Snuggle Up Cole

cole urban hiking eatwalklearn

Snuggled into a little corner of Denver sits the community-minded neighborhood of Cole. With a mostly rectangular boundary stretching to the north from Martin Luther King Blvd. (32nd Ave.) to 40th Ave and east from Downing St to York St, Cole neighborhood and its Junior High are named after Carlos M. Cole, a superintendent of Denver’s Public Schools who was instrumental in establishing junior high schools in Denver. Cole is doing its best to squeeze its neighborhood into a quickly changing, commercial landscape. Here’s our Cole urban hiking adventure.

The Smell of Money

cole urban hiking eatwalklearn

The first thing you’ll notice about Cole is that its northwestern and northern boundaries smell opportunity. Where old, falling down commercial spaces are going for $800,000, and urban redevelopment is shooting up like a phoenix with the Denver Rock Drill and Industry projects flaring, the residences are co-habitating. Newly built homes squeeze in tiny houses on top of garages, and old libraries become condos.

Community Love

cole urban hiking eatwalklearn

But no matter what new construction you see, a sense of community is thriving. Every yard offers a unique view into the homeowners where plastic chickens line up in a row, tiny churches show off Jesus, and urban gardens invite new planters. Cole’s two historic schools bookend the neighborhood, combining public schools with charter schools in co-mingled spaces.

cole urban hiking eatwalklearn

The Urban Land Conservancy has a chance to manage Cole’s growth. Owning one of the largest remaining historic structures in the neighborhood, the old Tramway building, the Conservancy rents space to non-profits while it determines the future of a large gray building trimmed in red brick and framed by large, red, wooden garage doors. I have no doubt the Conservancy will do what absolutely fits perfectly into Cole’s personality.

cole urban hiking eatwalklearn

Enjoy Cole

No matter what corner you turn, there’s something fun to see. The old bashes up against the new, and the neighbors are warm and friendly.

The route:

Start your 2.2 mile urban hike at the St Charles Rec Center, 7777 Lafayette St. Head south on Humboldt Street. Turn right on E 36th Ave. Pass the large Catholic Church.

Continue south on Lafayette St.  Take a left on E 33rd and walk around the Cole Middle School by walking out to Martin Luther King, Jr, and taking a left. Take a left on Franklin, heading north.

At Bruce Randolph Ave take a right. Continue to High St. Notice the old Carnegie Library on the corner of High and Bruce Randolph that is now converted to condos. Continue to Vine St. Take a left.

Continue along Vine to Russell Square Park, taking a left on E 36th Ave. At Gilpin Street, take a left and walk around the Tramway Building if it’s still standing. At E 35th, take a right. At Franklin, take a right and notice the old Tramway garage doors that may be red.

At the intersection of E 36th and Franklin, enjoy the views of the old Wyatt School, now Wyatt Academy. Enjoy the gorgeous trim work near the fascia and above the main door.

Continue north up Franklin. Take a left on E 37th Ave. Take a right on Humboldt, returning back to the Rec Center.

Click here to see the route, map, and turn by turn directions.