Enjoying the Best of Aurora on Trail via the 9 Creeks Loop, Segment 4
The 9 Creeks Loop is a 42-mile hike that physically circles the city of Denver on trail. It uses a combination of 4 regional trails to lap the city. I have broken the 42 miles into 8 easy ~5 mile segment that are flat, have easy to find trailheads and trailends, and all can be walked in any direction. Transit is mostly available to the trailheads, although you may need to be a bit creative. When I walk the loop, I often will take a Lyft. You can certainly walk the segments as out-n-backs as well.
9 Creeks Loop Mile 9-14 Meandering through Aurora
Trailhead: Hinkley High School (1250 Chambers Rd, Aurora, CO 80011)
Trailend: Del Mar Park (12000 E 6th Ave, Aurora, CO 80010)
Highlights: DeLaney Farms
The route takes you through one of the best places and most historic area of Aurora, DeLaney Farms. Once a major homestead and vegetable farm of the area, now DeLaney Farms plays host to Denver Urban Garden’s CSA program, an apiary, and several rookeries.
Start your Segment Behind Hinkley High School
Return to the trail behind Hinkley High School and continue south to the right. You’ll parallel Chambers St and soon come to DeLaney Farms on your right and Community College of Aurora on your left. The College anchors along the Canal, and you’ll see the college’s Observatory. The Observatory is open to the public on certain nights, so be sure to check their schedule if there’s a particular celestial event happening you want to see.
Prairie Dogs, Foxes, Hawks, and What Else?
After passing the College, set your sites on observing the wonderful DeLaney Farms. Settled in the late 1800s, DeLaney Farms now spans 168 acres and is managed by Denver Urban Farms. The DUG runs a CSA where anyone can buy a membership and get fresh fruits and veggies throughout the season and/or exchange work for products. While walking here, you’ll see hundreds of prairie dogs, hawks, foxes, deer, and rabbits. It’s a great location to really amble along and enjoy the scenery. By the way, just south of the Farm is yet another Ultimate Frisbee Golf course, the second along the High Line, but first on the 9 Creeks Loop.
Is there a Toll to Cross Toll Creek?
Just before actually reaching the barns of the historic farm, you will cross over two of the nine creeks; the West Toll Gate and the Toll Gate. At the crossing, there is a great view of the locks along the Canal that control the water flow through Aurora and down along the Toll Gate.
The Toll Creeks once had crossing fees. The owners of the farm would charge wagons up to $.25 to cross the creek.
The Trail continues by the historic buildings of DeLaney Farm, including the last of 2 remaining round, wooden, short silos. Here, you can also see where tours for the Farm begin, including tours of the apiary, the silo, and the homestead. Finally, the Trail goes under Chambers via the Weddig tunnel, which houses some really interesting stainless steel artwork.
A Park within the Government Center
Come out of the tunnel, passing the Aurora Government Center on your left and High Line Canal mile marker 54. In just a short distance, cross over Sable Ave, which was poorly marked for cars looking for pedestrians. Aurora Town Center, which hosts a Target and many shops, restaurants, and vendors, will be on your left.
The trail continues west under Interstate 225 and then follows along the Aurora Golf Course. Many of the homes on the north side have walkways connecting their yards to access the trail.
At Peoria Street, take a right off the trail and head north ½ block. Here you’ll end Segment 3 at Del Mar Park. Note the bathrooms are just to the north, near the parking lots.
9 Creeks Loop Segment 4 is up next.
Walking the 9 Creeks Loop and Denver By Foot
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.
This post was originally written by Chris Englert and has been updated by Lia Alonge.