COLORADO

Sprague Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park
Sprague Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park

Colorado has a number of trails with minimal obstacles in natural areas.  Some are very easy and others are wheelchair accessible.  Here are a few of them.
Most of the links given were found through Internet search. Some places I have been able to visit and a few have been recommended to me by other people who have been there. With your help, we can share our knowledge with disabled people everywhere and also increase awareness of the need for more accessibility. Please e-mail me with your suggestions using the form to the right.

Federal
State
Local
Private
Miscellaneous

Federal

  • Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forests
    These mountain Forests in north central Colorado include popular destinations such as Guanella Pass, Brainard Lake Recreation Area and the Mount Goliath Natural Area.
    Supervisor’s Office 970-295-6600.  Links to Maps
    Brainard Lake Recreation Area  Although trails leading from Brainard Lake are not particularly easy, you can  enjoy walking around the lake’s margins.  Watch out for moose!

  • Arapahoe & Roosevelt National Forests – Mount Goliath
    Mount Goliath  is a beautiful area right at timberline on the road towards Summit Lake.  It is famous for its ancient bristlecone pines and alpine garden.   Interpretation displays and an accessible restroom are available in the Dos Chappell Nature Center.  The garden is managed by the Denver Botanic Gardens in conjunction with the U.S. Forest Service.

    Bristlecone pines, Mt. Goliath area, Mt. Evans, Colorado
    Photographer Jack Olson at Goliath Park on Mt. Evans

    Wheelchair AccessibleA limited area is wheelchair accessible.  The path through the garden is easy.

  • Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge Complex  is headquartered in Walden, Colorado   phone 970-723-8528   The Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge is part of a refuge complex that includes one refuge in Colorado and four in southern Wyoming.
    Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge 970-723-8202
    Wheelchair AccessibleMoose-Goose Nature Trail  0.5 mile “…winds along the Illinois River, provides a great chance to view song birds and other riparian residents.”
    There are three ADA compliant overlooks and an accessible viewing blind.
    Hutton Lake National Wildlife Refuge
    2.6 miles of hiking trail. “It is possible to hike all or portions of the system. The flat to gently sloping terrain makes it enjoyable for all hikers.”

  • Big Al Trail
    Big Al Trail
    ©Jack Olson

    San Juan National Forest
    Wheelchair Accessible
    The Big Al Trail in the San Juan National Forest near Cortez  passes through ponderosa pine, oak and aspen stands to a viewing platform overlooking the West Mancos Canyon. The easily graded gravel trail is handicapped accessible and offers spectacular views of the La Plata Mountains. Benches are provided along the way.  This is an easy .6 mile trail, with a total elevation gain of 40 feet.” from web site of Eat Stay Play.  Here is another description from the Mesa Verde Country Visitor Information Bureau

  • Comanche National Grasslands
    Vogel Canyon
    Wheelchair Accessible
    “The Overlook Trail is a one mile round trip. This trail is handicapped accessible and consists of a gravel walkway along the top of canyon. This trail offers splendid views of the canyon and culminates along the top of a small cliff.”  

  • Dinosaur National Monument   Phone 435-781-7700  Map  Accessibility
    Wheelchair AccessiblePlug Hat Trail  0.25 mile loop  paved  “…trail on top of a butte affords excellent views of the surrounding landscape and provides an introduction to the pinyon pine-juniper community.”

  • Wheelchair AccessibleFlorissant Fossil Beds National Monument

    Very interesting place with huge fossil  tree stumps.  It has been a few years since I was there and I’ll have to find and scan the slides.  Quote from their website:

    “The visitor center and associated outdoor exhibit area are fully wheelchair accessible. The Ponderosa Loop Trail, a self-guided 1/2 mile trail is also fully accessible, although may be covered by snow in the winter.

    The Monument has a non-motorized wheelchair with large, inflatable tires that can be requested and borrowed for daily use.”

  • This is some information about Pawnee Campgrounds

  • Rio Grand National Forest
    Hikerwithcane
    The Alder Bench trail (Forest Service trail 799) is easy for the first half mile or so going up into the forest.  We stopped where it turned back and steepened.  Directions and map.  Coming back down to the trail marker post (it has lost its arms) I then followed a social trail north paralleling Alder Creek.  After about 1/2 mile barbed wire marks the start of private property.  This was a lovely, quiet little walk.  Very easy and pretty.

