Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Denver Delivers

by Drew Hanson

If you are looking for a city with great walking, Denver delivers.

Multitudes of wonderful walks are easy to find in the Mile High City thanks to a well-designed multi-modal transportation system and more than 80 miles of greenway trails.

No need for a car in Denver. The city's light rail system is fantastic! It is clean and quiet and costs a fraction of a taxi ride. The A-Line connecting the downtown to the airport is one of five spurs emanating from the downtown. The trains are further integrated into the city's transportation network by allowing bicycles on-board, an Amtrak stop at Union Station and some train stations with enough parking for the park-and-ride commuter. These trains can take you to all regions of the city to begin whatever walk you create.

light rail leading west from Denver's downtown
Downtown Denver has complete sidewalks, secure pedestrian crossings of nearly every street, great restaurants and a hoppin' night life. Most notably, the downtown's 16th Street Mall is a 1.2-mile pedestrian promenade that is off-limits to automobiles except for free buses. It is a lively, bustling strip for your walking pleasure.

16th Street Mall
A main line of Denver's greenways is the South Platte River Trail, which follows the main body of water through the city. While walking this trail, it is easy to get lost in thoughts of this river flowing east, through Nebraska, to the Missouri River, then Mississippi and eventually into the Gulf of Mexico.

South Platte River
One of the most heavily used greenways in Denver is along Cherry Creek. Trails flank both sides of the creek that passes along the downtown. The trail on one side is for pedestrians. The other side for bikes and rollerblading. It connects Confluence Park, where it meets the South Platte River Trail, with Cherry Creek State Park, a distance of 12 miles.

pedestrian side of the Cherry Creek Trail
One of the more scenic greenways in Denver is coursed by both the Lakewood Gulch Trail and the W-Line rail. It offers distant views of the downtown to the east and mountains to the west.

Lakewood Gulch Trail

Wayfinding signage on the greenway trails includes simple icons within arrows painted on the pavement at major intersections. Click here for more information about the city's urban trails.

handy painted icons point ahead to downtown and back to mountains

On a recent trip to Denver, the pedometer app on my phone told me I walked 9.7 miles the first day and 17 miles the second. Bliss! And so much more left to explore.

35,765 steps, or about 17 miles, in Denver makes for a good day

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