9 Creeks Loop Segment 8 Miles 35-42 The Finale!

Trailhead: Sunken Gardens Park 1099 Speer Blvd., Denver, CO 80204

Trailend: Globeville Landing (corner of 38th St and Arkins Ct, Denver)

Highlights: Art along Cherry Creek, Confluence Park, Cuernavaca Park

I’m melting. After reaching the Platte River from the Cherry Creek Trail, excitement built to do 9 Creeks Loop Segment 8 Miles 35-42. So rather than wait until the evening, I set out in mid-afternoon to walk another 5 miles or so. But at 98 degrees with not a breath of a breeze in sight, I only made it 2 miles! I came back the next day to finish the rest.

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9 Creeks Loop Mile 35.5 4-Mile House

9creeks eatwalklearnTime struck 8:00 and people began appearing along sandbars, sitting themselves for pending fireworks shows. We decided to continue the walk just a bit further to reach 4-Mile Park along 9 Creeks Loop Segment 8 Miles 35-40 to watch the fireworks instead of exiting at Garland Park. But right before quitting for the evening, we stumbled upon a fabulous free, free-standing, repair kit for bikes available for anyone to use. Ingenious!

To watch footage of this mile, watch this video.

9 Creeks Loop Mile 35.4 Leaving 4-Mile House

9creeks eatwalklearnI returned the next day, parked at the 4 Mile Historic House and set out along the Cherry Creek Trail at about mile 6. This trail, named after the chokecherry bushes that graced its banks, has rich Arapahoe history as well. Rush hour greeted me with bike after bike of commuters zooming by. Loaded with panniers and commuting gear, these bikers had no time to say hello much less offer a smile. I stayed as far to the right of the concrete trail, praying I didn’t get yelled at to get off the Trail.

To see footage of this mile, watch this video.

9 Creeks Loop Mile 36.5 City of Takayama Park

9creeks eatwalklearnI settled into a rhythm and realized that the bikers weren’t out to get me. The Creek remained on my left while multi-floor business buildings decorated the road to the right. Smaller parks sneaked their way in between the buildings, offering some respite and bathrooms. Soon, high-rise residences began to appear, and I stumbled upon the City of Takayama Park, a Denver sister city.

9creeks eatwalklearnThe City of Takayama Park, the second park in Denver’s Sister Cities program, honors the beauty and relationship between the two cities which share commonalities in mountains, rivers, hot springs and industry. The park houses beautiful bonsai trees and respite from the business of the Cherry Creek Trail.  After reading a bit about the Park, I moved along.

To see footage of this mile, watch this video.

9 Creeks Loop Mile 37 The City of Karmiel Park

9creeks eatwalklearnAfter learning a bit about Japan, I came across the next Denver Sister City, The City of Karmiel Park. Sharing a love for community, these two cities have developed their relationship through live readings about the Holocaust, sharing textbooks and musical instruments, and inviting students to visit. This 4th Sister City continues to bring love and kindness through a variety of global events each year.

To see footage of this mile, watch this video.

9 Creeks Loop Mile 38 Avoiding Cherry Creek Mall

9creeks eatwalklearnNot long, I came across the Cherry Creek Mall. Denver’s posh shopping district attracts regionally from around the west. The Trail actually diverts from the Mall and goes across the Creek through some wonderful views. It seems that bikers take this Trail and walkers stay up along the Mall. But the Trail officially goes across the Creek, so this is the path I took.

9creeks eatwalklearnSome of the prettiest views yet along the Loop offered themselves up, but I was also chastened by a biker that the area was dangerous for pedestrians, despite a sign upon entry to the area that said, “Bikers yield to pedestrians.” I even came to a very dangerous corner with mirrors to allow blind spot views where bikers slowed to almost a crawl. Getting around the corner warmed me up for the next hazardous mile along 1st Ave.

To see footage of this mile, watch this video.

9 Creeks Loop Mile 39 1st Ave

9creeks eatwalklearnCrim-i-ny as they say in Australia, I wouldn’t want to repeat walking on 1st Ave again. An 8-ft wide, cement path abuts 1st Ave with a small 2-ft wide shoulder to spare. On the left is a solid brick wall shielding golfers from the noise and pollution. Biking commuters speed by yelling “on your left” while avoiding on-coming bikers. Throw in runners and walkers, and we’re all playing a game of footed roulette. My pace must have quickened to a good 3.5 miles per hour as I rushed myself through this shoot of craziness. Finally, the Trail scooted under Speer Avenue along the Creek. Hey Denver Country Club, how about a little safety space?

