Fall colors still impress on these easy in-town hikes

Three close-in nature walks let you avoid the traffic and peep the leaves.

Bob Wooley
bwooley@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 10/19/20

Even though the leaves are falling fast, it’s not too late to see some beautiful fall colors on an easy, close-in hike. But you’d better hurry. If you want to get away from it all for an hour or …

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Fall colors still impress on these easy in-town hikes

Three close-in nature walks let you avoid the traffic and peep the leaves.

Posted

Even though the leaves are falling fast, it’s not too late to see some beautiful fall colors on an easy, close-in hike. But you’d better hurry. If you want to get away from it all for an hour or so, without really leaving the metro area, look no further. We scouted three trails that might scratch your seasonal itch without spending hours on the road to get there and back.

Waterton Canyon

Waterton Canyon still has plenty of autumn vibes to take in as you wind your way around the hiking path. Aside from the foliage, there are birds and ducks, and you may even see a bighorn sheep if you make it far enough up the trail. It’s a nature walk that may just make you forget how close to civilization you really are. Waterton is easy to find from C-470 or Wadsworth Blvd., and there’s usually plenty of parking to be had, not to mention, a restroom if nature happens to call.

More information is available at www.denverwater.org/recreation/waterton-canyon-strontia-springs-resevoir

Clear Creek Trail

If you’re looking to add some people-watching to your leaf-peeping head west to Golden and the Clear Creek Trail. This easy to find spot has all of the bases covered with plenty of parking on the street, or in convenient lots adjacent to the trail. To get there, simply find your way to Golden and head to the intersection of Washington avenue and 10th street. The tree-lined trail starts just behind the Golden Visitor’s Center, and runs parallel along the creek. There are lots of places to sit and take it all in if you need a rest, and you can even bring along your fishing pole if you’re feeling lucky. This hike is easy to do with small children and there are tons of spots for that epic selfie to make all of your friends who don’t live in Colorado wish that they did. Best of all, when you’re done with the trail, there’s food, drinks and shopping in every direction.

You can learn more at www.visitgolden.com/listing/clear-creek-trail/4033/

South Platte Park

The final spot on our list is South Platte Park. Just a stone’s throw from Santa Fe Drive and Mineral Avenue in Littleton, you can take in some gorgeous views of the foothills to the west, as you stroll through thickets of colorful aspen trees and listen to the stress-reducing sound of water gliding down a sleepy stretch of the South Platte river. There are small footpaths branching off from the main trail if you want to wander, and lots of great vantage points for the aspiring photographer. Parking is free and easy, and can be found just to the north of the park-and-ride lots that sit on the southwest corner of the Aspen Grove shopping center. Just follow the road to the Carson Nature Center and turn right, for plentiful parking and an entrance to the trail. If you go, think about making it a sunset hike. The views are stunning and the evening sun sparkling through the golden leaves is a magical sight.

Get more details at www.ssprd.org/nature

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