    Alder Guard Station
    View of Alder Guard Station from the start of NSF trail 799.
    Alder Bench Trail
    Alder Bench trail in pines.
    Del Norte Peak
    Del Norte Peak from Alder Bench Trail
    Cottonwoods
    Cottonwoods by start of Alder Bench trail
  • Wheelchair Accessible The Rocky Mountain Arsenal has hiking trails that are ADA accessible and a self guided  wildlife auto tour.

  • Rocky Mountain National Park
    Rocky Mt. National Park as described in The Disabled Traveler’s Companion.  Accessibility page from the Park Service.
    Wheelchair AccessibleWheelchair Accessible Trails at RMNP from rockymountainnationalpark.com.  This web site is not affiliated with the National Park Service or National Forest Service, but looks pretty useful.   They also have information on Roosevelt and Arapaho National Forests and the neighboring communities of Estes Park and Grand Lake.
    Wheelchair AccessibleLily Lake Trail is a pretty, mile-long loop in Rocky Mt. National Park.  Although it is administered by the Park Service, there is no fee.
    GPS at parking lot N40° 18.404′  W105° 32.270′

    Lily Lake
    Lily Lake is encircled by a wheelchair accessible path.
    Path at Lily Lake
    Path from parking lot at Lily Lake Trailhead

     

     

     

     

     

    Wheelchair AccessibleForest Canyon Overlook in Rocky Mountain National Park is fully wheelchair accessible and has beautiful views of the canyon below and Longs Peak in the distance.  GPS at parking lot N40° 23.731′ W105° 12.691.  Trail Ridge Road is closed in winter and early spring.

    Forest Canyon Overlook
    Forest Canyon Overlook, altitude about 11,700.
    Trail Ridge Road
    Parking at Forest Canyon Overlook
    Parking space at Forest Canyon Overlook, Trail Ridge Road, Rocky Mt. Nat’l Park

     

  • Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuge    
    Wheelchair Accessible
    The refuge is divided into two areas, both of which have accessible trails.  The Prairie Management Area is open dawn to dusk all year.  We went in October and were disappointed to learn that the more interesting Two Ponds area is only open May through September and then only Tuesdays through Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Dogs are not allowed on the refuge. Described on National Recreational Trails site.  Reviewed on Trip Advisor
    Map   Phone 303-289-0232

    Two Ponds NWR
    View from Prairie Management area of Two Ponds NWR
    Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuge

     

    Highline Canal
    The Highline Canal crosses Two Ponds NWR

     

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State

There are about 42 State Parks in Colorado.  Admission for a day is $7 per vehicle or $70 a year ($60 for seniors).  There is no charge for vehicles bearing a disabled veteran’s plate.  Disabled visitors may apply for a yearly $14 Columbine Pass, which can be transferred between cars.

  • Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area
    The AHRA has a variety of trails for outdoor recreation.
    Wheelchair AccessibleHayden Meadows   “at the northern end of AHRA, has ADA accessible interpretive and fishing trails, 5 wetland boardwalks, and 2 bridges surrounding a small reservoir.”
    Phone 719-539-7289   Map & Brochure  

  • Barr Lake State Park  Phone 303-655-1495 or 303-659-6005  Trails   Brochure and Map

    Boardwalk, Barr Lake State Park
    Boardwalk to Waterfowl Observation Point, Barr Lake State Park
    Barr Lake
    Barr Lake Reservoir, Barr Lake State Park

    The park surrounds a 1900 acre reservoir ringed with Cottonwoods, marshes and aquatic plants.  It is a favorite with the birding community.
    You can ride their “Eagle Express” (like a golf cart seating 14) for a naturalist guided tour.  It is available in warm weather on weekends.  Call 303-659-6005 for information.
    Wheelchair AccessibleAlthough the road around the 9 mile perimeter of the lake is not officially ADA compliant, it is a hard pack, dirt and small gravel road and outside of serious mud and snow times shouldn’t pose a problem. From the Nature Center to a Gazebo reached by a boardwalk over the water is 1.2 miles.  In fair weather this includes a spectacular view of the Front Range, but even on a poor day, the lake, waterfowl and old cottonwoods make a pretty walk.  There is an accessible blind for wildlife observation.
    HikerwithcaneNiedrach NatureTrail is partly boardwalk, and once current improvements are made, may also become wheelchair accessible, although it is a little narrow in places.
    HikerwithcaneFox Meadows Trail is easy walking, but includes a few steps.

  • Castlewood Canyon State Park   Trails  Map    Phone 303-688-5242
    The east side, where the Visitor Center is, has two concrete-paved trails, picnic tables, an amphitheater, and an easy walking trail.

