DENVER’S BEST RUNNING SPOTS

13 PLACES

UPDATED OCT 24, 2019

Nothing beats lacing up your sneakers, kicking open the door, and hitting the ground running. It doesn’t matter if you’re training for a race or just wanting to mix up your workout routine with a few miles of jogging — we’ve got just the spot for your next run.

author

LAUREN ROWLAND

FITT DENVER CONTRIBUTOR

If you think you have to get out of the city for a freeing run, think again. Right in the middle of the city, we’re lucky enough to have Cheesman Park. This historic 81-acre park offers an unpaved, dirt outer loop to keep those joints happy. While the actual park is only 1.6 miles around (if you work downtown), you can start the jog from your desk and race around the park for a five-mile, mid-afternoon pick-me-up.

Craving some fresh air? Head to one of Denver’s favorite parks. It's a favorite for a reason, too — Wash Park is a tree-lined and fairly shaded green oasis on 155 acres, smack dab in the middle of the city. That means it’s ideal to meet up with a friend after work (before happy hour at Homegrown Tap and Dough, perhaps?). No matter where you post-game, you can zip around the two lakes on the 2.5-mile dirt trail as many times as your heart desires.

Who doesn’t want to run along a flowing waterway in the middle of their city? Other cities, be jealous, because there are over 28 miles of trail along the Platte River to take you as far as your legs can go. Pasquinel’s Landing Park is the perfect place to start, heading north along the the winding Platte, past more parks and eventually towards the heart of lower downtown.

Even off busy Sheridan Blvd., Sloan’s Lake Park feels like it belongs in the mountains, not within the city limits. A 2.6-mile path around the perimeter provides a cool breeze off the lake, a stunning Rocky Mountain backdrop to the west, and our beloved skyline view to the east — just don’t run into anyone with all this head turning. You’ll definitely want to pack a blanket and a snack to hang around after your run.

Need a quick jaunt? Do this one-mile Highlands neighborhood loop around the lake a few times by itself. Or if you find some time on your hands, head west to combine it with a jog around nearby Berkeley Lake. No matter the distance, it’s an easy-to-find jog with mountain views and quick access to popular Tennyson St. if you’re meeting up with friends for a drink or iced coffee after.

When you just need some open space to stretch your legs, head to Crown Hill Park in Lakewood. They’ve got everything you need for a serene nature escape. Is 242 acres enough for you? When you’re ready for your run, there’s a mile-plus loop paved around the lake, as well as a two-mile trail around the perimeter of the park. If you’re looking for a step away from it all—that’s literally a step away—spend just one afternoon here, and you’ll be hooked.

You know those routes that make you totally forget how far you’ve run? Yeah, that’s the Cherry Creek Trail — 42 miles of trail will put you in the middle of some truly diverse scenery. Start your run at Confluence Park and the South Platte River, and wind your way down, along, and over Cherry Creek. In no time, you’ll be passing several parks, like the Denver Country Club, and also the Cherry Creek Shopping Center. When you find your feet aching (or you realize your playlist started over), you may find yourself south of city limits in Cherry Creek State Park!

Remember the Cherry Creek Trail? This is the runner’s oasis at the end. This state park has a handful of trails you can take off on, with options ranging in length, terrain, and scenery — we’re all over the loop around the reservoir, though. It’s about five miles on a number of named trails, so you may need to consult a map. But it's far away from the hustle and bustle of the city, so maybe it’ll be more fun to get lost!

It’s possible you’ve run on the High Line Canal Trail and never known it — this trail is 71 miles long and meets up with several other trails through Denver. If you’re training for a marathon, you’re going to get acquainted to this route right quick. Pick up the trail at Mamie D. Eisenhower Park and head either direction. No matter which way you go, you’ll get your share of exercise, passing parks and mostly jogger-friendly routes along the way.

This 1.3-mile loop a little bit north of the Highlands is great for a low-key jog or laps. The mostly flat gravel path has just a few steady inclines, so it’s a great course if you’re trying to go easy on your legs while training for your next 5k. Being a less crowded trail, you’ll have some elbow room. Plus, you get quintessential Denver views throughout the whole loop.

There's so much to see when you run City Park! The big loop will put you around the lake at the park, the Denver Zoo, the Museum of Nature & Science, and the City Park Golf Course. If that doesn’t knock your socks off, the 3.5-mile course also boasts really incredible views of the Denver Skyline and the Front Range to the west. After your run, you’re just a hop and a skip away from your dinner at Park & Co. or Watercourse in Uptown.

At 25 miles, Rocky Mountain Greenway Trail is the perfect marathon or half training, connecting several designated parks and neighborhoods. It's an excellent way to jog past city, homes, and nature all during one run. Bonus: they still have plans to grow this trail, maybe even all the way out to Lyons (fingers crossed).

Parkfield Lake Park in Montbello was improved in recent years, so here’s your chance to take it for a spin. Make for the one-mile loop around the lake to pile on the laps. Fitt Tip: there is ample parking off East 53rd Ave. as well as a dog park if you want to let your four-legged running buddy have some play time to cool down after your jog.

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