Mary Carter Platte River Greenway Hike

This week’s long hike took us to Chatfield State Park where we began our trek along the Mary Carter Greenway Trail. The trail is eight miles long, follows alongside the South Platte River and connects Chatfield State Park on the south to downtown Denver on the north.
It was great to get back out on the trails again after week plus of sub zero temperatures!

20131216-173700.jpgThe trailhead begins in the far northeast corner of the park. Take the west perimeter road north across the side of the dam and drop down on the north side. The dog off leash area parking lot offers you your last opportunity for clean flush toilets. Continue driving north and the road ends at a small parking lot which accesses the C470 and Mary Carter Greenway Trails. Cross the bridge spanning the South Platte and pass under the always busy C470 freeway.

20131216-173722.jpgOnce you move away from noisy C470, you will come upon a number of beautiful large ponds and the ever present river.

20131216-173735.jpgThe river has been crafted and channeled in several areas to encourage kayaking, rafting and canoeing. This photo shows how they have funneled the water flow toward making the river a bit more challenging for water enthusiasts.

20131216-173753.jpgThese neat picnic tables were available for use at the trail’s nature center, located just north of West Mineral Avenue.

20131216-173803.jpgThe river winds alongside the trail and offers spectacular views. There are an abundant number of waterfowl all along the trail, which ket us quite entertained.

20131216-173814.jpgOh, almost forgot…we got mooned too!

20131216-173827.jpgWhen we neared historic downtown Littleton, we turned east on Little’s Creek Trail, past the massive Dish Network headquarters and uphill toward the historic Arapahoe County Courthouse. Lots of memories as we passed this part of town as I spent many years working and enjoying these neighborhoods.

We hiked past the courthouse on West Littleton Boulevard and up to South Windermere Street where we arrived at our turnaround point, Romano’s – our favorite Italian Restaurant. Romano’s was one of the first restaurants Mark visited in Colorado when he moved here in 1978. After more than 30 years, it is still going strong and the food is always “molto bene.”

After a great lunch (try the eggplant parmesan or chicken & pesto sandwiches) we hiked back to the Chatfield Trailhead. Total distance traveled equaled 11.6 miles, 5 hours (lunch included). We were both a little sore, but that’s expected when nearing 12 miles. We are about 9 weeks away from leaving for Europe and beginning our journey. It seemed so far away when we started planning…

Buen Camino!


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Filed under Mark & Sandy's Camino 2014

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