    Canyon View Trail
    Canyon View Trail, Castlewood Canyon State Park
    Bridge Canyon Overlook
    View from Bridge Canyon Overlook, Castlewood Canyon State Park

    Wheelchair AccessibleThe Canyon View Nature Walk is 1.2 miles between parking lots and is ADA accessible.

    Wheelchair AccessibleThe Bridge Canyon Overlook trail is 400 ft one way.

    HikerwithcaneThe first few hundred feet of so of the Lake Gulch trail, leading north from the parking lot has spectacular views of Pikes Peak.  Eventually it drops down in a set of difficult steps.

  • Chatfield State Park  Phone 303-791-7275  Trails   Trail Map
    The state park surrounds  Chatfield Reservoir.  Together they comprise 3,895 acres, of mostly flat land.
    Wheelchair AccessibleThe Chatfield Internal Trails network is 10 miles of ADA accessible paved trail.  The Chatfield Dam Trail is 2.4 miles of ADA accessible asphalt.

  • Eldorado State Park  Phone 303-494-3943  Trails  Map and Brochure
    Eldorado State Park has spectacular rock exposures popular with climbers. GPS at entrance station: N39° 55.923  W105° 16.839.

    Fowler Trail
    Fowler Trail

    Wheelchair AccessibleThe Fowler Trail (trailhead GPS: N39° 55.770  W105° 17.408)  is a self-guided nature walk built for wheelchair use.  There is one rather narrow spot, but I was assured that people negotiate it without problems.  It is about 1/2 a mile long and has great views.  Bring your own binoculars as the two telescopes set up for viewing raptors (or climbers) on the other side of South Boulder Creek are too high for viewing from a wheelchair.

    Towards east, Fowler Trail
    Looking east from Fowler Trail
    Down Fowler Trail
    Heading down Fowler Trail
  • Mueller State Park  Phone 719-687-2366  Short Trails for the Family  Trails Map

    Mueller State Park
    Mueller State Park
    From Wapiti Trail, Mueller State park
    From Wapiti Trail, Mueller State park

     

     

     

     

     

    Wheelchair AccessibleDragonfly Loop 0.20 mile  a very short paved trail, but a pretty spot good for fishing, birding, wildlife and flowers.

    There is some elevation loss/gain on all these next trails. Check with the Visitor Center to see if they are easy enough for you.
    HikerwithcaneSchool Pond Trail 1.61 mile wide and gentle

    HikerwithcaneElk Meadow Loop  2.38 miles

    HikerwithcaneWapiti Trail 0.8 mile  self-guiding nature trail which drops drops down about 200′ before climbing back up.  There are 3 granite steps at the bottom which you can bypass without too much difficulty.  Be sure to use your trekking poles.

  • Ridgeway State Park  Phone  970-626-5822   Trails  Map   Brochure and Trails Map
    Wheelchair Accessible Mear’s Bay Trail  1.0 mile concrete trail that “winds along the shoreline of Mear’s Bay in the Dutch Charlie area. Waterfowl such as Western grebe, Canada geese and great blue heron can be seen here during the more quiet hours of the day. Enjoy beautiful views of the San Juan Mountains reflected in the bay.”
    Wheelchair AccessibleMarmot Run Trail  1.8 mile that “runs along the east shore of the Uncompahgre River and the Ridgway Reservoir.”
    Wheelchair AccessibleRiver Walk 0.2 mile  runs along the Uncompahgre River

    Hikerwithcane? Forest Discovery Trail 0.6 mile is a steep, up to 12% grade, self-guided nature walk, but has a “compacted – firm” surface with no obstacles.  It is next to the Dutch Charlie Visitors Center, so you could ask there about difficulty.

  • Roxborough State Park Phone  303-973-3959   Trails   Brochure and Trail Map
    This park near Denver is a designated National Natural Landmark.  There are accessible restrooms and a visitor center.  The park is day use only.

    Wheelchair Accessible? The Fountain Valley Trail is basically a 2.3 mile dirt road and can be wheelchair accessible with assistance during dry seasons.  I understand there is some erosion damage on parts (2016), so be sure to call ahead.  It does not qualify for ADA designation.

    The Roxborough Ride
    The Roxborough Ride gives disabled visitors a naturalist-led tour of the Fountain Valley Trail.

