Denver Parks to Enjoy for Earth Day

With Earth Week upon us and Earth Day smack in the middle of it, there are some must-see parks in Denver that will help you get your Earth Day groove back. Remember to follow Denver’s stay-at-home orders, social distance, and wear your mask. Once you’ve suited up, grab a water bottle and a snack or two, and head to these amazing Denver Parks for Earth Day.

Inspiration Point Park

One of Denver’s oldest parks and perhaps the city park with the best views, Inspiration Point Park (see video) explodes with color and spring. At its entry (4901 N Sheridan), you’ll see bulbs popping up in brilliant brights. Meander up from the parking lot through a forest of linden, silver maples, honey locust and hackberry just start to spring their leaves. In 1906 when Charles Mulford Robinson envisioned a park that would allow views up and down the front range, park designer Henry Wright jumped at the chance to fulfill the vision. With these crystal clear, blue bird days were having without Denver’s brown cloud, you can see from Pike’s Peak to the south all the way to Long’s Peak to the north, and more.

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A walk from the parking lot to the point is perhaps 1/2 mile. Many locals know that sunset is the true time to visit Inspiration Point, although anytime of the day is lovely. Be sure to maintain your six feet if you decide to enjoy the picnic tables, and don’t forget to read the fun marker about striking gold on the north side of the park. If you’d like to venture further than the park, enjoy this walk through its nearby neighborhood, Regis.

George M Wallace Park

Dropped into the middle of Denver Tech Center, you’ll find Wallace Park (see video), named after the visionary for the Tech Center. Wallace believed that technology and nature could live in harmony, and in 1971, he created this campus for both. At the north end of the park (4700 S DTC Blvd), you’ll see engraved stones telling his harmonic story on a series of rocks placed for discovery. A 6+-foot wide concrete path connects the north end to the southern end of the park that holds an amphitheater for lunchtime entertainment when we no longer have to be socially distant. Along the path, look for seasonal flower beds popping up their first blooms, or enjoy spreading a picnic blanket on the grass and counting clouds!

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If you want to walk a bit further, the Goldsmith Gulch Trail runs through the park. Hop on that and enjoy an amble through the nearby neighborhood of Goldsmith on this urban hike.

Unnamed Park at 42nd and Lisbon

While it’s odd that this fun park (see video) doesn’t have a name, you will make great memories here. You can find the Unnamed Park at 4000 N Kirk St in Green Valley Ranch where kids will likely have the most fun here. They’ll find the art installation called Global Rhythms by Bill and Mary Buchen. A multipart installation of steel drums, an echo chamber, and steel noisemakers encourage the young and old alike to use their outdoor voices (remember to allow for social distancing!) A 6+foot wide concrete path ribbons through the park which includes a natural area, hills, and oaks. From almost anywhere in the park, you can admire gorgeous Rocky views.

In Green Valley Ranch, you can enjoy a great meander along the High Line Canal Trail. Hop on it at mile marker 64, which is near East Green Valley Ranch Park (see video), and follow this segment on the High Line Canal Trail.

Huston Lake Park

Crowning the neighborhood of Athmar Park, Huston Lake Park (see video) provides a fun lake to bird watch, to walk around, to fish in, and to tell stories by. Stunning views of the Rockies highlight the western edge of the park found at 850 S Bryant Dr. Once called Frenchie’s Lake, this park named after its developer, NK Huston, an early landowner, the park recalls the days of the 1965 flood. It devastated the neighborhood and much of downtown Denver, taking out all-but-one bridge over the Platte River. To read the story, you’ll need to find the three picnic tables on the eastern side of park. Tile mosaics top the tables; one table commemorates the quilting ladies of Valverde Presbyterian, the second commemorates Valverde Elementary’s children, and the third was designed by neighborhood artist, Brenda Hendrix.

I wear these shoes and I get them from REI, where you can return shoes for up to a year.

If you want to continue the table-top story, head over to nearby Clifford Aspren Park (see video) to find three more tables, one which commemorates the actual 1965 flood. Taking this walk through Athmar Park will take you by some of the historical landmarks of this quaint neighborhood, including all six tables.

City of Cuernavaca Park

On Earth Day we think about how we can improve the Earth and live in balance with the elements of fire, ice, water and earth. There’s no better way to pay homage to those images than by visiting City of Cuernavaca Park (see video) at 3500 Rockmont Dr. In this large grassy park that straddles both sides of the Platte River, you’ll find the rock installation called Elements by Nancy Lovendahl. As you adventure through the park looking for all four pieces of the installation, be sure to stop at the historical markers as well. You’ll learn about the history of sports in this sports-minded town, and you’ll learn about the Bears, the Broncos, and the Rockies. Interspersed in all of this learning, you’ll also find the “Pride of the Rockies”, a flour mill!

By the way, the park is a Sister City Park. Throughout the city of Denver, you’ll find seven “Sister City” parks that mirror the Sister City Program, an organization that fosters peace through friendship. This park, named for our sister city relationship with Cuernavaca (which means surrounded by trees), Mexico, is the gateway to a wonderful walk along the Platte River Trail. Take it down to the famous Denver Skate Park (which, one day, will be open again after social distancing is lifted) or continue south to Littleton or north to Thornton.

Denver’s parks are the glorious treasures of our fabulous city. During this time of social distancing and stay-at-home orders, make sure that while enjoying them on Earth Day or Earth Week, you’re being safe, healthy, of utmost importance, kind. Please enjoy these five amazing Denver parks on Earth Day.

Exploring Denver’s Earth Day and Supporting DenverByFoot

If you’ve enjoyed this walk, maybe you’ll enjoy some other walks curated by Denver By Foot. Get the 52 Hikes 52 Weeks Denver Calendar, which recommends a hike a week, subscribe to the YouTube Channel to hear about weekly hiking suggestions in Denver, and buy access to the Denver By Foot Challenge. The Challenge is 30 activities in Denver to do by foot where you’ll uncover treasures throughout Denver. It’s a great thing to do with friends and family, or even along during our lock down.

Finally, please support Denver By Foot by purchasing Chris Englert’s books, The Best Urban Hikes: Denver and Discovering Denver Parks. Thank you so much!

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See you on the trail!