Back in 2020 (the first time we rode the route), we felt like we found a new gravel playground near North Table Mountain, as well as around Blunn Reservoir and Tucker.
There is a fun difference between a gravel road and a trail and we often find it difficult to scout trails that are do-able on a gravel bike. The gravel trail portion of this route provides the enjoyment and thrill of being on a trail without the fear of big technical challenges.
The Applewood Canal Trail is a delightful little "hidden gem" of a trail that's tucked into the neighborhood.
Blunn Reservoir and Tucker Lake are quite beautiful with incredible clear blue water!
Dolce Sicilia Italian Bakery!! Don't miss stopping for a coffee and pastry or pizza at "Colorado's Most Authentic Italian Bakery". They specialize in Italian pastries and cookies- all hand-made and scratch-baked, on premises. It is located at the Northeast corner of Crown Hill at 32nd and Wadsworth (at approximately mile 38 on your return trip).
One of the time we rode this, the gravel trails around Crown Hill Park had lots of little bugs and gnats on it. Luckily, we had buffs around our neck that we could quickly pull up over our nose and mouth, but otherwise we would have gotten a little extra “protein” in that section of the ride.
We prefer routes that have at least 50% gravel, and this only has 40%. (If you wanted to cut milage and decrease paved percentage, we recommend starting at Crown Hill where there is plenty of public parking.)
Do this ride if you are looking for something close to Denver and Golden and want to play on mostly non-technical, flat and fast gravel trails. You’ll get lovely views of North Table Mountain, Blunn Reservoir and Tucker Lake.
We started this ride from REI's Denver Flagship store. There is public parking at Fishback Park which is located on nearby Water Street.
There are plenty of public bathrooms/port-a-potties to be found along the route- near Fishback Park and Crown Hill Park, as well as at the the places we've recommended to stop for food or beverages.
This ride is not remote, so there are gas stations and convenience stores along the route. Nevertheless, we still recommend taking adequate water and snacks with you.
We imagine the Fairmont Canal Trail sometimes gets busy with runners and dog walkers, but we have been on it many times now (on weekends and weekdays), and it has always been very quiet and has low traffic.
New Terrain Brewing is right off the trails at approximately mile 15.8 on the way out and 28 on the way back… A Quote on their website is: “Alive is the pursuit of adventures unknown & territories unseen… The unbound journey exists or those who wander.” Sounds like our kind of people!!! They have a huge amount of outdoor seating so you can keep your bike with you while you enjoy a beverage!