    You can ride this trail in the “Roxborough Ride”,  a golf cart seating 6 guests and a volunteer driver/naturalist guide.   Although the Ride is free, donations are requested.  Each disabled person must be accompanied by an able person to help them on and off the cart.  The ride is usually scheduled for Saturdays and Sundays and reservations are wise.  Call the park, 303-973-3959, for more information.

    Fountain Valley Trail
    Fountain Valley Trail, Roxborough State Park

    HikerwithcaneAlthough the shorter Willow Creek trail is not wheelchair  accessible, I have done it with a walker.  Roxborough is truly beautiful and surprisingly peaceful, given its proximity to Denver.

  • Staunton State Park  phone 303-816-0912   Trails    Trails Map
    Staunton State Park is the most recently opened of Colorado’s state parks.  On their accessibility ratings the park has listed “No” for all of its trails.  However, we have visited it twice recently and found the trails to be, for the most part, smooth and easy.   We walked just the lower first 2 miles of the Staunton Ranch trail, which meant a 4 mile round trip and my 88 year old husband had no problem with it.  Main parking lot: N39° 29.843 W105° 22.913.

    Davis Ponds Loop Trail
    Davis Ponds Loop Trail, Staunton State Park
    David Ponds Loop Trail
    Davis Ponds Loop Trail, Staunton State Park
    CAT20131010Staunton030
    Rocky obstacle on Davis Ponds Loop Trail, Staunton State Park
    Barriers
    Eroded section, possible barrier to wheelchair use, Davis Ponds Loop Trail, Staunton State Park

    Hikerwithcane We have also walked the 2.1 mile Davis Ponds Loop trails and found just two obstacles, one eroded spot and another short rocky section.  There are a couple of places that might be a little steep without brakes, but I have seen steeper labeled “wheelchair accessible”.

    Wheelchair AccessibleWonderful new development at Staunton is their motorized track chair.  Starting in May 2017, you will be able to register to use the chair, which can be used on 10-15 miles of trail.

  • Steamboat Lake State Park   Phone  970-879-3922 Trails   Map and Brochure
    Wheelchair AccessibleWillow Creek Trail  3.8 miles total

    HikerwithcaneTombstone Nature Trail is  a self-guided interpretive trail described on the park’s website as 1.1 mile and easy to moderate.  Trails.com  describes it as 0.75 miles and easy.  The trail has its own Facebook page.

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Local

  • Bicyclist on Marshal Mesa Tr.
    Bicyclist on rough patch of Marshall Mesa Trail

    Boulder Open Space The city of Boulder has a great web page devoted to accessible trails.  There is also an amazing online book with detailed descriptions of  Accessible Trails & Natural Sites in the Boulder area.   The floods of 2013 severely damaged many of the trails.  Check with Boulder Open Space for trail conditions.

    Wheelchair Accessible Marshall Mesa Trail   Boulder describes this trail as “appropriate for wheelchair users who are looking for an extra challenge”.  I should say so.  I watched a boy of about 10 who was having difficulty bicycling up the short rough stretch that is about 13% grade.

    Hikers on Marshal Mesa Trail
    Marshall Mesa Trail is between Boulder and Golden
    Marshall Mesa Trail
    Wheelchair crossing of ditch at Marshall Mesa Trail
  • City of Fort Collins
    Fort Collins has a lot natural areas, many of them with paved or easy trails.
    Wheelchair AccessibleFossil Creek Trail 5.17 miles paved.  “…runs through the Cathy Fromme Prairie Natural Area along Fossil Creek. It extends west and north to meet the Spring Creek Trail at Spring Canyon Park.”
    Wheelchair AccessiblePoudre Trail 12.3 miles paved.   From traillink.com  “…follows the meandering course of the Poudre River from the Bellevue Watson Fish Hatchery to Colorado State University’s Environmental Learning Center on East Drake. The trail passes through wooded corridors and among agricultural and natural areas, small lakes and holding ponds, parks and light industrial sites.”   Natural Areas crossed or bordered by the Poudre Trail include Butterfly Woods , Gustav SwansonHomestead, Willams, Springer, Riverbend PondsKingfisher Point, Cattail Chorus, Prospect Ponds, and Arapahoe Bend.

