The Sand Creek Regional Greenway is a jewel in the necklace of trails that has made the metro Denver area a national model for linked ... more »trail systems. This 14-mile public greenway connects the High Line Canal in Aurora with the South Platte River Greenway in Commerce City. Along the way, it passes through Denver and the new Stapleton community.
The Sand Creek Regional Greenway is open every day from dawn until dusk. Runners, walkers, cyclists, nature viewers, horseback riders, and leashed dogs are encouraged to enjoy the trail. Motorized vehicles are prohibited.
The Greenway runs through industrial, residential, and scenic areas in the Denver metro area. Bluff Lake Nature Center and Morrison Nature Center are both located on the Greenway, as well as the Urban Farm at Stapleton, Sand Creek Park, and Star K Ranch Natural Area.
For an everytrail.com guide to the 42 mile NE Denver Loop (the Sand Creek Greenway, South Platte Greenway, Cherry Creek Greenway, Highline Canal loop), please visit http://www.everytrail.com/guide/northeast-denver-loop.
The following is a play by play of the trail, starting in Commerce City and ending in Aurora.
PARK your car (if you need to) at 60th and York along the South Platte Greenway.
RIDE north on the South Platte Greenway until you see the bike/pedestrian bridge over the South Platte River at the Sand Creek confluence (just before the South Platte Greenway goes under I-270).
TURN east on the Sand Creek Regional Greenway onto the bridge over the South Platte River.
FOLLOW THE TRAIL as it goes along the south side of I-270, and then turns right at the Burlington ditch. Keep following the trail as it goes left over the Burlington Ditch – then you have smooth sailing.
CONTINUING to the east, stop and enjoy the cool 5-acre Pepper Riparian Area just west of the Colorado Blvd bridge. Look for the beaver den.
The TRAILHEAD at Dahlia and 56th is open and also a great place to park your car.
In the early morning and late afternoon, egrets, herons, ducks, foxes, muskrats, and many other natural friends can be seen at the COMMERCE CITY WETLAND PARK.
After you CROSS THE BRIDGE to the south side of the creek at the Wetland Park, look for the restroom building to your right. If you follow the unpaved trail around the wetland areas, you will come to a parking lot at the end of 52nd Avenue. If you go to your left after the bridge, you will find the paved off-road trail- it is beautiful! Enjoy this last mile of paved trail all the way to 47th Avenue Drive at the Denver city line.
During the summer of 2013, there will be construction at 47th Avenue and on the trail to the I-70 underpass at Sand Creek. We are building an underpass at 47th and paving the trail to the I-70 bridge. Please follow the instructions of the construction crews.
After the I-70 bridge over Sand Creek, the trail continues to the east on the north side of Sand Creek. The trail is not paved. The trail goes under Central Park Blvd and is closed at this location due to the construction of the new East Corridor FasTracks line under Central Park Blvd. Follow the detour signs to the northeast and take the sidewalk along Central Park Blvd back toward Sand Creek (turn left on the sidewalk). The Central Park Bridge has a wide and well protected sidewalk.
Continue to follow the detour signs. You will ride on Central Park Blvd to the south side of the creek; turn left off CPB and follow the sidewalks to the corner of Smith Road and Xanthia. Go south on Xanthia until you see the trail on the north of RK Mechanical, going east. Follow the detour signs to the E 37th Avenue sidewalk. At Boston Street, make a left (north) on the trail going toward Sand Creek and cross over the pedestrian bridge to the trail, which runs on the north side of Sand Creek to the east. The Smith Road TRAILHEAD is next to the trail on the north. Please respect the detour and for your own safety, stay out of the construction zone.
The TRAILHEAD on east Smith Road is difficult to access at the moment because of the light rail construction in the area (to reach it by car, turn onto Smith Road from Havana).
From the Smith Road Trailhead, FOLLOW THE TRAIL east, past the Urban Farm on the north, down to the creek, and up the hill to Havana. Go on the sidewalk along Havana over the Sand Creek bridge and look for the SCRG signs on your right. Follow the trail to the right, as it curves down under the bridge and up on the east side of Havana. Follow the trail that goes along the road (with Bluff Lake Nature Center on your left) all the way to Peoria.
BE CAREFUL - New neighborhoods are being built along Havana and Martin Luther King Blvd. There are construction activities in the Denver section. Please do not go around barriers on the trail.
SMOOTH RIDING - The trail is open and beautiful from the underpass at Peoria into Sand Creek Park all the way to Colfax Avenue near Airport Boulevard. Stay on the trail through the northern section of Sand Creek Park. Go under I-225 and continue past Sable and Chambers. Enjoy the beautiful section from Chambers to Star K Ranch.
AFTER Chambers Road, you will enter the 200-acre STAR K RANCH with the trailhead and beautiful Morrison Nature Center to the left. Look for the trails heading north (left) off the greenway trail and follow them to the parking lot and nature center (about ½ mile).
OR continue through Star K Ranch to Airport Blvd and go south (right) on the sidewalk/road of Airport Blvd. to where the High Line Canal Trail crosses Airport Blvd. (about 1 mile).
OR continue on the Sand Creek trail until it ends near Colfax Avenue.