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Published on Jul 28, 2010
This immensely popular route winds up Waterton Canyon, following the spectacular South Platte River as it spills westward out of the mountains. The scenic canyon, the rumbling Platte, and the wide, flat trail draws the outdoorsy in large but comfortable numbers to the area; hikers share the trail easily with cyclists, equestrians, and families with children in strollers. The trail leads a double life: Its broad, flat, multi-use surface leads to picnic areas, fishing spots, and seclusion within easy reach of Denver and its suburbs, but it also serves as the eastern terminus for the Colorado Trail, which travels for 473 miles through some of the wildest and most inaccessible country in the Rocky Mountains. Because the canyon serves as trailhead for a monstrously long walk to Durango, you can hike as far as you please.