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Upstream, to the Plains
Cherry Creek North
The Cherry Creek Trail from Emerson to Cherry

By: Dustin Waite
Outreach and Youth Employment Coordinator
Other Upstream Articles

Traffic.  If there is one thing that everyone can agree on, it is that sitting in traffic is one of the most horrible things in life to experience.  It is right up there with dentist drills and paying parking tickets.  Traffic, however, is one of those life problems that can be easily avoided (ok, so maybe I should floss more and pay better attention to street signs but just go with me on this one).  One concrete alternative method to avoiding traffic is by using any part of the over 100 miles of interconnected trails throughout the city limits. 

One of the worst areas for potential buildup of traffic is near the Cherry Creek North shopping district.  Trying to maneuver your way through 1St Avenue as visitors are shopping (or even worse during rush hour) can be soul crushing at times.  As someone who drives this stretch of road nearly every day for work I can tell you first hand that it is downright nerve-wracking.  The solution: The Cherry Creek Trail.  Whether you’re walking, running, rollerblading, skateboarding, or biking, the adjacent trail always provides a clear stretch of path that I have never once seen backed up from University Blvd!  See a short video below of this stretch of the trail:

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This 2.9 mile section of path upstream is a great way to see a true urban trail at its finest.  Here the trail actually comes up away from the water to get around the Denver Country Club (DCC).  Although you no longer have a natural view of the waterway during this stretch, it does provide a very efficient and economical way to get through this torrential stretch of roads.  Right after the path gets pass the DCC is turns back towards the water as you pass under University Blvd.  See a short video below of the blind turn at this underpass:

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As you continue upstream the path goes in and out of urban and native areas with some great sections right along the creek.  However, these areas are first to be under water during a heavy rainfall as the Cherry Creek is the low point for drainage in this area. So always be cautious when using the trails during or shortly after a storm.  See a short video below of one of the natural plants you can find in this area:

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The trail continues its way into Glendale as you pass under Colorado Blvd.  Colorado Blvd can also be a very stressful thoroughfare during high traffic times so the trail is great for getting through this area too!  You’ll pass by Creekside Park in Glendale which makes for a great place to stop for this month’s hike upstream, to the plains.

Dustin2small.gif The Upstream, to the Mountains series was written by Dustin Waite. It is a collection of hikes along the South Platte River that tie into the history, geology, and ecology of the area. There are links to the full articles on the left hand column.