AP NEWS

Coal Creek Trail a Community Asset

August 2, 2018

Kim Groom, a Broomfield resident, pauses along the Coal Creek Trail to read one of the numerous interpretive signs.

If you go

To the trailhead: Access the Coal Creek Trail via the Aquarius trailhead, located 1.4 miles west of Hwy. 287 on Colo. 42.

Distance: 7 miles one way

Difficulty: Easy

Elevation gain: Negligible—rolling hills

Dogs: Yes, on leash

Bikes: Yes

Hours: The Aquarius trailhead is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

information: Boulder Mountain Parks Department, 303-441-3440

If you’re seeking a remote, away-from-it-all experience, Coal Creek Trail isn’t it. On the other hand, if you’re pressed for time and want somewhere nearby to walk your dog, bike or run, this is a near perfect choice to add to your repertoire of urban trails. An added bonus: The route is suitable for wheelchair bound folks or even youngsters in strollers.

The 10-foot wide route is mainly crusher-fine gravel with a few low spots paved with concrete. Parts of the popular footpath wind through dense shrubs and is canopied with large cottonwood trees. However, other parts remain open, abutting a miscellaneous setting of pastoral lands, commerce and residences.

Depending on the time of day or the day of the week, the trail can be populated by a variety of visitors or by no one at all. Because of its negligible elevation gain with its rolling hills, it’s also a good seasonal trail for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

After parking at the Aquarius Trailhead, you may opt to go left toward Louisville, with uninterrupted views of the blue-green Front Range, or take the right fork and head toward Lafayette. This trailhead is at the center of a multiple-mile completely uninterrupted stretch.

The footpath links with Superior’s Rock Creek and Coalton trails and is a part of a lengthy regional system connecting the towns of Superior, Louisville, Lafayette, Boulder and beyond.

The trailhead small group shelter is an ideal picnic gazebo, accommodating up to 20 people, on a first-come, first serve basis.

Because of the environmentally sensitive nature of the area, and the fact that the Coal Creek Trail consists in parts of an easement with property owners, visitors should be mindful of open space rules and regulations.

Bette Erickson is the author of “Just for Visitors - Where the Locals Hike” ( Amazon.com ). Contact her at bette_erickson@hotmail.com .

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