beautiful views, cascading hills, and a mix of flat and hilly terrain.

It's perfect for runners of all skill levels, as well as hikers and dog-walkers.

The trail can be a bit tricky to find, but once you do, you'll appreciate the peace and solitude of this hidden gem.

Don't miss out on this unique running experience!

8. Smith Road Trailhead

Smith Road Trailhead
9450 Smith Rd, Denver, CO 80238 (Google Maps)

Smith Road Trailhead is a great park for those looking for a peaceful walk, bike ride or just to sit and enjoy the surroundings.

The trail is well-maintained and offers a safe and easy route for runners of all levels. The lush greenery and scenic views make it a perfect spot for nature lovers.

The park is also a popular spot for families with kids and pets. Parking is readily available and the park is easily accessible.

If you're looking for a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, Smith Road Trailhead is definitely worth a visit.

9. First Creek at DEN Open Space

First Creek At Den Open Space
5600-5898 Buckley Rd, Denver, CO 80239 (Google Maps)

First Creek at DEN Open Space offers a beautiful nature trail for running enthusiasts.

The stunning mountain views and wildlife sightings make it a scenic and peaceful place to exercise. However, visitors should be cautious of rattlesnakes in the area.

The trail is also shared by horseback riders, dog walkers, and cyclists.

While benches along the path would be a welcome addition, the park is still a great spot for a refreshing and enjoyable run in nature.

10. Westerly Creek Park

Westerly Creek Park
9200 E 26th Ave, Denver, CO 80220 (Google Maps)

Westerly Creek Park features paved paths for walking, running, and cycling.

The park is surrounded by trees, open fields, and a creek that adds to the tranquil atmosphere. There are plenty of activities for children, including a stream to play in.

The park is also home to some beautiful works of art. Visitors should note that there are no restrooms or water fountains available along the trails.

Despite this, Westerly Creek Park is an excellent place to enjoy the great outdoors without leaving the city.

11. Prairie Park

Prairie Park
2551 Buchtel Blvd S, Denver, CO 80210 (Google Maps)

Prairie Park is a 14-acre linear park that features native plants and natural trails for biking and walking.

The park is a nice place for morning runs or leisurely walks in the city. The paved sidewalk is well-maintained and ideal for those who prefer a smooth surface.

However, the park can get noisy during rush hour. While it's not very secluded, it's still a good place to get some exercise and enjoy the outdoors.

If you're looking for a park to bike or walk in, Prairie Park is worth checking out.

12. Frog Hollow Park

Frog Hollow Park
2350 W 8th Ave, Denver, CO 80204 (Google Maps)

Frog Hollow Park is a scenic riverside greenway featuring a trail perfect for running. The park has a boat launch, picnic areas, and good access to the river for fishing.

If you're looking for a place to park and go for a run or a walk, this is a great option.

Although the water could be cleaner, the park's natural beauty and convenient amenities make it a worthwhile stop along the larger hike/bike trail through the city.