    Wheelchair AccessibleArapaho Bend Natural Area    Map  “About 4 miles of natural surface and paved trail follow the edge of the ponds in a loop and encircle Rigden Reservoir.”
    North Shields Ponds   Map  “1.5 miles of natural surface trail, wheelchair accessible fishing deck…”
    Wheelchair AccessibleCoyote Ridge Natural Area  “The Hidden Clues Trail is a 1/4 mile interpretive loop located about 1 mile into the site. The interpretive loop is wheelchair accessible. The City will make arrangements for groups of persons with limited mobility to have vehicle access to the accessible trail loop. Call 970-416-2815 or email…”
    Wheelchair AccessibleFischer Natural Area  0.3 mile of the paved Spring Creek Trail

    Wheelchair AccessibleFossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area  Heron Loop 0.25,  Trail Map

    Wheelchair Accessible?  Magpie Meander Natural Area  Map 0.16 miles of natural surface trail looks as if it is accessible.  There is an accessible fishing pier.
    Wheelchair AccessibleMallards Nest Natural Area  0.4 mil of Spring Creek Trail

    Wheelchair AccessiblePelican Marsh Natural Area   Map  “There is about 1 mile of flat trail including a paved trail connecting Water’s Way Park to Carpenter Road, a gravel trail along Carpenter Road and a paved trail from Water’s Way Park to a wildlife viewing area of Robert Benson Reservoir.”
    Pineridge Natural Area  1.8 mile soft surface loop round Dixon Reservoir.

    Red Fox Meadows Natural Area
    Map  1 mile of flat soft surface
    Reservoir Ridge Natural Area  Map  The Parking lot at Overland Trail Rd is at start of an “easy flat trail” 1.4 miles.
    Riverbend Ponds Natural Area   Map  In addition to the Poudre Trail, there are “About three miles of natural surface trails and a boardwalk from the Cherly St. entrance.”
    Wheelchair AccessibleRoss Natural Area  0.7 mile of paved Spring Creek Trail goes through this area.
    Wheelchair AccessibleSalyer Natural Area  Map  0.3 mile paved and 0.3 miles natural surface.

    Wheelchair AccessibleSoapstone Prairie Natural Area  Map  Brochure
    Lindenmeier Overlook trail  0.25 paved to pavillion with interpretive signs.
    Wheelchair AccessibleThe Coterie Natural Area  0.1 mile of the paved Spring Creek Trail

    Wheelchair AccessibleTwo Creeks Natural Area  0.2 mile paved.  Nearest parking is in Fossil Creek Park 5821 S. Lemay Ave.
    Map of Wheelchair Accessible Trails    Trails  Map of Natural Areas
    Parks 970-221-6660  Recreation  970-221-6655
    Natural Areas  970-416-2815 Rangers 970-416-2147

  • City of Golden

    Clear Creek
    Clear Creek, Golden CO

    Wheelchair AccessibleThe city of Golden and Jefferson County Open Space have combined efforts and have made the path beside Clear Creek wheelchair accessible from Lyons Park to trail’s end, about a mile to the west.  Between Lyons Park and the overhead Highway US6, the trail is concrete.  West from the bridge, it has been filled in and covered with crusher fines.  The concrete part is very busy, but can be entertaining as it overlooks the kayakers’ whitewater park.  You will meet runners, dog-walkers, bikers, etc., but it is still a lovely path right beside the creek.  This is a fair weather trail as snow and ice or heavy rains can render it difficult.  In hot weather it can get too crowded with families coming to play in the cold water.

    Walking Clear Creek trail
    Walkers on Clear Creek trail
    Crowds at Clear Creek
    Hot summer day on Clear Creek in Golden.
    Trail along irrigation ditch
    Trail along the irrigation ditch above Clear Creek trail. Accessible, but not a loop.

     

     

    Rocks above trail
    Rocks above Clear Creek Canyon, seen from end of trail.
  • City of Lakewood

    Lake at Bear Creek Greenbelt, Lakewood
    Lake at Bear Creek Greenbelt, Lakewood

    Bear Creek Greenbelt

    Wheelchair AccessibleThe stretch of Bear Creek Trail that goes east/west from Estes to Wadsworth, south of Yale Ave. is part of the Bear Creek Greenbelt and is one of our favorite urban trails.  There are two little lakes and lovely streamside stretches.  It is pretty much all easy and a lot of it is wheel chair accessible.  There are beaver, muskrat, coyote, prairie dogs, occasional deer and lots of birds.   The toilet is being remodeled, but they have an accessible port-o-potty.

