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Denver is a paradise for cyclists! The Mile High City boasts more than 85 miles of paved trails that connect to hundreds of additional miles of dirt trails offering mountain bike adventures. These trails also connect riders to dozens of notable attractions, including Cherry Creek Shopping District and Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre.

If you're visiting, you don't even need to bring your own bike -- Denver's pioneering bike-sharing system, Denver B-cycle is easy, inexpensive and fun. More than 700 shiny, red bikes are available at 80-plus stations around town. Swipe a credit card and hop on board to start exploring Denver's 85 miles of paved bike trails. Pick up a bike at one station and drop it at another -- stations are conveniently located throughout the city near hotels and attractions.

Check out some great Denver bike trails or attend an event like the Denver Cruiser Ride

THE GREENWAY TRAIL ALONG THE SOUTH PLATTE RIVER

The Greenway Trail, a paved bike trail, follows the South Platte River for almost 30 miles, connecting a necklace of riverside parks. Since much of Denver's early history occurred along this river, the Colorado Historical Society has erected more than 20 large historic signs that use photos and illustrations to tell the story of the area. There are markers alongside the trail describing the Native Americans who once lived here, as well plaques dealing with wildlife and birds. There are historic plaques for dinosaurs and the geologic history of the area, as well as ones dealing with the railroads, trolleys, explorers, mountain men, soldiers and farmers that at one time or another traveled beside the South Platte River.

HIGHLIGHTS

Riverside Cemetery: Many of Denver's famous pioneers are buried in this historic cemetery. 

Confluence Park: Denver was founded at this site; today, kayaks can be seen in the man-made rapids of the park. Nearby is My Brother's Bar, the only bar still operating that was once frequented by Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady and others from the Beat Generation. Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park, the Downtown Aquarium, the Children's Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus and Sports Authority Field at Mile High are all located along the bike path.

Hudson Gardens: Beautiful private gardens are located along the bike path along with an exciting outdoor garden railway and gorgeous garden walks. The facility operates a riverside café for bikers and hikers with coffees, drinks and desserts.

Chatfield State Recreation Area: The bike trail ends at this sprawling park, which offers horseback riding, sailing, swimming and a gigantic balloon festival in August. From here, you can bike south through the park to Waterton Canyon and the beginning of the Colorado Trail. The unpaved Colorado Trail runs for 400 miles to Durango, Colo., however, parts of it are closed to biking. The first six miles offers a fairly easy, graded surface for biking along the South Platte River through rock outcroppings and gorgeous scenery where big horn sheep can frequently be spotted.

CHERRY CREEK BIKE PATH 

This paved trail begins where Denver was first founded and runs along the creek for more than 40 miles to Franktown. The Cherry Creek Bike Path is one of the most popular biking/hiking/jogging trails in Denver and one of the prettiest. Parts of it comprise the Front Range Trail, an off-road bike path that will eventually stretch the entire north-south length of Colorado, from the Wyoming to New Mexico borders.

HIGHLIGHTS

Cherry Creek Shopping District: There are nearly 500 department stores, shops, boutiques, galleries and outdoor cafes in the area, divided between the upscale Cherry Creek Shopping Center and the tree lined streets of the quiet neighborhood Cherry Creek North. The bike path goes directly behind the shopping center.

Four Mile House & Historic ParkThis old stagecoach stop (four miles from downtown Denver) is the oldest structure in the metro area. The 12-acre park is an oasis along the bike path and offers a museum and historic buildings that tells the story of Denver's early pioneers.

Cherry Creek State Recreation Area: One of metro Denver's largest lakes has boating, camping, swimming and horseback riding. The bike path continues south through the park to Franktown. 

Castlewood Canyon State Park: From the southern end of the Cherry Creek bike path, it's just a few miles on a quiet dirt road to this beautiful state park, which features walks through the canyon and historic exhibits on the dam that was once located here.

