Lee Lateral Ditch Trail


2 Reviews

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Lee Lateral Ditch Trail Facts

States: Colorado
Counties: Adams
Length: 4.3 miles
Trail end points: York Street and 136th Ave.
Trail surfaces: Concrete
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 11508086

Lee Lateral Ditch Trail Description

The Lee Lateral Ditch Trail is a hike-and-bike running east-west in the Denver suburb of Thornton. The trail connects residents to a number of recreational destinations along its route, from the Veterans Memorial Aquatics Center and Trail Winds Open Space in the east to Heritage Park, Cottonwood Park and Lake Village Park. The concrete pathway is part of the Eastlake Heritage Trail, a loop trail that celebrates the history of Eastlake, now part of Thornton, which began as a railroad village founded by Union Pacific. Interactive installations including a railroad hand cart as well as interpretive signage help illustrate this history.

The Lee Lateral Ditch intersects with the Signal Ditch Trail on its west end, which in turn connects to the Farmers' High Line Canal Trail.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking is available at either end of the trail. On the west side, park at Lake Village Park. There is a small lot on York Street where near the intersection with the Signal Ditch Trail and another off Fillmore Court, just north of 128th Avenue. On the west end, park at the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center (5310 E 136th Ave, Thornton). The trail curves around the east end of the building into the open space behind it.  There are also access points from the surrounding neighborhoods for those joining the trail on foot or by bike.


Lee Lateral Ditch Trail Reviews

Fun trail with many unexpected delights!

We visited the western tip of this trail—from Lake Village Park to Eagleview Elementary School—a distance of about 1.5 miles one way. It made for a pleasant October weekend ride with large old cottonwoods and other trees offering shade and hints of fall color. The trail begins with a nice parking area, a large picnic pavilion, porta potty, and exercise stations. At many points as we rode along, the trail split, offering a paralleling finely crushed stone surface for runners. Much of the way, the trail also followed a narrow shallow ditch. You could tell how popular this trail was as many adjacent homeowners had built their own small footbridges across the ditch to reach the trail. A fun surprise for my 10-year-old was a small trailside playground with two climbable life-size horses made of concrete and a large pig sculpture. For my husband, another fun unexpected find was a dirt mountain biking trail that paralleled the main trail for a short distance.

Other highlights included two heritage areas with railroad artifacts and informational signage about the history of the area. The signs also marked the route as part of the Eastlake Heritage Trail. According to the signage, a Union Pacific Railroad spur once ran through the corridor. Built in the early 1900s, the trains ran to Denver carrying passengers, farm products, and business freight.

Towards the end of our journey, we reached Colorado Boulevard; the crosswalk was well-marked. On the other side of the street the houses got closer to the trail, but it was still a lot of fun as the trail winds through a nice neighborhood.

Lee Laterial

Very enjoyable ride. Easy ride with a lot of shade.

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