    Bear Creek in Bear Creek Greenbelt, Lakewood
    Bear Creek in Bear Creek Greenbelt, Lakewood
    Fresh snow at Bear Creek Greenbelt, Lakewood
    Fresh snow at Bear Creek Greenbelt, Lakewood
  • City of Wheat Ridge

    West Lake
      West Lake from Clear Creek Trail, Wheat Ridge

    Bass Lake
    Bass Lake by Clear Creek Trail, Wheat Ridge

    Wheelchair AccessibleThe Clear Creek Trail is flat and accessible as it runs along the creek 1.5 miles from Youngfield  and 41st to just west of Kipling and 41st.  There are benches and picnic shelters.  We saw a coyote, a great blue heron, and beaver sign.

  • Colorado Riverfront Trail

    Colorado Riverfront Trail
    Colorado Riverfront Trail in Grand Junction.
    ©Bill Haggerty

    Wheelchair AccessibleThe Colorado Riverfront Trail goes through Grand Junction and is planned to eventually span 21 miles along the Colorado (Grand) and Gunnison Rivers running from Fruita to Palisades and perhaps farther.  It is a concrete, wheelchair-accessible trail with numerous access points.  Maps of the trail and its segments are available on the website, linked above.  Here is a pdf. of the index map.  Thank you, Bill Haggerty, for telling me about the trail and providing the photograph.

  • Denver Mountain Parks  and another smaller website on Denver Mountain Parks.

    Chief Hosa Braille Trail
    Chief Hosa Braille Trail

    eyelogo copyChief Hosa Braille Nature Trail  is within Denver’s Genesee Park.  Take I-70 west to exit 153 “Chief Hosa”.  At the off-ramp stop sign, turn north, then turn right on to a dirt road -Stapleton Drive. Follow Stapleton Drive about 1 mile to the trailhead for the Braille Nature Trail.  The trail has a vinyl-coated cable for guiding visually-impaired people. Metal interpretive signs along the trail in Braille and printed words explain the surrounding ecology.  The signs are great, but some scumbag(s) have shot up some of them.  The trail is about a third of a mile through forest and is not wheelchair accessible.

    Wheelchair AccessibleThe alpine trail between Summit Lake and the Chicago Lakes Overlook has just recently been redone to be wheelchair accessible.  Summit Lake is about 12,800′ above sea level.   The air is thin, temperatures are likely to be chilly, and it can snow anytime of year.  It is also beautiful!  GPS at parking lot: N39° 35.904  W105° 38.430.

    Accessible trail
    Accessible trail from Summit Lake to Chicago Lakes Overlook
    View of Chicago Lakes
    View from overlook down to the Chicago Lakes
    Summit Lake to Overlook trail
    Trail from Summit Lake to Chicago Lakes Overlook

    Wheelchair Accessible Echo Lake is another Denver Mountain Park.  GPS for eastern (uphill) end: N39° 39.382 W105° 35.820.  GPS for western (downhill) end: N39° 39.617  W105° 36.281.    Although not signed as wheelchair accessible, the short trail between the Lodge and Echo Lake is a gentle downhill trip on crusher fines that takes you through the englemann spruce forest to the lake.  There is parking at both ends of the trail, so someone could be dropped off at the top and join their group at the lake.  It is not a loop trail.

    Echo Lake
    Looking west to Echo Lake
    Fishing platform
    One of three fishing platforms at Echo Lake.
    Eroded part of trail
    The only rough part of Echo Lake trail – a short eroded stretch
    Spur trail to Echo Lake
    50′ west of the yellow rock is an accessible spur trail to the edge of Echo Lake
  • Douglas Country Open Space

    HikerwithcaneColumbine Open Space and Trail  There are two 1.2 mile loops and the walking is pretty easy, but erosion makes the crusher fine trails doubtful for wheelchairs. The trails are close to traffic noise from I25.

    Columbine Open Space wetlands
    Wetlands seen from south loop trail, Columbine Open Space
    Columbine Open Space
    South loop trail, Columbine Open Space
  • Jefferson County Open Space

    North Table Mountain   This popular biking spot is one place where an electric wheelchair user might find it easier than a hiker.  The flush toilets are ADA compliant, but the first .8 mile of trail is very steep.  You might get away from the traffic noise once on top, but neither the signs nor brochure give you an idea of where best to go.  ProTrails gives details of trail length and this Walk With Fred video is excellent.

    Pine Lake Trail
    0.6 mile Pine Lake Trail

    Pine Valley Ranch Park

    Wheelchair AccessiblePine Valley Ranch is highly accessible with fishing docks, a 0.6 mile wheelchair accessible trail around pretty Pine Lake and picnic shelters.  The Narrow Gauge Trail runs beside the North Fork of the South Platte River and could be managed by wheelchair if Jeffco would cut the weeds growing in the middle of the trail.

