Denver, CO: South Platte River Greenway

Begin exploring the South Platte River's Greenway Trail on this 7-mile out and back intro to the paved, 30-mile-plus vein through the heart of the Mile High City.
Avatar:
Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
0
Begin exploring the South Platte River's Greenway Trail on this 7-mile out and back intro to the paved, 30-mile-plus vein through the heart of the Mile High City.

The South Platte River Greenway Trail is a huge draw for Denver residents and offers easy pedestrian and bike-friendly access to several city attractions including Invesco Field, Elich Gardens, the Childern’s Museum, and several city parks. The Greenway Foundation, founded in 1974, has poured over $60 million in the last 30 years into restoring the river for recreational use.
This 7-mile out-and-back covers a short stretch of the path between the Denver's downtown REI and Valverde Park. But the paved pedestrian byway stretches 15 miles north to the border of Adams County and nearly 20 miles south to the Chatfield Resevoir, so there are plenty of options for lengthening your outing or exploring more of the city.
The riverside path is generally flat, wide, and smooth pavement with a few optional gravel sections. On summer days it can be teeming with foot, bicycle, even rollerblade traffic, so stick to the right-hand side of the path, keep hold of small kids, and a tight leash on dogs.
-Mapped by Justin Lesniak

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 11.4

Waypoints

SPG001

Location: 39.7550283, -105.0095572

This route begins at the REI flagship store on 1416 Platte Street. From the store's main entrance, walk 100 feet east towards the concrete walkway that is the South Platte River Greenway and turn right, or south. Other nearby access points: Fishback Landing (south on Water Street), and Skate Park (19th and Little Raven Streets) also have parking.

SPG002

Location: 39.7520591, -105.0124912

About 0.3 miles from the REI, the path skirts Denver's Downtown Aquarium on the right as you continue to hike south along the river.

SPG003

Location: 39.7486219, -105.0159458

This route crosses small trolley tracks near Denver's Children's Museum and takes a winding path through the lawn. Be sure to stop at the playgound at Gates-Crescent park up ahead, and to take advantage of seasonal restrooms there as well.

SPG004

Location: 39.7368089, -105.0179733

There's a street-level crossing at mile 1.5. Look both ways before continuing south across 13th Avenue.

SPG005

Location: 39.7299203, -105.0172618

Stay to the left at this Y-junction. The uphill ramp accesses 8th Avenue, but this route follows the lower trail. Turn left up ahead to cross the river toward a rest-stop at Frog Hollow Park (seasonal restrooms and water also available here).

SPG006

Location: 39.717483, -105.0046408

About 3.2 miles from the REI where this mapped route began, cross another pedestrian bridge.

SPG007

Location: 39.7138597, -105.0017374

Though the Greenway Path continues south, this mapped route ends at Valverde Park. The ball fields and basketball courts here are slated for a $5 million renovation. If you're on a bicycle, or have more time, consider continuing on the path before backtracking north.

South Platte River

Location: 39.7547354, -105.0089121

The calm waters of the South Platte River are a draw for families.

Elich Gardens

Location: 39.7537993, -105.0101057

Look left, across the river, toward Elich Gardens (an amusement park) and the Pepsi Center (home of the Denver Nuggets).

Invesco Field

Location: 39.7430261, -105.0168675

The trail also skirts the entrance to Invesco Field, home of the Denver Broncos.

River View

Location: 39.7393776, -105.0179565

The scenery turns industrial as the trail continues south under Colfax Avenue, but alongside the river, it's still peaceful.

Milstein Park

Location: 39.7229065, -105.0127879

One of the many parks along the South Platte River Greenway, Milstein Park is only accessible via the pedestrian and bike path. A lack of cars lends it a peaceful feel. It's also a great place to catch river views.

River from Milstein

Location: 39.7223123, -105.0114012

Rocks alongside the river in Milstein Park offer great views of the river rolling by.