I visited Denver for the first time in 2017 and mentioned it in this blog post. Two years ago I didn’t spend there much time and didn’t have a chance to explore the city running. Knowing that in November 2019 I will visit Denver again, I came prepared for a productive work week.
I also prepared myself for some running. At first, looking at the city map, I didn’t see anything particularly interesting and runnable. But then I came across
https://theculturetrip.com/north-america/usa/colorado/articles/the-best-running-routes-in-denver/. Having analysed all the proposed routes I concluded that I will most likely explore the Cherry Creek Trail. My hotel was just 800 metres from it. It was much farther to all the other routes and I couldn’t afford time for long runs.
Cherry Creek Trail
The trail itself is in fact a concrete path running along the Cherry Creek. Both the path and the creek are down in a concrete flood control channel. Therefore the description of the trail I found on Strava (One of the prettiest, most relaxing places in the city of Denver), was, in my view, not entirely accurate. Perhaps in the spring and in the summer it’s all green and pretty, but in late autumn not necessarily. In the morning I could see a few commuter cyclists and dog walkers. On the other hand, I saw many homeless under the bridges, while the trail itself was littered with rubbish, used condoms and rabbit-size dead rats. So I wouldn’t say it was a beautiful and relaxing place.
Anyway, one day I woke up early, dressed warm (it was slightly freezing) and set off for an easy run. After a few minutes I reached Cherry Creek and ran upstream for some 4 km. Then I came back and followed the creek slightly more downstream before I headed back to my hotel through the downtown. Overall I did 9.7 km in 62 minutes, so it was a pleasant, easy run to start the day well. The experience was enhanced by an interesting podcast coming out of my earphones.
To summarise, even though it’s not super pretty along Cherry Creek, it is one of few places in downtown Denver, where one can have a run uninterrupted by traffic lights and street crossings. A continuous trail in the middle of a large city is a no-brainer. Indeed, I came to a similar conclusion last year in Dallas, about which I wrote here.
All the best,