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To see footage of this mile, watch this video.

9 Creeks Loop Mile 39 On the Creek Again

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Escaping 1st Avenue put me back into a better mood and getting back down onto the Creek refreshed me. Once again the Trail abutted the Creek, but now it sat lower than the street and cement walled in the Trail. Although cyclists still populated in great numbers, with the evening getting later, more folks walked with their dogs for their evening strolls.

9creeks eatwalklearnEventually I came across one of Denver’s best kept secrets, it’s public art fund. This fund sets aside 1% of $1 million capital projects within the City for public art. Part of those funds go for street art.

9creeks eatwalklearnFinally, the cement walls became canvasses for global street artists to share their craft. While the sun lowered itself, the light changed and the art beamed. Within just a few hundred yards I got to enjoy 3 or 4 pieces of world class street art, which motivated me to finish the Cherry Creek Trail.

To see footage of this mile, watch this video

9 Creeks Loop Mile 40 Arriving at Confluence Park

9creeks eatwalklearnJust past the appearance of the public art, the Trail splits into two. Pedestrians stay to the right and bikers go to the left. For the first time that day, I finally relaxed on the Loop and didn’t worry about constantly being to the right of the Trail to make passing easier for the cyclists. Several couples out for the evening said hello and chatted me up for a bit as I ventured to Confluence Park.

To see footage of this mile, watch this video

9 Creeks Loop Mile 40.5 Confluence Park

9creeks eatwalklearnAt the intersection of Cherry Creek and Platte River sits Confluence Park. Overlooked by REI to the west, apartments to the Northeast, and a park to the Southeast, this mecca of activity draws water lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, and sun bathers from around the region. Kayaks, tubers, sand castle builders and coffee drinkers mingle here enjoying the exciting rapids and confluence of these two water bodies. On the cement walls bordering the water, artists have painted their best pieces.

To view footage of this area, watch this video

9 Creeks Loop Mile 41 A New Creek, a New Trail

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Confluence Park tops my Denver list as a favorite place in Denver. With the changing water flow, the craziness of people enjoying it, and the amazing art that surrounds it, I have to say I was a bit sad to move north out of the Park.

9creeks eatwalkearn But the fact that I had picked up a new creek and was on a new trail, thrilled me, and I moved along on the concrete path on the west side of South Platte River.

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9creeks eatwalklearnThe South Platte River eventually flows to the Gulf of Mexico via the Mississippi by way of Nebraska. Its history roots in the Colorado gold rush, and it owns the birth of Denver along its banks. Like many rivers that flow through cities, it’s been through its need for respect, from a place to dump trash, chemicals and waste, to a place that residents love, fish, and boat. Known for its Brown and Rainbow Trout, the River hosts many events, people, and games throughout the year. Walking along the Platte always brings forth a variety of people and views.

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9 Creeks Loop Mile 42 The Banks of the South Platte

9creeks eatwalklearnThe Platte River Trail, a concrete path of 8 feet wide, follows the west side of the River for a short while and then crosses over to the East. Although people still use the Platte to commute, it’s not nearly as many as the Cherry Creek Trail. The Platte is also a corridor for historical wayfarers and new wayfarers a like. Jack Kerouac used the trail to journey from the Denargo Fruit Market to downtown to meet up with his buddies Neal Cassady and Alan Ginsberg. Currently, many of Denver’s homeless and listless hang along the Platte, spending their days and awaiting their next moves. Like elsewhere along the Loop, I never worried about my safety, and I continued along the Trail saying appropriate hellos.

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9 Creeks Loop Mile 42 Enjoying Cuernavaca Park

9creeks eatwalklearnHeading past the wonderful Cuernavaca Park, which highlights the history of Denver’s sports teams and its flour mills, I moved along the River, trying to catch a breeze to cool off. I knew the end of the trail was near.

9 Creeks Loop Mile 42.3 Approaching Globeville

As the Loop came to its end where I had started, I officially counted the last body of water, the Platte River while I passed a few folks experiencing homelessness. We said our hellos as I said good bye to the 9 Creeks Loop. Read my final thoughts about the 9 Creeks. What did you enjoy about the 9 Creeks Loop Segment 8 Miles 35-42? Too long?