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UPDATED APR 20, 2020

It’s no secret that Boulder is jam-packed with green spaces, hiking trails, and opportunities for outdoor fun. With areas to bike, jog, swim, play a team sport, or even use outdoor exercise equipment, we’ve listed some of the best parks in the area that are begging to be explored!




Right in the heart of downtown Boulder, next to the big, beautiful Boulder County Farmers Market, is Boulder’s Central Park. Hang out for a picnic or walk along bordering Boulder Creek for a scenic walk and some exercise. And when you run out of room in the park proper, launch your kayak in the creek for the perfect paddle (just check the conditions first).

Spanning a massive 65 acres in North Boulder, Foothills Community Park has basketball hoops, inline hockey rinks, a dog park, a climbing wall, and access to several hiking trails for you to explore! With grilling areas open for use, it's ideal for a picnic with your pals. Though, be aware of the lack of shade – come prepared!

Harlow Platts, next to the South Boulder Rec Center, is situated around Viele Lake. The path around Viele lake is a mild 0.7 miles. Get that workout in alone with the park’s Parcourse exercise stations, or grab some friends and take advantage of the volleyball or tennis courts. Or! Play a round of disc golf on the park’s 9-hole course. When winter hits, Harlow Platts is a popular sled riding spot. And no, you’re never too old for some sledding.

Newly-renovated and ADA-compliant, North Boulder Park has something for everyone. Check out the outdoor fitness stations, ping pong table, or half court basketball. And don’t think this park shuts down in the winter – it is an awesome spot for some cross-country skiing right in the city! Fun fact: the park’s Emma Walsh fountain is a memorial to the daughter of The Eagles guitarist, Joe Walsh.

Scott Carpenter Park is home to a 50-meter outdoor pool, skate park, a space-themed playground (yep, Scott Carpenter was a Boulder-born astronaut), and plenty of open field. Heads up: there is a small fee to use the pool. When playtime is over, hop on the Boulder Creek bike path from the park and head down to Pearl Street for some post-play eats.

With a legit 42-acre, mixed-terrain bike park, and a three-acre, off-leash dog park, you could spend hours at Valmont City Park. Don’t let the bike park intimidate you though; everything is rated for experience, from XS to XL, so you do you. Want to stay on two feet, not two wheels? Pack a picnic and hang at one of the many shelters, or check out the 18-hole disc golf course.

Chautauqua is known as the springboard for many of Boulder’s favorite hikes and for its backdrop of Boulder’s iconic Flatirons that makes both locals and visitors feel all the Colorado feels. But there’s more! Chautauqua Park is also home to tennis courts, a picnic area, and a playground. Heads up: Parking at Chautauqua is now restricted to a few permits. Try taking the shuttle.

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