Cherry Creek Regional Trail


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Cherry Creek Regional Trail Facts

States: Colorado
Counties: Arapahoe, Denver, Douglas
Length: 45.5 miles
Trail end points: Platte River Trail at Confluence Park (Denver) and South of SR 86 (Franktown)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Concrete, Gravel
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 6542127

Cherry Creek Regional Trail Description


The Cherry Creek Regional Trail is a picturesque 45-mile route with a northern endpoint in downtown Denver and connects suburban and rural Arapahoe and Douglas Counties, including the communities of Parker, Centennial and Franktown. The vast majority of the trail has an 8-foot-wide concrete surface, but short sections of the more rural southern end consist of gravel trail and road.

About the Route

The trail's northern endpoint is located at Denver's Confluence Park, which marks the area where a gold discovery in 1858 led to the founding of the city. Meandering southeast, the trail parallels Cherry Creek through urban landscapes and parks and into the suburbs. Highlights of the route include the Cherry Creek Shopping District and Four Mile House and Historic Park, where one can learn about Denver's early pioneers.

In Arapahoe County, the trail emerges in Cherry Creek State Park, which offers several hiking trails, campgrounds and a vast array of recreational opportunities around Cherry Creek Reservoir. Near the park's southern edge, the trail goes under Arapahoe Road (State Route 88), allowing trail users to seamlessly continue their southward journey uninterrupted by busy traffic.

Just before entering Douglas County, trail-goers pass through the Parker Jordan Centennial Open Space. Purchased by the Parker Jordan Metropolitan District in 2009, the formerly private 107 acres with Cherry Creek snaking through it are now preserved in perpetuity. Continuing south over the county line, the trail passes through suburban and then increasingly rural areas, before ending at a wooded and hilly dead-end in Franktown, not far from scenic Castlewood Canyon State Park.


At the trail's northern end, it connects to the Platte River Trail (CO).

In the Hampden neighborhood of Denver, it connects to the Hampden Heights Trail and the High Line Canal Trail.

In Centennial, the Piney Creek Trail and the Happy Canyon Trail lead off from the Cherry Creek Regional Trail.

In Creekside, the trail connects to the Baldwin Gulch Trail, Newlin Gulch Trail and Sulphur Gulch Trail.


Parking and Trail Access

The Cherry Creek Regional Trail runs between Platte River Trail at Confluence Park (Denver) and South of SR 86 (Franktown).

Parking is available at:

  • 494 S Clermont St (Glendale)
  • 2998 S Kenton St (Aurora)
  • 17330 Cottonwood Dr (Parker)

There are numerous parking options along the route, please see TrailLink Map for all parking options and detailed directions.

Cherry Creek Regional Trail Reviews

Mostly flat, interesting people, art, and in the heart of the city. Highly recommend.

Mostly flat, interesting people, art, and in the heart of the city. Highly recommend.

Half urban, half suburban, all Western

Starting in downtown Denver and heading 40 miles southeast to Franktown, the Cherry Creek Trail is a true gift to the bikers, runners, and walkers of the city. For the first five miles from downtown, from the scenic falls where the creek meets the Platte River, we rode nearly on the edge of the rock-strewn creek. The trail runs below street level, hence there are many overhead bridges and on/off ramps from nearby neighborhoods. Riding at 9am, most of the trail in the downtown area was shaded by the high-rise apartment and office buildings on the east side, but the trail is otherwise short on leafy canopies and is likely to be brutally hot mid-day. There was no shade whatsoever further along the trail. The creek’s path became less managed by rocky revetments after about seven miles, instead, alternately diverging and converging among beds of brown grass and scruffy plants.
Except for occasional neighborhoods and the four golf courses we passed, it definitely felt like we were riding in the Wild West!
Prior to hitting the suburbs, we passed numerous homeless people lying under blankets aside the creek or tucked up under the eaves of bridges - more than we’ve come across in other cities. There were also retaining walls along both sides of the trail that featured both true works of art and plain old graffiti. We had to stop at only one intersection where construction forced a slight detour; otherwise, we flew along the concrete path as it climbed almost imperceptibly out of town.
The Cherry Creek trail is more like a network of paths, several of which we took accidentally because there is very little signage on the trail. A yellow painted line along the center of the trail helps at some of the Y’s and intersections, but it’s conspicuously missing at many of them. We really enjoyed this trail and would have loved to have completed the 80-mile roundtrip, but we were limited by both time constraints and lack of ambition.
There is no shortage of great breweries in Denver, including a fantastic one with a crazy variety of beers right off the trail in the Glendale area.

