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Big Dry Creek Trail follows an east-west course for 12 miles between Interstate 25 and Standley Lake in Westminster, one of Denver's northern suburbs. The trail is generally flat, with short stretches of moderate grade. The trail passes among open space, parks, and neighborhoods. At 99th Street, there is a short on-road section (approximately 1 mile).
Where the trail crosses under US 36, a connection to the US 36 Bikeway is possible; that paved pathway parallels the roadway between Denver and Boulder.
The trail surface is currently being upgraded to concrete, and surfacing should be complete by summer of 2018. An adjacent 4-foot wide path will also be laid out.
One of the easiest places to pick up the trail is at the Westminster Rec Center (at 104th and Sheridan), which is more or less central to the trail. Parking is also available at Standley Lake Park, Westminster City Park (2 places), Westfield Village Park, and Big Dry Creek Park (1700 W. 128th Ave.).
Did this trail in 2 sections. First, starting at Hwy 36, I went east all the way to I-25 and back (~14 miles). This section of the trail is wonderful. The new, wide smooth concrete path weaves and rolls following the creek though a surprisingly wide open and pretty green belt. There are wetland and prairie areas where it is possible to see various bird and wildlife. You feel like you are in the middle of a wildlife area for the most part. 5 stars.
From Hwy 36 to the west, the trail is not nearly as good quality as the other direction. To me, it was more convoluted and confusing as it goes close by office buildings, apartments/homes, stores, schools, etc. There are some new concrete sections to go with older areas and the pea gravel section on the climb to Standley Lake. Though there are pretty areas and some wildlife, for the most part, it feels like you are in the middle of suburbia. 3 stars.
Though not overly busy, I encountered other riders, runners, stroller pushers, dog walkers, etc. All seemed to be enjoying themselves!
Noticed the only people complaining are runners. There is a nice gravel trail alongside it for much of the time, which I walked and ran for years with my kids in a stroller. We just took our first epic bike ride from Butterfly Pavion to College Hill library, stopping in btw to wade, play in parks, and have tons of fun. Its an awesome trail and not even crowded on a Saturday.
The new concrete is great for road bikes, the last section near the reservoir is gravel, but doable to a point. Great ride, not very busy.
With the addition of concrete, this trail is bike accessible without the mud or loose gravel that used to make it hard to navigate at times. There's a newly added gravel path beside it that should work for runners. I've seen a lot more use by baby strollers, bikes, skateboarders and walkers. The best part of Big Dry Creek is no cars and no street crossings involved.
This use to be one of the best running trails until the paved it with hard concrete. The sides are unusable to runners as they are filled with rocks, puddles and leftover concrete. Not to mention I have never seen a stroller/wheelchair since they paved it. Seems like a shame they traded the majority of use for a demographic that doesn't even use it.
Great to see the trail is being paved along with the addition of a 4 feet gravel path. Love seeing the city enhancing the trail to accommodate those who need it paved (wheel chairs, strollers, bikes, etc). and those that also want a gravel path.
They put in concrete in the area around 128th and Huron, Zuni. Ruined the nice, peaceful, natural feel. Still blocked off, so can't tell if they at least left a natural path to walk on for dogs and people with knee problems.
Used to be a great trail for runners but this spring they 'improved' it with concrete. So disappointed! Why would they would they go out of their way to ruin such a beautiful area? The Joni Mitchell song comes to mind, "They paved paradise and put up a parking lot".
Just because they had the money to do it, doesn't mean they should. Disgusted.
basicly all down hill, my wife and i took this trail. she has a 700c tire fitness bike, no problems! i was concerned about the lack of signs, there is alot of connecting trails. we made it fine, just stick to main trail. 2 best things the tunnels under all the main roads and the tire repair stations!
Nice easy trail with both paved and unpaved spots to keep a nice variety. Plan on doing it again! Like another reviewer, some people have stolen signs that make it somewhat hard to follow at times with multiple forks, but its pretty easy to determine where you need to go.
First, as a background, we are not at all familiar with the area but we have enjoyed riding a number of rails-to-trails and greenbelts throughout the country.
We parked at the neighborhood park named Westbrook Park on West 97th Avenue. This park has about a dozen parking spots and is adjacent to an elementary school with plenty of parking. Immediately we noticed the lack of signage. It wasn’t until we neared the US36 interchange that there were some signs. However, this lack of signage would be a problem throughout our ride. There are a number of trail junctions that take you through neighborhoods, but none of them were signed. We had to backtrack a few times since we made a wrong turn.
Contrary to other comments, the trail is not paved the entire length. However, the unpaved sections are crushed stone/gravel and are is a very good surface. Some of the sections could use a little pruning as the shrubbery was encroaching on the trail. The paved sections were in good condition except when the trail connected to a wooden foot bridge over the creek. It was not a smooth transition at all. Most of the trail was out in the open with little shade. Other than the city park, there are no facilities (e.g., water) along the trail.
Personally, I thought the trail was just OK but my husband had a better impression than I did. I can, however, appreciate the efforts the city and taxpayers have made to set aside such a large area for open space.
This trail is mostly paved, easy to get to, with plenty of parking lot space. The trail is mainly flat, but there are many slightly uphill spots. It is wide enough for two lanes of traffic for walkers and bikers, so long as you stay on your side. I take my dog there to bike with me because it is nearby. This trail is NOT GOOD for bikejoring your dog, there are some drops on the side of the road the dogs can fall into with no side walling protection, it is too crowded and there are bends and twists in the trail, too hard to prevent accidents. But if you have a walky-dog or a bike leash that allows you to walk the dog close to your bike and you control the pace and direction, this trail is good for that. My dog and I usually only go about 1-2 miles in, then turn around when the road runs out of pavement (I don't like biking on the dirt/sand). If you use the entrance on 104th and Sheridan, the trail stay's paved for about a mile, then it stops abruptly and becomes dirt. I'm not sure how long it remains dirt until it becomes paved again - but I assume it becomes paved again because the trail extends into town. There is a residential neighborhood backed up to the trail, especially in the first mile, and dogs in their backyards will watch you and bark hello's. This park is dog friendly and they have the occasional poop-bag station close to the parking lots with poop bags provided. But I'd bring my own in case they are out. They claim to have bathrooms but I haven't found them yet. They are no where to be seen from the parking lot. Be sure you go potty before you start on the trail, or don't drink too much water and hold it. I've noticed the trail is pretty crowded when the temp is above 60 degrees. There are always people from the nearby neighborhood walking their dogs, I've seen other bikers, lots of walkers. The trail is less crowded when the temp is below 40 degrees. Overall a convenient trail to walk your dog or bike your dog.
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