Enjoying a Hike on the Cherry Creek Trail via the 9 Creeks Loop, Segment 7

Enjoying a Hike on the Cherry Creek Trail via the 9 Creeks Loop, Segment 7

The 9 Creeks Loop is a 42-mile hike that physically circles the city of Denver on trail. It uses a combination of 4 regional trails to lap the city. I have broken the 42 miles into 8 easy ~5 mile segment that are flat, have easy to find trailheads and trailends, and all can be walked in any direction. Transit is mostly available to the trailheads, although you may need to be a bit creative. When I walk the loop, I often will take a Lyft. You can certainly walk the segments as out-n-backs as well.

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9 Creeks Loop Segment 7 Miles 30-35 New Trail, New Creeks

Trailhead: Garland Park (6300 E Mississippi Ave, Denver, CO 80224)

Trailend: Sunken Gardens Park (1099 Speer Blvd., Denver, CO 80204)

Highlights: 4-mile House, Sister CityParks, Cherry Creek Mall

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If you’re a fan of the Cherry Creek area, you’ll love this segment of the trail. Taking you from the golf course to the mall to the industrial area and out, you’ll experience Cherry Creek from a pedestrian view–one that many don’t get a chance to enjoy.

You’ll Be on the Creek the Entire Time

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Jump back on the trail from Garland Park and head to the right, or north. You’ll still be walking along the creek. Shortly you’ll pass 4 Mile Park, a historical property that recreates life on the prairie in the 1800s. Imagine yourself homesteading and farming as you continue north along Cherry Creek. Here the bicycles pick up pretty quickly, so stay to the right of the trail along the dirt path paralleling the trail.

Many Sister City Parks Entertain You

The Creek remains on your left while multi-floor business buildings decorate the road to the right. Smaller parks sneak their way in between the buildings, offering some respite and bathrooms. Soon, high-rise residences begin to appear, and you’ll stumble upon the City of Takayama Park, a Denver sister city. The 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.

Choke Cherries Make Great Jelly

Continue along Cherry Creek Trail, named after the choke cherries along its bank, and you’ll come 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.

Stop and Go Shopping?

Not long, you’ll come to 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; take the path that is most comfortable to you.

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After you get past Cherry Creek Mall, the trail continues west along 1st Ave. Rather than walking on the very narrow multi-use path along Denver Country Club, you may want to cross 1st Ave and head up to 4th Ave. Go west through the neighborhood along 4th until you reach Corona St. Head south on Corona, crossing 1st and jump back on the Cherry Creek Trail. Walk to 8th Avenue, where you’ll exit the trail to enter Sunken Gardens park just to the west of the trail where you parked.

Walking the 9 Creeks Loop and Denver By Foot

You can find more information about the 9 Creeks Loop here. I have also written about it extensively in my book, The Best Urban Hikes: Denver.

If you’ve enjoyed this walk, maybe you’ll enjoy some other walks curated by Denver By Foot. Get the 52 Hikes 52 Weeks Denver Calendar, which recommends a hike a week, subscribe to the YouTube Channel to hear about weekly hiking suggestions in Denver, and buy access to the Denver By Foot Challenge. The Challenge is 30 activities in Denver to do by foot where you’ll uncover treasures throughout Denver. It’s a great thing to do with friends and family.

Finally, please support Denver By Foot by purchasing Chris Englert’s books, The Best Urban Hikes: Denver and Discovering Denver Parks. Thank you so much!


Hiking Along the Cherry Creek Trail Portion of the 9 Creeks Loop, Segment 6

Hiking Along the Cherry Creek Trail Portion of the 9 Creeks Loop, Segment 6

The 9 Creeks Loop is a 42-mile hike that physically circles the city of Denver on trail. It uses a combination of 4 regional trails to lap the city. I have broken the 42 miles into 8 easy ~5 mile segment that are flat, have easy to find trailheads and trailends, and all can be walked in any direction. Transit is mostly available to the trailheads, although you may need to be a bit creative. When I walk the loop, I often will take a Lyft. You can certainly walk the segments as out-n-backs as well.