    HikerwithcaneIf you can hike without a walker, the very narrow, but level and easy North Fork view trail goes half a mile beyond Pine Lake to a bridge where you can come back on the Narrow Gauge Trail.  Snow and ice cover the trails in winter and early spring.  Parking lot: N39° 24.463′  W105° 20.825′.

    Picnic Shelters
    Picnic Shelters at Pine Valley Ranch Park
    Weeds in trail
    Weeds growing in Narrow Gauge Trail

    South Table Mountain, Golden

    Sunset, South Table Mt.
    Sunset, South Table Mt.

    Unfortunately the regular closing of the access road from Quaker St. to the top of the mesa renders our favorite part inaccessible for wheelchairs.

    HikerwithcaneHikers looking for an easy walk on the south side of the mesa can park in the small lot on Golden Hills Rd. a little west of Quaker Street.  GPS: N39° 44.844′  W105° 11.031′  Walk north a short way and then take the narrow path to the east which goes to the dirt road.  Staying on the road would take you to the State Patrol training area and some NREL property, but first you reach a wide, crusher fine-based  foot and bicycle trail .  This has the same panoramic views as North Table Mt., but without the traffic noise and fumes.  You are likely to see deer and hear coyotes and meadow larks, but be watchful for rattlesnakes.  It is a great place for sunsets.  Addendum Sept, 2013: Jeffco Open Space is creating 3 miles of accessible trails on South Table Mt.  Once it is done, I will change this entry.

    Lair O' The Bear Park
    Lair O’ The Bear Park

    Wheelchair AccessibleLair O’ The Bear is a small, lovely park by Bear Creek.  There is a little noise from Highway 74, but it is pretty quiet in the middle of the week.  The park has accessible toilets, picnic tables, and a fishing deck.  The pretty Creekside Trail and part of the Bear Creek Trail are wheelchair accessible and easy walking.  Dipper Bridge is now closed because of flood damage.    The normally easy Bear Creek Trail going west from Dipper Bridge is often icy in winter.   There is a new accessible fishing platform near Ouzel Bridge.
    Here is a description with photos by Deb Stanley from Examiner.com

  • Larimer County Parks & Open Space   Larimer County has 15 Reservoirs and Open Space Parks.  Most of these have trails rated “easy”, but you should call to see if they are really easy enough for you.   Recreation Map   Phone 970-619-4570  Trails
    Pinewood Reservoir County Park  Brochure
    Wheelchair AccessiblePoudre River Trail  Phone 970-619-4534     “Once complete, the Poudre River Trail will be over 40 miles in length, from Bellvue, north of Fort Collins, to Island Grove Park in Greeley. The trail is currently in three sections separated by two gaps. An approximately 15-mile section is located in and managed by Fort Collins, a 1-mile section is in Timnath and a 21-mile section is located in unincorporated Larimer County, Windsor, Weld County and Greeley.”
    Wheelchair AccessibleRiver Bluffs Open Space  is crossed by about half a mile of the 21 mile paved Poudre River Trail
    Wheelchair AccessibleRamsay-Shockey Open Space 0.25 mile boardwalk starts at Pinewood Reservoir‘s Blue Mountain Campground.   Brochure  Map

  • South Suburban Parks and Recreation

    South Platte Park, Littleton – This riverside park has lots to offer the disabled nature lover.

    Mary Carter Greenway at South Platte Park
    Mary Carter Greenway at South Platte Park

    Viewing ducks on the South Platte, South Platte Park
    Viewing ducks on the South Platte, South Platte Park
    Wheelchair AccessibleThe paved Mary Carter Greenway multi-use trail runs 8 miles along the South Platte River.  Parallel to the concrete bike trail is a crusher fines side path that is meant for pedestrians and wheelchairs.  Snow melts off the concrete sooner than from the crusher fines so winter wheelchair users might prefer the pavement although that is discouraged.   Many hard natural surface side trails within the park take you to the river’s edge and through lovely stands of trees and other streamside vegetation.   There are waterfowl, raptors, deer, coyotes and other wildlife.

    Park staff (303-730-1022) are very helpful and say that most of their nature programs can accommodate disabled participants.   The Colorado Center for the Blind have frequent field trips here.

