A River Runs through It…Globeville

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In Denver, Globeville is known for many things, most of which neighborhoods might not brag about. But on our walk through this crossroad-ed neighborhood, we found nothing but fun, unique, interesting ways to view Globeville as an urban hiking adventure. Take a look.

Let’s Start with the Platte River Trail

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We started our walk in Heron Pond Park abutting Northside Park, which was Denver’s original wastewater processing plant. Heron Park’s artwork made from the old Stapleton airport’s runways and paying tribute to Amelia Earhart opened up our curiosity about a neighborhood most of us had never been. The inquisitiveness carried us through the old pipes and tanks of the water processing site, down to the Platte River, passing sheep pens and old cattle bridges.

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And then Pass into the Neighborhood

Positioned in Globeville’s center is what Denver once called the mousetrap–otherwise known as the intersection of I70 and I25. Also running through the neighborhood is train track after train track crossing or paralleling the Platte River. The major garbage processors are here, as is a history of animal butchery and processing. Yet despite all of this industry and transportation, a wonderful neighborhood of mostly shot-gun houses and family-owned businesses continues to live and demand the community remain whole.

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Soon, we found ourselves in the residential area of Globeville, walking the same sidewalks children walk to get from their homes, under I70, and to their schools. Murals welcomed us to the neighborhood, as did many residents. Their homes had survived the test of time, many originally owned by the immigrants who came to the neighborhood at the turn of the century to work in the old Globe Smelter Company (Anarsco). They have also survived Superfund sites and brownfields.

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Listen to Globeville

Globeville has received many “most” designations over time. There are plenty of pages of ink written about these mosts. But the “most” that I want to give Globeville is “Most Interesting.” After urban hiking 1/3 of Denver’s neighborhoods so far, I feel comfortable we’ve found Denver’s Most Interesting Neighborhood.

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The route:

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Park near the National Armory at 5275 Franklin Street. Go to the end of the cul-de-sac and walk to the right into Heron Park. Enjoy the wall sculpture made out of Stapleton runway materials and giving tribute to Amelia Earhart.

When you’re ready, walk south through Northside Park past the remaining concrete structures and then onto the Platte River Trail. Continue southwesterly.

You’ll pass the bridge that used to move cattle from the Western Rodeo complex to butchers and transportation options on the east side of the river. Just past the bridge on the right next to the pile of appliance trash is a single-story building with an angled roof. There is a one-foot wide open area above the brick wall you can peer into. This is where the sheep pens are.

Continue down the Platte River Trail until you reach McDonald’s on the right. Take the ramp or the social trail up into the parking lot, and cross Washington to the west. You will be on E 45th Avenue.

Walk along 45th, which is the commercial area of the neighborhood. Take a right on Lincoln, noticing the school to the south. See the two murals up against I70. Walk under I70.

When you are on the north side of I70, be sure to turn around and notice the two additional murals. Continue north on Lincoln through the neighborhood.

Cross over the railroad tracks, being careful to not get hit! There are no crossing guards or signs! Take a right on E 49th, take a left on Sherman St, take a right on E 50th St, take a left on Grant St. Notice the hope house (a house where they built the basement and “hoped” to build an additional story in the future) on the corner of Grant and 51st.

Take a right on 51st. Continue down 51st to Washington. Before crossing Washington, look to the south to see if the fruit stand is set up in the Guzman Tire tire. If so, be sure to buy a $5 bag of the best pecans you’ll ever eat. Cross Washington to the east, dipping south just a titch to where E 51st St continue.

Continue along 51st. It will dead end into Northside Park. Notice the additional artwork on the concrete remnants of the wastewater plant. Continue across the grass and paths back to the cul-de-sac where you started your urban hike through Globeville.
Click here to see the route, map, and turn by turn directions.