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Trailhead: Eloise May Library (1471 S Parker Rd, Denver, CO 80231)

Trailend: Garland Park (6300 E Mississippi Ave, Denver, CO 80224)

Highlights: Cherry Creek Golf Course, Cherry Creek Confluence

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9 Creeks Loop Segment 6 Miles 25-30 Back from the Outskirts of Denver

After walking on the High Line, you’ll finally exit the High Line Canal trail and start the Cherry Creek. The atmosphere changes from a meander to a commute! The Cherry Creek Golf Course homes dot the horizon along the golf course as you head northwest up the creek and into urban Denver.

Start in Arapahoe, But End in Denver

Park at Eloise May Library, and then walk 1000 feet to the west along Florida to pick up the trail. Take a left and continue south. The trail will be double-wide at this point, with bikers taking the asphalt and walkers taking the pebble trail that parallels it. Head under Iliff through the tunnel, and you’ll come out at the Cherry Creek Golf Course.

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Big Houses at a Beautiful Confluence

The asphalt trail parallels the golf course with nice vistas of giant houses on the right and nicely appointed apartments on the left. The users of the trail change here, being replaced by folks who are serious about their exercise, walker, runners and bicyclists alike!

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After walking next to the Cherry Creek fairways, you’ll come across a large, odd, cement structure on your left. The High Line Canal diverts through this structure under the Cherry Creek to the south. Right past the structure, the Cherry Creek offers up a cool respite of flowing water, trees, and even a bench. Signage directs you south on the High Line Canal Trail or west to the Cherry Creek North Trail. Head to the right along the Cherry Creek Trail , and pick up the next of the 9 Creeks, the Cherry Creek.

How Many Creeks Have You Crossed by Now?

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Immediately the Cherry Creek’s atmosphere changes. Where the High Line sports casual walkers and evening strollers, the Cherry Creek becomes a race way, especially during rush hour. Mind yourself and stay to the right of the trail or use the dirt foot path that parallels it. You’ll eventually leave the Cherry Creek Golf Course, cross over Cherry Creek, and into an industrial area. The golf course to your right is replaced by a chain link fence.

Yes, There’s Industry in Cherry Creek, Too

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While wandering through the industrial area, you’ll come across your next creek of nine, the Goldsmith Gulch (whose creek is also known as Goldsmith Gulch) at Cook Park. Cross over Monaco and continue along until you come to Garland Park, your stop for this segment. Another busy park, pay attention to the large amount of running and biking traffic as you make your way to your parked vehicle.

Did you enjoy the 9 Creeks Loop  Segment 6 Miles 25-30? Would you like to do segment 7?

Walking the 9 Creeks Loop and Denver By Foot

You can find more information about the 9 Creeks Loop here. I have also written about it extensively in my book, The Best Urban Hikes: Denver.

If you’ve enjoyed this walk, maybe you’ll enjoy some other walks curated by Denver By Foot. Get the 52 Hikes 52 Weeks Denver Calendar, which recommends a hike a week, subscribe to the YouTube Channel to hear about weekly hiking suggestions in Denver, and buy access to the Denver By Foot Challenge. The Challenge is 30 activities in Denver to do by foot where you’ll uncover treasures throughout Denver. It’s a great thing to do with friends and family.

Finally, please support Denver By Foot by purchasing Chris Englert’s books, The Best Urban Hikes: Denver and Discovering Denver Parks. Thank you so much!



Walking from Aurora through Denver to Arapahoe on the 9 Creeks Loop, Segment 5

Walking from Aurora through Denver to Arapahoe on the 9 Creeks Loop, Segment 5

The 9 Creeks Loop is a 42-mile hike that physically circles the city of Denver on trail. It uses a combination of 4 regional trails to lap the city. I have broken the 42 miles into 8 easy ~5 mile segment that are flat, have easy to find trailheads and trailends, and all can be walked in any direction. Transit is mostly available to the trailheads, although you may need to be a bit creative. When I walk the loop, I often will take a Lyft. You can certainly walk the segments as out-n-backs as well.

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9 Creeks Loop Mile Segment 5 20-25 Turning West to Denver

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

Trailend: Eloise May Library (1471 S Parker Rd, Denver, CO 80231)

Highlights: Aurora Government Center, Expo Park

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With lots of variety on this segment, you’ll cross from Aurora into Denver. From Expo Park through the very urban to the lovely Windsor Gardens and Fairmount Cemetery, you’ll see evidence of the mosaic the trail makes as it ventures through all of Denver.

