For many in Douglas County, the Cherry Creek Regional Trail is our connection from our backyard to a quiet evening stroll, listening to birds chirping while watching cottonwoods dance in the twilight. For others, the trail is a perfect weekend bike ride along more than 40 miles of smooth surface trail from our suburban homes to Cherry Creek State Park and on to Downtown Denver.
Soon, this trail will take us all even further – to Castlewood Canyon State Park.
The Board of Douglas County Commissioners during a regular business meeting on June 28 approved a $1.9 million contract for construction of the final phase of the Cherry Creek Regional Trail. This final phase extends the trail 2 miles south from where the trail currently ends near Highway 86 in Franktown, to Castlewood Canyon State Park. Construction will include a new concrete trail, grading, stormwater improvements, fencing and seeding.
Construction is scheduled to start in July and be complete by Memorial Day in 2023.
The Cherry Creek Regional Trail parallels Cherry Creek for nearly 40 miles from Confluence Park in Denver to Franktown. It connects parks, open spaces and more than 10 cities or towns.
Trail users will find it easy and accessible. Completed sections are 8-foot-wide concrete, with several restrooms and picnic shelters along the way. Walkers, bicyclists, dogs on leashes, hiker and equestrians are welcome. (Please no gas-powered motor vehicles.)
The trails historic roots connect back hundreds of years to when Native Americans and settlers traveled along the Cherokee Trail – which ran along the eastern edge of Cherry Creek. During the late 1800s, weary travelers found a warm meal and rest at Mile Houses along the way. Today, we get a glimpse of that history with the 4 Mile House in Denver and the 17 Mile House along Parker Road in Centennial.