One of Colorado’s most significant features is its natural beauty – from the majestic mountains of the Rockies to the sweeping plains of the Western Slope’s high deserts, this state encompasses a vast array of different geographical marvels that attracts visitors from around the globe. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker looking to explore the countryside or a novice trailblazer seeking exercise outside the gym, we’ve amassed a list of the top five best hiking trails in Littleton, Colorado – read on to plan your next outdoor adventure!
1)Big Dry Creek Trail: From walking and biking to inline skating and horseback riding, Big Dry Creek Trail in Littleton, CO provides a picturesque connector between the Mary Carter Greenway and the High Line Canal Trail, two gems in the trail network of the greater Denver area. It also passes through two parks – Belleview Park and Progress Park – which offer water fountains, rest stops, and parking along the way. Even though the trail is situated amongst an urban setting (it runs through Littleton and Centennial), it doesn’t feel that way, as it winds through forest and a riparian corridor. The 10-foot-wide path is concrete for the length of the entire trail on a continuous, very shallow slope, making this a good trail for beginners while also allowing you to get your heart rate up, making it a great overall workout. On its western side, the trail ends with a 250-foot-long pedestrian bridge over the South Platte River, where the river meets the Big Dry Creek.
2) Highline Canal Trail: Fly’n B Park Lot: The Highline Canal begins in the foothills and meanders over 60 miles through Denver, offering a tree-lined hiking and biking thoroughfare in the middle of the city. This scenic stretch in Littleton, Colorado also takes you past Fly’n B Park; take the park south, and you’ll find yourself in Writer’s Park. With views including giant cottonwood trees, wetlands, waterfowl and the pond at the Fly’n B Park, this trail provides a leisurely, relaxed stroll – ideal for hiking, cycling, birdwatching, or stopping for a picnic. It’s also dog-friendly, great for a stroller hike and also suitable for wheelchairs, making this trail a fantastic day-trip for virtually anybody. Additionally, it features a small pond with a boat dock and a lovely shelter house; restrooms are available. If you’re driving to Highline, recommended parking is located at the Countyline Trailhead for this hike.
3) Lee Gulch Trail: Lee Gulch Trail to the South Platte River is an 8.1 mile back trail located near Littleton, Colorado. The trail is rated as moderate and features a river which is easy to follow all the way to its connection with the Highline Canal trail. This tree-lined trail splits off from the Mary Carter Greenway Trail at the first “round-about” south of Hudson Gardens heading east. Offering many activity options, the trail is best used during April through September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be leashed. Many locals enjoy this city trail because it receives a lot less foot traffic than others in the area, with some online reviews noting it’s an excellent place to go when you don’t have time to escape to more secluded trails.
4) Willow Creek Trail at Roxborough State Park: Many visitors describe entering Willow Creek Trail at Roxborough State Park as “walking into another world,” and it’s no wonder – featuring geographical highlights including red rock, awe-inspiring views, and abundant wildlife, it becomes a great outdoor escape just south of Denver. Located just outside of Littleton, this hike’s difficulty level is listed as ‘easy,’ making it another great option for people of all ages. For bird-watchers, Roxborough may be as close to paradise as you’ll get – the park has cataloged over 140 species of birds that viewed in the park. Due to its sensitive ecology and wildlife, pets are not allowed on the grounds. Mountain biking and camping are also not permitted. To get the best views of wildlife, experts suggest going when there is less traffic, preferably in the evenings, mornings and weekdays.
5) Fountain Valley Trail at Roxborough State Park: Providing a beautiful space for a quiet hike, bird watching, and viewing wildlife, Fountain Valley Trail is essentially a loop – you can start on the valley floor, then work your way up to the high trail that looks down and across the fountain formations found in this outdoor oasis. There are ruins of an old estate along the path, as well as signs posted explaining the valley’s history. This trail is ideal for families with small children, and recommended for out-of-state visitors interested in exploring the greater Denver area; because of its low elevation, it may be suitable for individuals who may not have the time or capacity to get up into the mountains. This trail’s difficulty level is also listed as ‘easy’; while the initial part of the path is handicap-accessible, it soon becomes a more narrow dirt pathway. Dogs are not permitted, and because this trail is located in Roxborough State Park, a fee or Colorado State Parks pass is required.