2 Trails in One

The southern 26 miles (upstream from Cherry Creek Dam) is definitely 5- Star (Arapahoe and Douglas Counties). The southern part has many areas in natural and beautiful settings and the use is moderate. Very pleasant. Parker and South-Suburban does a great job keeping them nice.

The Northern 14 miles (Downstream from dam) is 3-star (Denver City & County). It is urban, lots of local road traffic as well as high use. Watch out for the bikers and the Lance-Wannabees who will not call themselves out as the pass and ride between 15 - 30 mph. They can ride in pelotons dominating the path and get angry if you are in there way. Many though are courteous. Be very careful though if you are out with your kids and leashed dogs. There are also an increasing amount of e-bikes as well that are riding fast even though they are forbidden on the trail. Denver does not patrol their paths and trails

Great trail

This trail is mainly flat with great views on southern part of trail


3 Sections Of The Cherry Creek Trail

I've ridden on 3 sections of this trail. The first is the part that runs through the south part of Cherry Creek Reservoir. To complete a loop of the park you ride on a road and then the Parker Rd Trail. It's a very nice ride with enjoyable views and just a few climbs. The second connects from the High Line Canal Trail at the end of the Cherry Creek Golf Course. This section is well signed and could be confusing if it weren't. You take an underpass to cross Havana then along Kennedy Golf Course. There is a climb out of the golf course then a short descent and under I-225 then a climb either way to go around the dam road. After going around the dam road there is a soft trail along the water's edge (not sure if this is considered part of the CCT). The 3rd is the section going south out of the park down to Parker. Just out of the park you ride the sidewalk along Jordan Rd until just before Arapahoe Rd. Here there are two paths to the underpass. One is very steep and the second not as much but still a bit of a climb (coming back). Again, the trail is very well marked with spots for breaks and trail maps along the way. I went as far as Cottonwood before heading back for a 25 mile ride.


Love this trail. Here on vacation, no bike on hand just rollerblades. Started on Sulphur Gulsh trail in Parker. Trail was closed and had to follow a detour sign, which went right by a Sonic ¿¿ The entire trail was ash asphalt but one of the hills after Cherry Creek Park was too steep. I had to walk it down. Lots of bicycle, most of them with great trail etiquette giving me a warning shout or bell.

Great ride for all

The Cherry Creek trail is well maintained and has rest areas, air stations and restrooms along the route. Riders ranging from novice to expert ride along the trail that goes through suburbs and into downtown. Beautiful riverside trails lined with towering trees and natural wild vegetation.

The Denver section was great.

I didn't get a chance to explore all of this trail, but I was very impressed with what I saw of if as well as the Denver cycling infrastructure in general (handlebar videos available at The idea of being able to ride for miles through a major city without having to cross an intersection is very enjoyable. The trail is well maintained, has good signage and plenty of public are while taking you past many points of interests. There are also countless access points to make it very practical for commuters and tourists.

Lovely Urban Trail

This is one of the loveliest and nicely maintained urban bike trail I have ridden. The trail is paved and wide without many hazards on the pavement. The trail is well marked for the most part. I did miss a turn at one point and found myself on a different trail. Eventually, I turned back and found the correct trail again. I had missed the sign on a fork in the road and turned on to the wrong trail. The scenery is very lovely - it follows along a stream with pretty waterfalls.

