Accessible Hiking Trails in Metro Denver – What is Your Definition?
Where are accessible hiking trails in Metro Denver?
Some people believe that only fully paved surfaces can be listed as accessible.
Physical mobility, just like most aspects of life, lives on a spectrum.
The designation of “Accessible” can be very restrictive for those that need some considerations, but not to the level of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) definition.
I have partnered with Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW) to review the CO State Parks trails in the Denver Metro area (and as many as I can get to) to include more granular information to allow individuals and families the ability to decide for themselves what kind of trails will meet their needs.
There are initial criteria that I will be providing.
- Activity Level – Wheelchair Accessible for Most, Mild, Moderate, Strenuous
- Width of Trail – Single, 8 to 10 feet wide, 12 to 14 feet wide
- Disabled Parking – On-Street, Standard Accessible, Van Accessible
- Bathrooms – Wheelchair Accessible (5′ diameter, grab bars, etc.), Family Restrooms, Other
- Trail surface – Asphalt, Concrete, Granular, Wood Chips, Crushed Stone or Shell, or Compacted Earth
- Stroller Friendly – Off-Road Strollers or Adult Pushchairs
- and More
Here are three accessible hiking trails in Metro Denver that are not “ADA accessible” but may work for your needs
Farmers’ High Line Canal Trail – 71-mile, 27 segmented, partially paved urban trail, mostly compacted earth and wood chips. Shaded with a lot of benches to sit. Not all segments have disabled parking, but many do. Unless you enter the path near a commercial property, and standard bathrooms are hard to come by.
Boulder Reservoir Loop Trail The 5.3-mile Boulder Reservoir Loop Trail is great for all skill levels and features a 700-acre, multi-use recreation and lake. Each person entering the park must pay the entrance fee. Fees are collected for each person entering Boulder Reservoir including runners, walkers and cyclists.
Washington Park Loop Trail – Busy, centrally located 2.3 mile compacted earth trail loop. Some of it is single track trail, but can be used with an off-road stroller, walker, cane. Manual or electric wheelchairs might be difficult. There is also a paved loop within the park. Lots of benches. Beautiful flower garden. Worth the trip.