CLEAR CREEK BIKE PATH

The Clear Creek Bike Path is a 20-mile-long paved bike path that follows fast rushing Clear Creek from the South Platte River to the town of Golden. The path goes through residential neighborhoods and countryside, but always follows near the creek. As it nears Golden, it offers outstanding views of the high buttes that surround the town.

HIGHLIGHTS 

Golden: The authentically Western town of Golden was Colorado's first capital city. Today, visitors encounter a mix of outdoor cafes, Western stores and museums with a quaint main street that in places still has covered walkways, false-front buildings and plankboard sidewalks. An award-winning kayak course runs through the center of the town and there are outdoor cafes where you can enjoy a drink while kayaks float by. There are historic buildings located directly on the bike path, while Coors Brewery, the largest single brewing site in the world, is nearby. 

Colorado Railroad Museum: A mile from Golden and just off the bike path, it's the largest railroad museum in the state with more than 50 locomotives and cars, all capturing the romantic era of narrow-gauge railroading in the Rocky Mountains.

North Table Mountain, South Table Mountain, Green Mountain: These three buttes and hills all have dirt mountain biking trails, both along the sides of the buttes and up on top, where they offer spectacular sweeping views of the metro area. The hills can be steep and rocky and are for intermediate mountain bike riders only.

BEAR CREEK BIKE TRAIL 

Bear Creek Bike Trail is a 20-mile trail that follows Bear Creek from the South Platte River to the tiny mountain town of Morrison - gateway to the Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre. From here, there are paved bike trail links along C-470 that connect to Chatfield State Recreation Area in the south or Golden in the north, making it possible to make 40- to 60-mile loops from downtown Denver.

HIGHLIGHTS

Morrison: This cute little town has cafes, coffee shops, ice cream stores, galleries and fine restaurants, all at the base of unusual geologic rock outcroppings. Bear Creek flows through the edge of the town. 

Red Rocks Park & AmphitheatreBear Creek Bike Path connects to Red Rocks, offering an opportunity to bike around 70 million year old red rock outcropping, some rising 300 feet high. Bikers share the road with cars in the park and it is a steep incline from Morrison to the amphitheater, but the views are incredible.

High Line Canal Trail

The High Line Canal Trail is one of the longest urban trails in America. It’s a meandering path that travels 71 miles through suburban Denver, from Waterton Canyon to the plains south of Denver International Airport. It has been designated a National Landmark Trail and covers a peaceful, relatively flat landscape along an irrigation canal owned by Denver Water. While you could potentially bike the whole distance, most people choose a smaller segment, since the path crosses several roads, without under- or over-passes in many cases. There are plenty of benches and parks along the way for breaks, and a canopy of cottonwood trees makes for shady cover.

Highlights

Chatfield State Park: This beautiful state park southwest of Denver has views of the neighboring foothills and Platte River valley. It’s a popular destination for recreation: boating on the lake, hiking, camping, horseback riding and even model airplane flying.

Littleton: Historic Downtown Littleton is lined with cute, indie boutiques, antique shops, creative eateries, and galleries featuring local artists. The Littleton Museum is a unique place to learn about local history and a 19th century farm.

Aurora History Museum: Changing exhibitions explore regional history, decorative and fine arts, and natural history. The museum's permanent exhibition, "Growing Home" speaks about Aurora and the region's history, including a fully restored 1913 trolley trailer on display.

 

CYCLING EVENTS

DENVER CRUISER RIDE

Wednesdays, mid-May-September
The irreverent Denver Cruiser Ride is a weekly pub crawl that meets every Wednesday to cycle through the streets of Denver. A mid-week Mile High City tradition since 2005, each ride boasts a different theme, often involving zany costumes. A basic membership fee of $15 will get you in on the ride. 

TOUR DE FAT

A freewheeling day full of beer, bikes, live music and sustainability in Denver's City ParkNew Belgium Brewing Co.'s Tour de Fat kicks off with a head-turning costumed bike parade and, encouraging responsible consumption, concludes with one person handing over the keys to his or her car in exchange for a bicycle. Tour de Fat is free, but beer and merchandise proceeds go to local Denver cycling non-profits. The event takes place in September.