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Ways to Get Outside in Denver This Spring

Posted on: March 19, 2021

It may have been a long, snowy, cold end to a winter spent cooped up indoors, but finally, the first day of Colorado spring is beckoning! Looking for ways to get out and enjoy the sunshine? Read on to learn more about some of Colorado’s best outdoor activities for springtime.

1. Take a kayaking expedition

Enjoy the beautiful Colorado weather from the water! Bring the whole family to enjoy Denver’s scenic Smith Lake by renting a pedal boat in Washington Park—the boats are easy to use, and the waters are calm and peaceful.

For a more high-intensity experience, check out Confluence Park, where kayakers can ride through whitewater chutes, go on river trips, or take lessons. Rent any equipment you might need, from paddles to drybags, at the nearby Confluence Kayak & Ski shop.

2. Hit the bike trails

Denver is packed with over 85 miles of incredible biking trails—the perfect way to see the area’s natural beauty by road bike, mountain bike, and anything in between. The historic Cherry Creek Trail takes bikers from Confluence Park through cool urban scenery and open greenery until you end up at Cherry Creek Reservoir. Looking for an easy day? Look no further than the Highline Canal, which winds through Denver and its neighboring suburbs for over 70+ miles.

Bikers looking for a challenge will enjoy Clear Creek Trail, eighteen sun-drenched miles that follow the pristine Clear Creek, and a series of beautiful parks. The trail features a steep climb but ends with the reward of some excellent microbreweries. There’s also the Colorado Trail for mountain bikers, a famous expedition that can be broken up into more manageable parts to accommodate all skill levels.

3. Get moving on a scenic hike

Hiking is a great way to explore the Denver metro area’s surrounding beauty. Whether you’re searching for something close to the city or wanting to get away for the day, the area is teeming with trails offering a variety of scenery and catering to all skill levels that are all less than an hour’s drive time from Downtown Denver.

The Red Rocks trail at Red Rocks is a 6+ mile out-and-back hike offering an easy option for families while exploring the area’s infamous red rocks, caves, and arches. Make a day of it and embark on a more challenging hike on the Elk Falls Overlook trail, a difficult 12-mile hike through Staunton State Park that rewards your efforts with a spectacular waterfall. Looking for an adventure with your furry friend? Check out the nearly 40+ dog-friendly trails close to the Mile High City, all cataloged by Day Hikes Near Denver

4. Observe local wildlife

Visit the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge to get in tune with Colorado wildlife! Located ten minutes from downtown Denver, this urban wildlife refuge is one of the largest in the country, spanning more than 15,000 acres of land.

Bring the whole family to stroll along the refuge’s beautiful trails, observing more than 330 wildlife species, including bison, burrowing owls, bald eagles, deer, and endangered black-footed ferrets.

Or enjoy a day bird watching at Barr Lake, just northwest of the city. A level 8.8-mile multi-use trail circles the lake and passes by several wildlife viewing stations and the park's wildlife refuge. More than 350 species of birds have been spotted in the park. Numerous bald eagles winter at Barr Lake, and one pair stays to nest and raise its young every year.

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