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Friday / September 22.
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Finding summer shade

Is it just me, or has it been nearly 100 degrees here for months? Okay, maybe not months, but it sure feels that way. How can we get outside exercise when it’s so darned hot?

If you haven’t tried it yet, try the Clear Creek Trail.

While shade can be hard to come by in Denver, the Clear Creek Trail offers at least some relief from the sun as it runs along the Clear Creek for 20 miles from Golden nearly all the way to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. 

Lucky for us, some of the most shaded parts are right near our neighborhood!

Jump on the trail at Anderson Park (44th Avenue and Field Street) or Prospect Park (44th Avenue just past Quail Street) in Wheat Ridge. Once you do, you’ll find massive cottonwood and ash trees that provide great shade. And, of course, walking or running (or biking) along the creek seems to have a cooling effect even on the sunny parts of the trail.

Other fun things about the trail in addition to shade? Lots of wildlife, from nesting eagles to coyotes, as well as fruit trees (cherries and apples) from the when the property used to be an orchard.

You can certainly take a break and sit by – or wade into – the water to cool down. Or, if you have the time and equipment, you can go gold panning (in designated areas only, please!).

My husband and I walked the Clear Creek Trail from our house a few blocks off Tennyson all the way to Golden last weekend. It was on my bucket-list of things to do. It took us about 5 hours. While I don’t necessarily recommend that walk midday in the summer (which we, of course, did), it was pretty neat seeing all the different parts of the trail and, in particular, seeing the enormity of the Coors plant up close. 

If you’re looking for something a little closer, try a stroll or short run along 46th Avenue between Sheridan and Federal. Did you now that stretch of 46th is technically called “West 46th Avenue Parkway”? Yup.  It’s a gorgeous, historically designated tree-lined street. 

According to the Colorado National and State Register, “This 1.5-mile parkway is … planted with honey locust, plains cottonwood, and silver maple street trees, and thus compares with University Boulevard in south Denver, which is planted with multiple species.” Park at either Berkeley Lake Park or Rocky Mountain Lake Park.

Most importantly, enjoy the shade!

Caryn Fox is a Personal Trainer and Fitness Coach at Vantage Movement, a Wellness Collaborative in Wheat Ridge, CO. She is also a musician, blogger and two year resident of Denver’s Northside. You can reach her at

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