Improving your health, especially your cardio health, doesn’t always come quickly. Often, and especially if you’re facing health issues or recently suffered from a heart attack or stroke, it can feel monumental to merely get up and walk around. Recovery or building a foundation for cardiovascular strength and endurance doesn’t have to be a race to clock the most miles or at the best pace. Doing something as simple as taking a walk can have a significant impact if you do it consistently. Luckily, here in colorful Colorado, there are plenty of beautiful trails that are perfect for walking however far you can manage on a given day.
On the west side of the city, you’ll find the ever-popular Sloan Lake. It’s a stunning lake with mountain views in the background and easy access to nearby neighborhoods and businesses. Though it’s often busy, especially when the weather is nice, it’s a peaceful walk with minimal variability, making it easy for those of you who can’t quite handle the idea of a hill yet.
Hanging off of 285 and Sheridan you’ll find Bear Creek Trail. This park offers a paved trail for those with stability issues as well as several dirt options for the slightly more adventurous who want to do some more in-depth exploration. Though this could easily be qualified as a “hiker’s” trail rather than a simple walking path, it’s still relatively mild, making it an easy choice if you’re looking for phenomenal views and a little more of a challenge.
Jeff Co Open Space
Ok, now we’re getting into hiking territory, but bear with us. Right next to Red Rocks Amphitheater (which is a workout in and of itself if you’ve never tried doing the stairs before) is part of the Jefferson County Open Space system, and if you’re ready for a challenge with views worth the cardio effort put forth, this is a must-see. All the red rock glory and dusty red trails are something else, and with it nestled so close to the city, you don’t even have to hit precariously high altitudes to get some genuinely breath-taking views.
Cherry Creek Trail
This trail is especially great for walkers because of its length. If you hop on the Cherry Creek trail, you can pretty much walk your way across the city if you so, please. It boasts more than 40 miles of trail for you to meander through, and several smaller sections marked throughout. You can walk anywhere from a half a mile to, well, over 40 and find plenty of cool places in the city to stop along the way. This one is a local favorite for a good reason.
Another Denver staple, Washington Park (more affectionately known as Wash Park) offers a stunning lush green space smack dab in the middle of the city, with a vast lake that you can rent paddle boats or paddle boards to spend some time on if you so choose, or you can just enjoy walking around the perimeter of the park, winding through it, and more. It’s a gorgeous option if you don’t want to leave the city but still want to get that much-needed breath of fresh air.
One of the best things about the Denver metro area is it’s ample access to green spaces and walking trails galore. No matter what your cardio fitness level, there are countless options for you to get outside and start building strength and endurance that your heart will thank you for in the years to come.