Riding our Recumbent Trikes along the Cherry Creek Trail

We rode the section from the McCabe Meadows Trail Head to the Cherry Creek Reservoir around 27 miles round trip. Although it's mostly only 8 ft. wide, the trail is in very good shape and has lot's of wooded, prairie and urban sections. It's a mellow ride with very few big inclines! We really appreciated that there were several trail heads with facilities (restrooms, picnic table, etc.). We plan to ride the next section north into Down Town Denver soon, we really enjoyed this trail!

Well Designed but Crowded

Trail has bikers, walkers and joggers with heavy usage. It's relatively flat and any novice can do it. However be warned, there are numerous bikers who ride at speeds over 20mph (posted limit of 15) and don't care to slowdown for congestion or warn people being overtaken. While every ride is enjoyable, this one was more stressful than any I've been on.

Good trail, inconvenient to access

The trail is great in that it's separated from cars, in some sections it's even separated from walkers and runners, and it makes accessing downtown a breeze. However, there is a major disconnect between this trail and all of the bike friendly streets of downtown. Because the trail follows Speer, arguably the most dangerous and busy street in Denver, it's extremely nerve-wracking trying to get off the trail to access anywhere downtown from most exit points.

Denver's done a decent job of making their streets bike-friendly but the major thing the area lacks is connection of those streets to other streets and trails. Turning left is a nightmare and getting on the Cherry Creek trail is nearly impossible without riding on the sidewalk for a few blocks.

My Favorite Trail

I have been riding this trail for over 20 years. I used to ride it to commute to and from work before I retired. Still ride it at least several times a month. Recent additions and completion of broken sections make this a great trail to ride for a long days ride.

Cherry Creek Trail South

Very enjoyable walk from the dam south through Arapahoe and Douglas County. The trail has very few un paved spots mostly the very southern part in Douglas County. Also beware that going south the last restroom facilities are at the Pinery Trailhead after that all the way to Franktown there are no facilities. It is a nice trail to walk the paths are wide and there is a lot of wildlife to see.

nice, yet often confusing

I just finished a two month bicycle tour of several western states beginning in New Mexico and coming through Denver and environs from the southeast. I picked up the trail and appreciated being separated from motor vehicles. I rode the southern section on Saturday evening and stealth camped before continuing the next morning heading north toward Confluence Park, REI, and rolling on up to connect with the Boulder bike path. As others have commented, the trail is wonderful, but the signage or more accurately, the lack thereof was most frustrating. Time and again, I would reach a point where the trail would divide or even come to an end and there would be no indication of which direction to turn. A common occurrence was coming to a point where the trail would temporarily end and then resume a few hundred yards distant from that point. If one is riding the trail for the first time as I was, most annoying to not be directed to the continuation point. Again, I reiterate that the opportunity to ride many miles separated from traffic was so nice, but the planners need to get out there and post signs.

South Portion - Hwy 86 to just n/o Bayou Gulch Rd.

We enjoyed this part of the overall 40 mi. trail on bikes and inlines. The trail is concrete pavement (not overly wide) from the Walker Rd. trailhead to a short distance north of Bayou Gulch Road where the pavement abruptly ends. The trail turns 90 degrees and continues east but 80mm wheels don't work so well in mud so we turned back.

This portion of the trail passes through grassy meadows, treed areas and over some rolling hills. The trail is in great shape and was not crowded. We passed a few cyclists and a few folks walking. There are a few bridge crossings and underpasses. We look forward to coming back and trying the section north of Scott Road.

Awesome Trail

Awesome trail up and through the park. it can get crowed for cyclist because of families and dog walkers, but overall it's an awesome trail.


Did a 10 miler with Boy Scouts for the hiking merit badge. Lots of grasshoppers, and raptors. Nice and flat so you can do any easy 10 miles even if you are not very fit. Four stars because you're hiking behind amid the gear Colorado housing sprawl, and end up jumping out of the path of bicycles frequently.


I get lost every time I ride this trail south and back from the reservoir. The trail splits many different directions, runs parallel to other trails at some points, and has construction around Arapahoe Rd. I became very lost around the construction, as there were NO signs telling me where to go. It was not a pleasant experience. Other than that, the ride is not overly hilly and the view is good.