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Start By Leaving Aurora and Returning to Denver

Head south out of Del Mar Park on Peoria about ½ block to the High Line Canal and take a right. In no time, you’ll arrive at Expo Park. At Alameda into the entry to Expo Park, there is an historic sign for the High Line Canal and then a small sign from the City of Aurora that says “Trail” with an arrow. The “Trail” sign goes to the Westerly Creek Trail through Expo Park. The High Line Canal Trail is the pebble trail on the right which parallels the Westerly Creek and then veers off to the right, west. That’s the one to take, and you can also add another creek to your nine, the Westerly Creek.

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The pebble trail continues along to High Line Canal Mile Marker 50, and then you’ll cross Havana and back into the City of Denver. The Loop moves westerly for quite time, and you’ll finally view mountains in the distance. Continue along the Loop which turns from pebble to asphalt to concrete. As the Loop becomes more populous, so does the vegetation. Soon beautiful varieties of trees will shade you as you amble along, and you’ll certainly notice that water must have flown through the Canal much more recently.

The High Line Canal Meanders Behind Fairmount Cemetery

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In no time, you’ll come along the part of the High Line Canal Trail that goes behind Windsor Gardens. This active senior living community brings out many folks to the Loop. Continue along for about a half a mile to the pump house and back entry into Fairmount Cemetery.

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Stop at the Cemetery and Appreciate All It Has to Offer

Here, Denver Water used to service its most northern and largest customer, Fairmount Cemetery, from the High Line Canal. A pump house sits along the Canal and pipes water into the Cemetery, where beautiful landscaping and treescapes greet visitors. Several champion trees and one of the largest heritage rose collections in North America grow here. Reinhard Schuetze, father of Denver’s park design, designed this Cemetery. But not only are the buildings and landscaping awe-striking, so are many of the tombstones. Take a break and enjoy some of the cemetery art before heading down the trail.

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Even Though on Trail, the Crossings Can Be Difficult

Once you’ve enjoyed Fairmount, move on down the asphalt path, reaching the intersection of Parker and Mississippi. Take extreme caution when crossing this intersection and use the crosswalk and its buttons. Eventually, the High Line Canal Conservancy plans to put a tunnel under this intersection. In the meantime, cross carefully. Follow the trail until reaching Florida.

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Even though You Started in Aurora, You’ll End in Arapahoe

At Florida, instead of continue along the trail, take a left on Florida and walk about 1000 feet to your trailend at the Eloise May Library on your left.

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What did you like most about segment 5 of the 9 Creek Loop? Are you ready for segment 6?

Walking the 9 Creeks Loop and Denver By Foot

You can find more information about the 9 Creeks Loop here. I have also written about it extensively in my book, The Best Urban Hikes: Denver.

If you’ve enjoyed this walk, maybe you’ll enjoy some other walks curated by Denver By Foot. Get the 52 Hikes 52 Weeks Denver Calendar, which recommends a hike a week, subscribe to the YouTube Channel to hear about weekly hiking suggestions in Denver, and buy access to the Denver By Foot Challenge. The Challenge is 30 activities in Denver to do by foot where you’ll uncover treasures throughout Denver. It’s a great thing to do with friends and family.

Finally, please support Denver By Foot by purchasing Chris Englert’s books, The Best Urban Hikes: Denver and Discovering Denver Parks. Thank you so much!


Enjoying the Best of Aurora on Trail via the 9 Creeks Loop, Segment 4

Enjoying the Best of Aurora on Trail via the 9 Creeks Loop, Segment 4

The 9 Creeks Loop is a 42-mile hike that physically circles the city of Denver on trail. It uses a combination of 4 regional trails to lap the city. I have broken the 42 miles into 8 easy ~5 mile segment that are flat, have easy to find trailheads and trailends, and all can be walked in any direction. Transit is mostly available to the trailheads, although you may need to be a bit creative. When I walk the loop, I often will take a Lyft. You can certainly walk the segments as out-n-backs as well.