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Private

  • HikerwithcaneThe Discovery Pavilion of Chatfield State Park is operated by the Audubon Society of Greater Denver.  The Audobon Discovery Loop trail can be 2.5 miles or less, depending on how many ponds you wish to walk around.  Near the education center, there are interpretive trail makers, accessed by scanning with a smart phone.  The trail as described in Pam and Dave Irwin’s Book “100 Best Denver Area & Front Range Day Hikes”.  It is not wheelchair accessible and there are a few steps over water bars.  There are a lot of social trails and we found it somewhat confusing.  I veered off on one of these side trails and found a big pile of bear scat.  There is a lot of poison ivy beside the trail.

    Audubon's Discovery trail at Chatfield State Park
    Ponds and rabbit brush at Audubon’s Discovery trail at Chatfield State Park
    Bat houses at Audubon's Discovery trail at Chatfield State Park
    Bat houses at Audubon’s Discovery trail at Chatfield State Park
  • Wheelchair AccessibleWilderness on Wheels is in the mountains on U.S. 285, sixty miles southwest of Denver or 3.8 miles west of Grant, Colorado.

    Boardwalk, Wilderness on Wheels
    Boardwalk at Wilderness On Wheels

    There are camping, fishing, picnic tables and an 8 foot wide boardwalk just over a mile long. Charging stations are placed at intervals along the boardwalk for electric wheelchairs.

    Stream-side Wilderness On Wheels
    Stream-side from boardwalk at Wilderness On Wheels
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Miscellaneous

  • Day Hikes Near Denver has an “easy” classification with descriptions and directions.  They do not address wheelchair accessibility.

  • Accessible Denver is a website which claims to be ” your source for disability-related information for those living in Denver or visiting the mile high city.  Use the Resource Guide below to find medical services, businesses and professionals who provide information and assistance to the disabled community.”  Not much here that pertains to this website.

  • The Continental Divide Trail is an amazing 3,100 mile trek from Mexico to Canada.
    HikerwithcaneYou can walk a tiny portion of this trail, walking northwest from Lobo Overlook (altitude 12,000′).  We were there the first week of October and there was too much snow for hiking, but I was told at least 1/2 mile is easy walking.  However, the first 1/4 mile is downhill, which means you are coming uphill on the return.  The 3 mile road to Lobo Overlook is off the summit of Wolf Creek Pass.  The view alone is worth the drive, even if you don’t walk the trail.  Here is a description from Trails.com  and another from AllTrails.

    Lobo Overlook
    San Juan mountains from Lobo Overlook, near Wolf Creek Pass
  • Just Trails – Great source of information on trails in northern Colorado and southeastern Wyoming.  They do mention difficulty, but not in reference to disabilities.
    Wheelchair AccessibleRebecca, who co-writes Just Trails, posted this list of wheelchair accessible trails near Laramie.

  • The National Sports Center for the Disabled has a hiking program called Summit Colorado.   From their site:  “Meet on Wednesday evenings to hike different trails around the Metro area. Once a month, join us on a day hike summiting one of Colorado’s majestic peaks.”

  • ORIC has a comprehensive review of outdoor activities in Colorado, some of which are for the disabled.  I believe I have links to information they give for the latter, but the site is definitely worth a visit.

  •  The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy lists wheelchair accessible trails in Colorado.

  • The Colorado Trail  – Most of the 500 mile Colorado Trail, which goes from Denver to  Durango, is not accessible.  However, there are a few places where you can follow it for short distances, at least on foot.

    Wheelchair AccessibleThe start of the Colorado Trail is at Waterton Canyon, a wide dirt road beside the South Platte River.  Here is another link, and still another.   I believe the first 6 miles are wheelchair accessible and there is an accessible fishing pier about a mile and a half from the parking lot.    This is a road, not a trail, and you will meet a lot of bicyclists and runners, occasional cars and rattlesnakes.   It can be very hot in the sun.

    Waterton Canyon
    Waterton Canyon
    Picnic shelter
    Picnic shelter at Waterton Canyon

     

     

     

     

     

    Hikerwithcane We walked about 1/2  mile east on the Colorado Trail from Kenosha Pass.  We could have gone farther as it was easy walking, but the way was blocked by two fallen trees.  This is a convenient place to enjoy the aspen colors in the fall.  Parking lot: N39° 24.814′  W105° 45.277′   The trail going west from the highway becomes difficult almost immediately.

    Colorado Trail at Kenosha Pass
    Start of Colorado Trail going east from Kenosha Pass

    HikerwithcaneAnother place to access the Colorado Trail is from the summit of Marshall Pass.  It is easy walking for at least 1/2 mile going North from the summit.

  • Wheelchairtraveling.com  is an outstanding resource.

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