My favorite bike ride!

Love, love this ride! It is beautiful! There have been many improvements on the south side of this trail. We love it and want to ride down there more often.

When is the detour going to be eliminated? Leaving the park to ride on the side walk, then crossing all 6 -8 lanes of Arapahoe road to get back on the trail is frustrating. I'm looking forward to the completion. I will head south more often once it is more convenient. :)

First time on this trail great ride

Definitely enjoyed this trail. I look forward to biking another leg soon. Very clean and not too much traffic

Cherry creek trail is lovely

gorgeous and well-made and perfect for getting around and seeing Denver and environs without watercourse eye view. And no worrying about any cars or missed directions - really well protected urban trail - blossoming!

Excellent Urban Trail

I ride this trail often. I think of it in two parts, broken by a short on-road section. The northern half starts in downtown Denver, rides below the streets through town, through tony Cherry Creek, through the 'burbs and finally through Cherry Creek Reservoir State Park. The southern half heads south from there through Parker, and ultimately Franktown.

The northern section is a delight as an urban trail, and is very popular with the work-out crowd, and riders who are all about staying in "the zone". On any given summer evening it's practically crawling with the kind of riders who go too fast, and have no patience with those who are actually enjoying themselves. That's partly why I spend more time on the southern end.

The further south you go, the more rural and peaceful it becomes. Wildlife is abundant. Deer, coyote, eagles, cranes, foxes; I came close to running into an antelope one morning (I think he thought I was another antelope). Here also you'll find the cottonwood-lined stream that the early pioneers would've seen. Cherry Creek was how travelers came into Denver on the old Overland Trail, a dangerous shortcut across Kansas. There are still "mile houses" along the way, inns that took in travelers, and in places the trail doesn't seem to have changed noticeably in the last 150 years.

The southern end is great all year round, being paved and kept clear of snow, and provides a nice glimpse into winter on the plains. It ends near the Castlewood Canyon State Park. Heading south from the end of the trail you can ride into and through the park, stopping to check out the ruins of an old dam that collapsed in the 1930s, causing quite the flood in Denver. Dirt roads will take you to Greenland and the trail system there that will then connect you to Colorado Springs, if you have the time and energy.

Cherry Creek is a real Denver treasure.

Great novice trail

My son rode from the trail head in Franktown and ended at Confluence Park in Denver. He loved it.

Denver Vacation

Trip from LoDo to Cherry Creek Reservoir - fantastic. Got bikes from Confluence Kayaks as we were on holiday from UK. Excellent weather and trail was relatively easy to follow - slightly uphill towards reservoir area. Got caught in thunderstorm on way back but this added to enjoyment (!!) of the ride. Highly recommend it to beginners / tourists.

Cherry Creek Trail

What a great trail this is! This was the first time I have ever rode on this trail. Me and my 8 year old daughter road from Cook Park to the Cherry Creek Country Club. Not having to cross the busy roads is what made this such a great trail to ride on. Lots of trees to where you always felt you weren't in the city. Rode by Four Mile Historic Park which I did not even know was there before. Will surely plan more ride on the Cherry Creek Trail to enjoy more of its beauty.

It's a great trail

My wife and I love this trail. We camp at Cherry Creek State Park. From there we can ride 15 miles across Greater Denver to the center of town without crossing a single street. Well, that is if the creek don't rise. The streets are avoided by riding under the bridges that carry the street across the creek. When the creek rises the under crossings can become flooded. That really isn't a problem because you can use the access from the streets to cross the street and continue on the path.

From the Cherry Creek Trail there are no end of other great trails to ride. Ride to the north end of the trail at Confluence Park, stop at REI and get the "Bicycling The Greater Denver Area Route Map." This map will show you all the other possibilities for riding around Greater Denver.

Cherry Creek State Park is a great place to stay but it is no secret. Make your reservation early. By June the weekends are booked solid for the entire season.

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