Custom Homes and Giant Reservoirs Treat You on this Urban Hike through Southmoor
Sitting between Cherry Hills and I25 can’t be easy. At one time, Southmoor neighborhood was part of the Hampden South neighborhood. They split off, becoming Southmoor. Shaped like a sideways bow tie, the neighborhood’s northend homes neatly trimmed yards, and its southern neighbors live in multi-family dwellings. In the middle is Jefferson High and the Denver Water Hillcrest facility. You can meander the neighborhood on a gorgeous day, enjoying some custom homes and tree-lined streets.
Southmoor’s location makes it a great place to live if you work at Denver Tech Center or anywhere in South Denver. You can even jump over to Wallace Park to catch afternoon concerts for the brown-bagging crowd.
Southmoor is a long neighborhood. From one end of the bow-tie shape to the other is over 5 miles. Happy Canyon Road becomes Monaco halfway through the neighborhood and it makes roughly the western boundary. I25 is the eastern boundary, Hampden is the northern boundary and Belleview picks up the southern side. Although separated by the interstate, Southmoor does buddy up with Hampden for a neighborhood association.
The Denver Water Hillcrest facility dominates the neighborhood. Built as a storage facility in the 1960s, the needs for Denver Water’s water have grown. Denver Water is now replacing and restoring some of the tanks, adding new pumps and infrastructure. Three new 15 million gallons tanks are on their way! Watch this informative video where you can see inside one of the new reservoirs and learn about what’s happening at Denver Water’s Hillcrest station.
A Little Logistics along Happy Canyon
Walking the neighborhood will take some logistical expertise; there’s not really a good way to walk north and south except along Happy Canyon. Within the subdivisions, roads curve to other roads, making an east-west walk become circular. None the less, you are able to pick up 3.5 miles even though you’ll have to double back on Happy Canyon.
Halfway on this route, you’ll find the tiny Jefferson Square Park, not to be confused with the similarly named Jefferson Park up near Highland. Sharing lacrosse fields and other facilities with Thomas Jefferson High School, this triangle-shaped park welcomes the locals from the Southmoor neighborhood. Although the actual park is small with playground equipment for little kids and a mixed use field, it appears big. You can see the tennis courts and ball fields of the high school next to the park, adding to the open space feel of this neighborhood gathering spot.
From custom homes to some slightly renovated and many 1970/80s Brady Bunch style homes, it doesn’t appear that much has changed in the northern neighborhood. The southern neighborhood is caught up in the hustle-bustle of Denver living and has quick access to DTC.
The route (click for interactive map):
Start at 3616 S Forest Way. Walk east to Happy Canyon Road, take a right. Go northerly to S Eudora Way, take a left. At S Dahlia St take a left.
Take a left on Mansfield Ave, then take a right on Happy Canyon Rd. Follow Happy Canyon past Jefferson High and Jefferson Square Park to the Quincy intersection.
Notice the development and apartments to the south, the bridge that crosses i25 into Aurora, and the easy access to DTC.
Turn around and go back up Happy Canyon Rd.
At S Jersey St, take a right. Stay on Jersey to S Hillcrest Dr. Take a left. At E Ithaca Pl, take a left.
Take a left on S Ivanhoe, pass the Hebrew Educational Alliance. Cross S Holly St and you’ll be on E Jefferson Ave.
Stay on Jefferson, which will turn into S Forest Way, bringing you back to where you started.
Exploring Denver by Foot 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.
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See you on the trail!