2 min read

Denver Running : Sand Creek Greenway


In 1995, Stapleton Airport closed leaving many wild, wide open spaces. The upside was the vast amount space. The downside was that the rivers and streams were contaminated by decades of jet fuel. The EPA took over the river. In 1997, the Sand Creek Greenway master plan was created. And trust me, in 1997, the area looked pretty bad. There was obvious toxic material around. The river could barely sustain life.

Over the last decade, the EPA and the Sand Creek Greeway have worked to create a real wilderness area in the middle of the city. In the spring and fall, you can see the egrets fly through. The cormorants now fish the river. Coyote, rabbits, snakes, and other wild western creatures call Sand Creek home. Every time I'm there I see at least one red-tailed hawk. I've even seen a snowy owl there.  More recently, we saw four snakes. Of course, the ground hogs are ubiquitous.

We started going to Sand Creek around the time Rose came to live with us. She's chased bunnies, played in the water and generally romped it up there. We've even cross country skied at Sand Creek when there's a lot of snow. Over the years, Sand Creek Greenway has gone from a homeless hangout to a beautiful addition to the city.

Last weekend, we went out for a five mile run from I70 to Peoria. The path is well maintained gravel. There are steep hills and valleys but nothing overwhelming. There is limited shade so it can be very hot.

There is a parking lot off Smith Road and Havana. We usually come in from Quebec and park on the street. Dogs are supposed to be leashed but it's rarely policed. Watch for Coyotes.

View Sand Creek Greenway Trail in a larger map
Difficulty: Easy in places. Steep hills in others. Great place to run hills or get a longer run in. Sand Creek continues toward Aurora if you're looking for a really long run
Best place to park: Off Smith Road and Peoria or on the street near Quebec and Smith Road.
Best season: Spring, Winter, Fall. Hot in summer
Path is: dirt, cinder and sand. Well maintained with ample places for 'off path' adventure for a dog. -----