For almost the entire distance of the Highline Canal there is a trail that runs right along side it on one of the berms that forms the wall of the canal. A hiker or a mountain biker can walk or ride pretty much the whole way from the mountains to the plains without ever having to go on a road (except at certain crossing points.)
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
The Highline Canal
The Denver Metro area is a unique metropolitan area in the fact that it has literally hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails. One of the most spectacular trails is the Highline Canal Trail. The Highline Canal Trail starts in Waterton Canyon in the far Southwestern corner of the metro area. Waterton Canyon is where the South Platte River emerges from the mountains and flows out into the plains. At the head of Water Canyon is a massive concrete dam called Strontia Springs that rises 240+ feet above the South Platte stream bed. From the dam, the South Platte flows 6.5 miles before exiting Waterton Canyon. About 2 miles before the South Platte exits Waterton Canyon, there is a small diversion dam that provides the starting point for the Highline Canal. The Highline Canal proceeds to run for over 60 miles until it terminates in the fields of Colorado’s eastern plains. During this 60+ mile journey, the canal twists and turns it’s way through many of the South Metro’s suburbs. Since the canal was built in the 1880’s it is lined with many large old, gnarled cottonwood trees. It provides a unique habitat for coyotes, fox, deer, other small mammals and snakes and the occasional mountain lion and bear.I love walking or biking along the Highline Canal. I have some really great memories of Bay and me walking along there when he was a puppy. Though the canal goes though highly populated suburbs, there are many “horse properties” on either side of the canal. It was so funny to see how Bailey got so excited and scared by the horses. I always had to laugh - as he was scared of the horses but he always had to go and visit them. The horses would usually get annoyed at this "small" little dog and start snorting and whinnying. At that point he would get scared and go running off towards me for protection. Over the coming winter I hope to walk most of the Highline Canal Trail. Being the GPS fanatic that I am, I will keep track of each and every one of my walks/hikes so that I can prove to myself that I actually walked the entire distance. Anyone want to walk with me? Thanks and peace to all! PS - I must give credit for the photos. I did not take these pictures - I picked them up off of Flickr and other websites. I will be sure to take some pictures of my own of the canal as I walk it this winter.