Give $20 Get $20 At Cotopaxi.com! Refer A Friend And You Can Both Earn $20 Toward Your Cotopaxi Gear. Click Here!

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

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The route takes you through one of the best places and most historic area of Aurora, DeLaney Farms. Once a major homestead and vegetable farm of the area, now DeLaney Farms plays host to Denver Urban Garden’s CSA program, an apiary, and several rookeries.

Start your Segment Behind Hinkley High School

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Return to the trail behind Hinkley High School and continue south to the right. You’ll parallel Chambers St and soon come to DeLaney Farms on your right and Community College of Aurora on your left. The College anchors along the Canal, and you’ll see 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.

Prairie Dogs, Foxes, Hawks, and What Else?

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After passing the College, set your 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, you’ll see 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, just south of the Farm is yet another Ultimate Frisbee Golf course, the second along the High Line, but first on the 9 Creeks Loop.

Is there a Toll to Cross Toll Creek?

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Just before actually reaching the barns of the historic farm, you’ll cross over two of the nine creeks; the West Toll Gate and the Toll Gate. At the crossing there’s great view of the locks along the Canal that control the water flow through Aurora and down along the Toll Gate.

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The Toll Creeks once had crossing fees. The owners of the farm would charge wagons up to $.25 to cross the creek.

The Trail continues by the historic buildings of DeLaney including the last of 2 remaining round, wooden, short silos. Here, you can also see where tours for the Farm start from, including tours of the apiary, the silo and the homestead. Finally, the Trail goes under Chambers via the Weddig tunnel, which houses some really interesting stainless steel artwork.

A Park within the Government Center

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Come out of the tunnel, passing the Aurora Government Center on your left and High Line Canal mile marker 54. In just a short distance, cross over Sable Ave, which was poorly marked for cars looking for pedestrians. Aurora Town Center, which hosts a Target and many shops, restaurants and vendors, will be on your left.

The Trail continues west under Interstate 225. Follow any detour signs to get on the west side of i225. The trail follows the Aurora Golf Course.  Many of the homes on the north side of the Trail connect their yards to the Trail, doing nice landscaping and walkways to their backyard fences.

At Peoria Street, take a right off the trail and head north ½ block. Here you’ll end Segment 3 at Del Mar Elwood Park. Note the bathrooms just to the north near the parking lots.

9 Creeks Loop Segment 4 is up next.

Walking the 9 Creeks Loop and Denver By Foot

You can find more information about the 9 Creeks Loop here. I have also written about it extensively in my book, The Best Urban Hikes: Denver.

If you’ve enjoyed this walk, maybe you’ll enjoy some other walks curated by Denver By Foot. Get the 52 Hikes 52 Weeks Denver Calendar, which recommends a hike a week, subscribe to the YouTube Channel to hear about weekly hiking suggestions in Denver, and buy access to the Denver By Foot Challenge. The Challenge is 30 activities in Denver to do by foot where you’ll uncover treasures throughout Denver. It’s a great thing to do with friends and family.

Finally, please support Denver By Foot by purchasing Chris Englert’s books, The Best Urban Hikes: Denver and Discovering Denver Parks. Thank you so much!


Leaving Denver and Arriving in Aurora on Trail on the 9 Creeks Loop, Segment 3

Leaving Denver and Arriving in Aurora on Trail on the 9 Creeks Loop, Segment 3

The 9 Creeks Loop is a 42-mile hike that physically circles the city of Denver on trail. It uses a combination of 4 regional trails to lap the city. I have broken the 42 miles into 8 easy ~5 mile segment that are flat, have easy to find trailheads and trailends, and all can be walked in any direction. Transit is mostly available to the trailheads, although you may need to be a bit creative. When I walk the loop, I often will take a Lyft. You can certainly walk the segments as out-n-backs as well.

Give $20 Get $20 At Cotopaxi.com! Refer A Friend And You Can Both Earn $20 Toward Your Cotopaxi Gear. Click Here!

