This route could just as easily be called the "Pleasantville Fun Route", as it is a super enjoyable tour of some of Cherry Hills and Cherry Heights most beautiful and manicured real estate. As you roll along the shaded, crushed gravel of the High Line Canal Trail, you'll see picture-perfect horse properties, mansions with tennis courts and pools, as well as some lovely views of open fields/parks, mountains, and a few little ponds. The tour continues on the Cherry Trail system which feels like secret alleyways that go past more beautiful neighborhoods.
The Cherry Trail is a hidden gem for gravel bikers with a fun off-roading feel to it. Expect to encounter single track, double track, and some grassy areas that don't have much of an established path at all. In most cases, you will be flanked on both sides by fences and will see private property signs, but as long as you stay on the trail you are on public property trails for everyone to enjoy.
The route is on 90% bike trails, which means you are rarely on the same path as cars even though you are close to populated areas and busy streets.
While you are rarely traveling with cars, the route does cross a few busy streets. In many cases there are cross walks with lights or underpasses, but you do have to be aware, slow down and wait for a safe time to cross. (There are underpasses for the crossings at University although the one at mile 16 is super easy to miss and is not clearly marked coming from that direction.)
Because there are lots of turns and some of the trails seem to hide in plain sight, this route is one where you must have a bike computer or phone to navigate. We recommend zooming in tight to avoid losing your way.
Do this ride if you want a beginner route that makes you feel like you are exploring "secret" single and double track alleyways and trails through beautiful quiet neighborhoods not far from the business of Denver.
This route starts from Pedal Bike Shop of Littleton where there is ample parking. Stop in and pick up last min supplies. The staff are very friendly and helpful!!
On most days, the trails will be used by pedestrians, dog walkers and horses. Please be kind, yield to pedestrians and horses and call your pass.
We found bathrooms at mile 2, 6.1, and 34.6. There was also a nice water refilling station available at mile 2.
There is an outdoor cafe called Nixon's Coffee House at Hudson Gardens near the end at mile 33.8. It is a popular place for cyclist to stop. They have bathrooms and water in addition to coffee, smoothies, treats and sandwiches. They are open seasonally so, check their hours if you plan to stop there to refuel.
I got a bike as a young child and quickly set off making trips up and down the driveway then loops around my neighborhood, but I fell away from the joy of cycling as more and more of my free time was occupied by ballet training (around age 10). It wasn’t until I gave up my professional dancing career and moved to Colorado in 2000 that I began cycling seriously.
From infancy, and well into my late 20’s, I suffered from exercise-induced asthma and was afraid of cardio activities that made me wheeze. If my asthma was triggered by an intense activity, I was advised to stop immediately and use an inhaler.
I was into yoga and Pilates back in 2000 (Still am today!), so when one of my friends suggested we go to a spin/yoga class (30 min of spin, followed by 30 min of yoga), I was game to at least try something new. Even though I had trouble breathing in the classes, the safety of an indoor spin class gave be the ability to choose how hard to push myself, and at just 30 min, I slowly learned to tolerate the stress on my lungs. The fact that the spinning was followed by yoga gave me space to work with calming my thoughts and my head which said: “I can’t do this!”. As I got stronger and more confident and my cardio endurance increased, my asthma problems became less and less, and therefore, my willingness to try more adventurous and strenuous activities increased! I went from seeing cyclists biking up Lookout Mountain in Golden, CO and thinking, “they are crazy!”, to, “that looks kind of fun and I wonder if I can do that?”. And then I bought a bike, joined a club and tried biking up that mountain! My Asthma is nearly non-existent and I have been hooked on outdoor biking ever since.
I currently live in downtown Denver and have been car-free for about 10 years, typically biking 7,000+ miles a year between commuting, road riding and gravel bike adventuring. I have been a member of Naked Women’s Racing Team, and Colorado Women’s Cycling Project.
I teach Pilates and Yoga for a living and have been doing it for over 15 years. Just this year, I went out on my own and began a private-practice Pilates Studio called Align.Move.Breathe. I am a self-proclaimed “body nerd”, constantly reading, attending continuing education workshops and learning as much as I can about movement, bio-mechanics, alignment, anatomy and Ideokenesis.
I love to teach my clients how to relax and have fun with all movement, as well as have new and positive experiences with their bodies while gaining strength and flexibility in body, mind, and spirit. I strongly believe in both Pilates and Yoga as safe, supportive, and healing practices which can profoundly transform one’s every-day life!
If you are in the Denver area and interested in the intersection of biking and Pilates or Yoga, contact me at email@example.com.
Laura’s favorite Gravel Route: There are so many great rides it is REALLY hard to decide, but if there was one ride I would do over and over, it would be Four Mile Canyon and Switzerland Trail to Sugarloaf. It’s quiet, beautiful, challenging and fun!