9 Creeks Loop Mile 9-14 Meandering through Aurora

Trailhead: Hinkley High School (1250 Chambers Rd, Aurora, CO 80011)

Trailend: Del Mar Elwood Park (12000 E 6th Ave, Aurora, CO 80010)

Highlights: DeLaney Farms

I am walking the 9 Creeks Loop, which circles Denver for 42 miles. Segment 3 of the 9 Creeks Loop at mile 9-14 begins at Colfax Ave, travels through DeLaney Farms and finishes at the Aurora Government Center. Variety plays in this segment of the 9 Creeks Loop, including picking up 2 of our 9 Creeks. Here’s the narration, mile by mile.

9 Creeks Loop Mile 9 Crossing Colfax

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After ambling through Norfolk Glen, the Trail abruptly dumps you onto a poor crossing on Colfax just east of Laredo. This is where I picked up the 9 Creeks Loop again on the High Line Canal. Still on cement, the Trail works it way through apartments and becomes a thoroughfare for walkers doing errands to different ethnic stores and retailers.

9 Creeks Loop Mile 10 Rural Aurora

9creeks eatwalklearnThe City of Aurora, one of the fastest growing cities in Colorado, was once named Fletcher after the original founder, Donald Fletcher. He garnered the water rights for the town and began building a subdivision full of what was known as “Fletcher homes.” You can still find a few Fletcher homes north of Colfax between Havana and Peoria. But when the silver bust broke up Denver and its environs, Fletcher fled with his water rights. The remaining citizens renamed the town, Aurora. Fortunately for them, the High Line Canal was being built, and it brought water out to the farms and agricultural all the way east of Denver here in Aurora.

9creeks eatwalklearnThus, when walking in Aurora, you’ll often stumble upon unexpected farms and ranches squeezed in between new residences. In this mile along the High Line Canal, I found goat, sheep and chicken farms. It was fun to discover a remote control track called, “Bang Town” in someone’s backyard across from the sheep farm.

9 Creeks Loop Mile 10 Getting to Know Aurora

9creeks eatwalklearnMoving along and past the farms, the trail continues behind Hinkley High School. Hinkely has one of the few public school pools and a wonderful football/track field. On the other side of the Canal, the fields continue, including soccer and baseball fields. All along the Trail, I saw folks playing soccer, paying homage to the wide variety of international influences on Aurora. If you’re in town during the Aurora Global Fest, be sure to attend and witness the parade of nations, taste dozens of different foods, and mingle with Aurora’s global citizens.

9 Creeks Loop Mile 11 Eating Tacos!

9creeks eatwalklearnThe Trail comes out from behind homes and begins to parallel Chambers Ave. Fortunately for me, my favorite hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant is on the corner of 6th and Chambers. Tacos Selene feeds you street tacos of carnitas, pollo, carne or my favorite, vegetarian sopes, for next to nothing. I had to stop and get myself a couple of sopes to sustain myself for the remainder of my walk.

9 Creeks Loop Mile 12 Community College of Aurora

9creeks eatwalklearnAfter a fulfilling dinner at Tacos Selene, I continued south along the High Line Canal and quickly came to DeLaney Farms on my right and Community College of Aurora on my left. The College anchors along the Canal, and I could see students breaking from class near the college’s Observatory. The Observatory is open to the public on certain nights, so be sure to check their schedule if there’s a particular celestial event happening you want to see.

9 Creeks Loop Mile 13 DeLaney Farms

9creeks eatwalklearnAfter passing the College, I set my sites on observing the wonderful DeLaney Farms. Settled in the late 1800s, DeLaney Farms now spans 168 acres and is managed by Denver Urban Farms. The DUG runs a CSA where anyone can buy a membership and get fresh fruits and veggies throughout the season and/or exchange work for products. While walking here, I saw hundreds of prairie dogs, hawks, foxes, deer and rabbits. It’s a great location to really amble along and enjoy the scenery. By the way, south of the Farm is yet another Ultimate Frisbee Golf course, the second along the High Line, but first on the 9 Creeks Loop.

9 Creeks Loop Mile 14 DeLaney Farms Homestead

9creeks eatwalklearnThis last mile was probably my favorite for the day. Not only does it cross two of our 9 Creeks, including the West Toll Gate and the Toll Gate, but there’s great view of the locks along the Canal that control the water flow through Aurora and down along the Toll Gate. In addition, the Trail goes right by the historic buildings of DeLaney including the last of 2 remaining round, wooden, short barns. Here, you can also see where tours for the Farm start from, including tours of the apiary, the barn and the homestead. Finally, the Trail goes under Chambers via the Weddig tunnel, which houses some really cool stainless steel artwork. On the other side of the tunnel is where I ended the walk for this day.

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Join me as I walk along the 9 Creeks Loop on my next leg, Segment 4, which I’ll cover Mile 14-20.

Which mile of the 9 Creeks Loop Segment 3 have you enjoyed?