Approaching Aurora on the 9 Creeks Loop Mile 5-10

Trailheads: Bluff Lake Nature Center (3400 Havana Way, Denver, CO 80238)

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

Highlights: Rural Aurora, Star K Ranch, Norfolk Glen

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This segment introduces you to Aurora. After leaving the city of Denver, you’ll wander through the outskirts of Aurora and venture into one of its original party places, the Star K Ranch. You’ll jump off the Sand Creek Greenway and join the High Line Canal Trail, making your way through rural areas of Aurora, seeing goats, sheep, chicken and maybe even a remote-control car track. The High Line Canal will stay with you, running parallel to the trail, until you get back to the city of Denver.

To see footage of this mile, watch this video.

Begin Your Aurora Portion by Leaving Bluff Lake Nature Center

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After taking a break at the Nature Bluff Center, continue along the 9 Creeks Loop. About 100 yards east of the Nature Center, the trail leaves the road and ducks into the Nature Center property. Shortly, you’ll cross into Aurora on the Sand Creek Trail. The City of Aurora has created a nice underpass crossing where you’ll go under the new light rail tracks into Aurora and then under Peoria. Just to the east of Peoria is a foot bridge that crosses over Sand Creek again.

To see footage of this mile, watch this video.

Welcome to Aurora

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The first part of the trail in Aurora continues on pebble trail and runs parallel to Sand Creek. Residences frame both sides of the Trail, and the Sand Creek Greenway has done a nice job with signage. The Trail is flat and easy to follow. Shorly, the Trail becomes concrete at about 30th Avenue in Aurora. The Creek parallels down the bank to the south.

To see footage of this mile, watch this video.

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Cross over Sable and continue along the  back side of a concrete plant. The trail dips down into some woods and along Sand Creek. Look for evidence of beavers! Several trees have been gnawed and felled. Shortly, you’ll reach the entrance of Star K Ranch.

Aurora’s Original Party Town?

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Star K Ranch, settled by Virgil “Pop” Stark a half century ago, became the destination for parties for Pop’s retirement. Over 3000 guests would hover for 3-day parties, enjoying the great outdoors of the Ranch, its wildlife and its wonderful view. On Star K Ranch is the Morrison Nature Center which includes parts of Pop’s home and nature exhibits.

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To watch footage of this mile, watch this video.

The Magic of Denver’s Longest Urban Treasure

Continue east down the Trail and in about 1/2 mile you’ll see a sign that says, “High Line Canal 1/2 Mile.” Take the right and venture down through the woods, across the Sand Creek and up to the High Line Canal. Take a right. You’ll now be on the High Line Canal Trail, which runs all the way from Denver International Airport to the north down to Waterton Canyon to the south. For the 9 Creeks Loop, you’ll stay on the High Line for about 10 miles.

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To watch footage of this mile, watch this video.

The High Line Canal Trail offers up a nice 8 foot wide cement path. Notice the High Line Canal mile markers, which will entertain you until you get to Cherry Creek. Cross over Colfax at the crosswalk and continue into Aurora.

Where is Fletcher?

The 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 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.

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Goats, Sheep and Remote Control Cars

Thus, 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, you’ll find goat, sheep and chicken farms. Also in this same area, you might see a remote-control track called, “Bang Town” in someone’s backyard across from the sheep farm.

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Moving along and past the farms, the trail continues behind Hinkley High School. Hinkley 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. Here is the end of segment 3.

You’ll End this Segment at Hinkley High School

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You’ll end this segment at Hinkely High School. It 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 Loop, 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.

At Hinkley High School, segment 3 of the 9 Creeks Loop ends. What did you like most about this segment 3 of the 9 Creeks Loop? Ready to tackle segment 4?

Walking the 9 Creeks Loop and Denver By Foot

You can find more information about the 9 Creeks Loop here. I have also written about it extensively in my book, The Best Urban Hikes: Denver.

If you’ve enjoyed this walk, maybe you’ll enjoy some other walks curated by Denver By Foot. Get the 52 Hikes 52 Weeks Denver Calendar, which recommends a hike a week, subscribe to the YouTube Channel to hear about weekly hiking suggestions in Denver, and buy access to the Denver By Foot Challenge. The Challenge is 30 activities in Denver to do by foot where you’ll uncover treasures throughout Denver. It’s a great thing to do with friends and family.

Finally, please support Denver By Foot by purchasing Chris Englert’s books, The Best Urban Hikes: Denver and Discovering Denver Parks. Thank you so much!