10 Family-Friendly Bike Paths and Hiking Trails
Colorado families are just a stone's throw away from some of the most stunning natural settings in the world. By bike or by foot, our fair state offers endless opportunities to introduce kids to the joy of adventuring outdoors. But with so many awe-inspiring areas to explore, it can be tough to narrow down where exactly your family should spend its Saturday.
Here are some great picks for the best bike paths and hiking trails for kids and their parents to enjoy together:
The Flying J Ranch in Jefferson County is an easy single-track trail that's great for families and mountain biking beginners alike. The 3-mile loop offers opportunities to build confidence climbing and turning, or simply do some peaceful pedaling.
A 1.2-mile ride that loops around Waneka Lake in Lafayette, Waneka Lake Trail is perfect for beginners. If you're looking for a longer outing, the trail connects with Powerline Trail, Greenlee Wildlife Preserve and Thomas Open Space.
Chatfield State Park in Littleton boasts 26 miles of bicycle trails—12 of them paved—and the chance to pedal through a cottonwood forest, across grasslands and along the picturesque reservoir. An excellent excursion for intermediate riders.
Flatirons Vista in Boulder is a 3.3-mile loop trail leading westward through stands of ponderosa pine. A good choice for intermediate riders, the trail features wildflowers and plenty of wildlife, including coyotes, mule deer, birds and bobcats.
A paved trail that takes riders through the habitats of East Plum Creek and Sellers Gulch, East Plum Creek Trail in Castle Rock lets beginning riders of all ages complement their biking with bird watching. Educational tools installed throughout help riders identify birds.
Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in Adams County is home to more than 10 miles of trails and one of the largest urban refuges in the country, featuring more than 330 species of wildlife. The visitor center loans binoculars so your family can play a game of "I Spy" as you hike.
Mount Galbraith Park in Jefferson County has five miles of challenging but beautiful hiking trails that offer spectacular views of the Continental Divide at the summit and plenty of fresh foothill air.
Part of the Colorado Front Range Trail, Greenland Open Space Trail in Larkspur is a 10-mile loop located in 3000 acres of open space with views of buttes and Pikes Peak. Furry family members can enjoy the 17-acre dog off-leash park near the trailhead.
Castlewood Canyon State Park Trails near Franktown is hidden in the plains of Colorado and includes a waterfall, caves, homestead ruins, unusual geology and picnic areas, along with beginning to intermediate trails for hikers of all ages.
If your kids are a little older (4th grade+), Mount Sanitas Trail in Boulder is a wide, graveled 3-mile trail with plenty of scenic views for intermediate to experienced hikers. If you're looking to do more than hike, it also features access points for bouldering.
Whatever destination you choose for your family ride or ramble, Colorado has the perfect jumping-off point for your outdoor adventure!
lleana Street is the Senior Vice President of New Business at Avid4 Adventure, a multi-sport adventure camp for kids, with locations in Boulder, Golden, Highlands Ranch, Washington Park, Stapleton, Castle Rock and Lafayette.