Thursday, June 4, 2009

Clear Creek Trail

As the brochure says, "The Wheat Ridge Greenbelt Conservation Area is a treasure along the Clear Creek Trail". I lab tested a section of it with Jasper, an energetic black lab who is enjoying some R&R at nearby Rover Retreat, while he waits for a foster home or forever home through Safe Harbor Lab Rescue.

I picked this trail simply by soaring over Wheat Ridge in my personal flying machine (aka Google Maps satellite view). I saw what appeared to be a long, long trail surrounded by lush greenery, and decided it was worth checking out. I was not disappointed. I am amazed at the vast quantities of amazing parks right in town. Good job, Colorado!

We started out from Anderson Park on W 44th Avenue at Field Street and headed west. In this section, the flat, paved mixed use trail is surrounded by lovely trees and Clear Creek on one side, and a large park on the other.

The trail meanders a little towards and away from the fast moving creek. At one point, a dirt side spur took us down to a calm section where my companion was happy to sink down and soak his belly in the cool water after slurping a little refreshment.

We hung a left at the Independence Bridge, as a sign announced this was the Clear Creek Trail, but once across the bridge, the trail appeared to leave the shaded creek-side and enter a residential neighborhood. We did an about face and continued west. When we ran into what appeared to be the end of the trail at Kipling Street, we headed back towards the car.

Coming from this direction, there is an additional sign at the Independence Bridge, indicating that one should cross the bridge here if they wish to cross Kipling and continue on towards the west where four different lakes sit near the west end of the trail.

We covered just over 1/2 mile of the trail, and it stretches another mile and a half in each direction, spanning almost 4 miles between Harlan and Youngfield. Along about the middle of our journey, we picked up a beautiful trail guide from a box hanging on the large map sign.