Arkansas Riverwalk Trail

Colorado

Arkansas Riverwalk Trail Facts

States: Colorado
Counties: Fremont
Length: 7 miles
Trail end points: Mackenzie Ave. and Pueblo Community College on US 50
Trail surfaces: Crushed Stone, Gravel
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6015340
Trail activities: Bike, Fishing, Wheelchair Accessible, Horseback Riding, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

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Arkansas Riverwalk Trail Description

Cañon City, Colorado, is a recreation destination popular with whitewater rafters and rock climbers. Two notable attractions also bring visitors to the city: the nearby Royal Gorge Bridge spans the Arkansas River at a height of 955 feet, making it the highest bridge in the United States, while the Royal Gorge Route Railroad offers two-hour train rides along one of the most scenic stretches of rail in the country.

The Arkansas Riverwalk Trail winds for nearly 7 miles along the Arkansas River to the east of the Royal Gorge Bridge, passing on its meandering journey through the heart of downtown Cañon City. Farther east, the crushed gravel trail passes through a wooded area of cottonwoods and riverine wetlands as it leaves town. Part of this section of trail occupies an old railroad bed and runs through John Griffin Regional Park, where you'll also find the Bluff Trail.

West of downtown Cañon City, a recent extension to the trail leads directly to Pueblo Community College's Fremont Campus. Turn onto Tunnel Drive before reaching the college to access the Tunnel Drive Trail, a narrow hiking trail that passes through three tunnels on the north side of the Arkansas River.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking for the Arkansas Riverwalk Trail is available at Centennial Park on Griffin Avenue in Cañon City. Additional trailheads can be found throughout the city; see the trail's official website for more information.

Arkansas Riverwalk Trail Reviews

My husband and I really enjoyed this trail. Although it was short, it had quite a bit of variety to it.

We parked at Centennial Park on 8th Avenue and first headed west. The trail passed through an industrial area and then eventually through Griffin Park with its wetlands and cottonwoods ending abruptly at McKenzie Road. There are plenty of benches and picnic tables along this route. We double-backed and decided to check out the connector to the Tunnel Drive trail. There is a crushed-gravel path that leads to the trail but we chose to cycle the lightly-traveled street.

The Tunnel Drive Trail is an easy two-mile trail that runs along a bluff and dead ends. There are three short tunnels blasted out of the rock that you cycle through. The trail overlooks the tracks for the Royal Gorge train and the Arkansas River. Don’t be misled when you first get to the trailhead. There is a very steep uphill, less than a ¼ mile, before reaching the actual trail. We simply walked our bikes up this section and then cycled the flat path. There are benches and a couple of picnic tables along the way. When done, we cycled back to the trailhead at Centennial Path.

The Arkansas Riverwalk Trail and Tunnel Drive Trail are packed, crushed rock with some short sections that are paved. Some areas are a bit sandy. If you just want to do a short ride, I highly recommend the Tunnel Drive Trail. If you time it right, you might even see the Royal Gorge Train passing through.

Variety - Parks, over and under bridges, riverside ride, country side, on you own wide trail/no streets. Easy enough to do with out stopping except that you'll want to not turn down the opportunity to just sit on a bench overlooking the Arkansas River close-up or on a panoramic bank. Level, except for one short steep climb.

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