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Hit the trails for World Running Day with these Denver favorites

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Posted at 5:06 PM, Jun 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-07 10:41:52-04

DENVER — World Running Day is this Wednesday and if there’s any city that offers up a mix of difficulty, elevation, terrain and incredible views when it comes to the trails, it’s Denver.

Whether you’re searching for a quick escape from the city’s hustle and bustle or a multi-hour distance run up and down mountains, these local trails recommended by Runners Roost Denver and Denver's Road Runner Sports will bring you clean mountain air and dirty shoes.

Trail: South Suburban Parks and Recreation’s trails

  • Location: Various. Click the link above for a map of the trail system.
  • Description: These trails wind their way through the south part of Denver, around the Englewood, Littleton, Centennial and Lone Tree areas. While each individual trail ranges from half a mile to nine miles, they interact often, so a runner can make their way from one trail to the next. The paths are a mix of hard and soft surfaces, meaning there are ways to hit the dirt without leaving Denver city limits.
  • Restrictions: None.
  • Fee: None.

Trail: Chautauqua Park

  • Location: Parking in this area is usually limited, especially on weekends and in good weather. The trailhead starts at Grant and Baseline Streets. Minimal parking is available at the trailhead, so you may find better luck on the street around Chautauqua Lawn, along Baseline Street and in nearby neighborhoods.
  • Description: From less than a mile to about seven miles, the trails in this popular park in Boulder are almost all dirt. There’s a good mix of technical and non-technical trails here and they intertwine for additional miles. This area becomes very populated on the weekends.
  • Restrictions: None.
  • Fee: There is a summer fee to enter the park, and you’ll likely pay for parking.

Trail: Lair o’ the Bear

  • Location: The trailhead is located at 22550 State Highway 74 in Idledale.
  • Description: With plenty of parking off the highway, this woodsy 14.5-mile out-and-back trail is picturesque and usually well-traveled. Patrick Nooman, manager of Road Runner Sports store, described it “like running through an enchanted forest.” The trail features spots of steep uphills and downhills.
  • Restrictions: None.
  • Fee: None.

Trail: Mount Falcon Park

  • Location: The east trailhead is located at 3852 Vine St. in Morrison and the west trailhead is located at 21074 Mount Falcon Road, Indian Hills
  • Description: If you’re looking for a relatively easy, flat and wide trail — perfect for showing visitors what Colorado can offer — this trail fits the bill. The area has a few different trails to explore and they include stunning views of Denver, Red Rocks and the Front Range. These trails feature about 11 miles worth of dirt, with a steep 2,000-foot climb up Castle Trail, which ends at the ruins of John Brisben Walker’s castle.
  • Restrictions: None.
  • Fee: None.

Trail: North Table Mountain Loop

  • Location: The North Table Mountain West Trailhead starts at 4788 Highway 93 in Golden, and the North Table Mountain Golden Cliffs Trailhead starts at 100 Peery Parkway, also in Golden. Staff at Runners Roost recommend arriving early for a parking spot.
  • Description: This looped trail ranges from 2.7 to 7.7 miles with moderate difficulty. While easy to admire the views, keep an eye on the ground, too — this trail is well-known as rattlesnake habitat. Nooman said this trail is flat and mildly technical, but doesn’t have too many natural obstacles to trip over. It is accessible all year.
  • Restrictions: Rim Rock Trail is closed until July 31 to protect nesting raptors.
  • Fee: None.

Trail: Roxborough State Park

  • Location: There is parking around the visitors center, located at 4751 Roxborough Dr. in Littleton.
  • Description: If you don’t mind shelling out a few dollars, you can catch views of red rock formations and (usually) wildlife along this relatively easy, non-technical trail. And bonus: It’s a National Natural Landmark.
  • Restrictions: No dogs.
  • Fee: $7 for a daily pass.

Trail: Waterton Canyon

  • Location: The trailhead is located at 11300 Waterton Road in Littleton.
  • Description: This is the north-most point of the Colorado Trail and runs for six miles. “You can see wildlife on it and there’s always mountain goats running around,” Nooman said. You may spot a bear or elk along this route as well. This wide, dirt road is an out-and-back.
  • Restrictions: No dogs.
  • Fee: None.

Trail: Deer Creek Canyon

  • Location: The trailhead is located at 13388 Grizzly Drive in Littleton.
  • Description: This trail features more than 13 miles of trails in the Deer Creek Park. Feeling up to a challenge? Runners can attempt “The Wall,” a particularly steep section of Plymouth Creek Trail. If that’s not enough, a runner can hop onto the Colorado Trail, which runs south all the way to Durango. Keep an eye out for rattlesnakes here.
  • Restrictions: None.
  • Fee: None.

Feeling ready to jump over rocks, splash in some puddles and admire the views?

Nooman said it best: “You throw a dart on a Colorado map and it’s a fun trail.”