4 springtime Colorado outdoor activities for the entire family
Spring . . . the indecisive season Ahhh, springtime in Colorado. Let’s face it, this season has multiple personalities. In the shoe farm next to my front door, boots and flip-flops happily co-exist just waiting to see which I’ll choose given the day’s weather. And, actually, on any given day, there’s a good chance I’ll wear both as the weather abruptly shifts. A few inches of snow in the morning? No problem. Glorious sunshine by the afternoon? We’ll take it. It’s in those bursts of sunshine and warmer temps you feel deep down that spring is trying to nudge out winter, but winter isn’t going without a fight . . . even if you’re ready to give it a swift kick into next year.
While spring’s personality may dictate what you do, we know that’s no reason not to get outside, right? We have some great suggestions for you and your family! Spring into action
- Feel like an inspiring setting with imposing rock formations? Look no further than Red Rocks Park just outside of Denver. It may only have two trails, but “Wow,” just “WOW.” Between spectacular rock formations, meadows, valleys and even a cave carved into sandstone, Red Rocks is so much more than its world-famous amphitheatre – although, that’s beyond impressive. Lace up your sneakers for a hike or a run or grab your bike helmet, and don’t forget a picnic to soak up this one of a kind beauty.
- Want an easy bike ride – maybe with your kiddos who are new to the world of pedaling? The Cottonwood Trailhead on Boulder County Open Space meanders past the Whiterock Ditch and passes Hayden Lake. Beautiful cottonwood and willow trees provide shade for sunny, warmer days. Be prepared to hear “ooohhhs” and “ahhhs” from your kids when they make you stop and watch the rather large prairie dog colony (just try to pedal away from that without hollers of “No, stop!”).
- Have you ever visited a working fire lookout station? That’s what awaits you at the top of Devil’s Head Lookout Trail in Sedalia. The 2.8-mile hike takes you through beautiful wildflowers, gigantic granite boulders, and shaded aspen and pine forests. At the end of the hike, look up and up and up. Then, look up some more, and you’ll see an open staircase with 143 steps leading to the lookout station. I’d like to tell you first hand about the 360-degree views of the Rockies and the eastern plains and how there are 100-mile views in all directions, but I can’t. I chickened out about 44 steps up, so I’ll leave it to my son to convey the information. In fact, just thinking about the stairs now is making my palms sweat. Not joking either.
- Crave some fresh air close to Denver? Golden’s North Table Mountain Park has got you covered. You can climb, hike, mountain bike, and practice your geocaching skills where lava once flowed about 60 million years ago. That’s pretty cool! The views of Golden and Denver are awesome AND you may see golden eagles and red-tailed hawks nesting in the mesa cliffs. Be sure to bring your camera!
We’ll let winter and spring duke it out, and, in the meantime, we’ll go about our business and get outside! Lace up your hiking boots, grab your backpack, strap on your bike helmet, and get out and explore everything Colorado has to offer this spring. After all, it’s good for the soul – and may show winter who’s boss this time of year!
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About the Author: Lynne Marsala Basche spent most of her career on the island of Manhattan at two New York publishing companies. A multi-year Avid4 Adventure mom and a new contributor to the Avid4 Adventure website, Lynne’s writing adventures also take her to championing volunteerism and regional recreation stories as a staff writer for the Castle Pines Connection newspaper, as well as supporting separate large corporate communications programs. By trying to keep pace with her mountain biking, rock climbing, snowboarding, lacrosse playing, unicycling, tae kwon do-loving 11-year old son, she, like most Avid4 parents, loves sharing the value of outdoor recreation and its positive influence on children’s health and confidence development. Lynne lives in Castle Pines, Colorado and regularly immerses herself in outdoor activities with her family where she also runs her freelance writing company, Blue Spruce Creative
March 24, 2015 | Emily Moeschler