A journey along the Cherry Creek Trail stretching from the Confluence of the Platte River and Cherry Creek all the way east (southeast) to Cherry Creek Mall and further out to Cherry Creek Reservoir (along a paved multi-use path) has to be one of the nicest semi-urban runs or bike rides in the country.
What Makes It Great
There are a couple spots further east where you have to pay attention and take the right turn, because the paths here can be slightly confusing, but for the most part, it's very straightforward.
You can hop on this trail anywhere along Cherry Creek, but one of the best places to start is at the Starbucks/REI at Confluence Park. You can easily ride or drive there, and it's a convenient place to meet people if you're not a solo runner or rider. Just cross over the bridge and pick up the Cherry Creek Trail going east. This will give you a great tour of downtown and of some of Denver's nicest neighborhoods.
Be aware of other trail users. You'll encounter anyone from baby joggers to rollerbladers, to speedy cyclists, to dog walkers. Be respectful and vigilant. You can run or ride all the way to Cherry Creek State Park, or just do as many miles out and back as you desire.
On Wednesday nights during the summer, you'll encounter Denver's weekly Cruiser Ride -- one of the largest and longest-running social bike rides in the country. So if you're a runner, it's probably best to avoid this time.
Who is Going to Love It
This is one of the most peaceful and beautiful places to run or ride with little concern for anything else. It’s safe, well-maintained and easy to navigate, and of course benefits from Denver's amazing year-round weather. And as mentioned, you can make it as long or short as you have time for.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
You can hop on this trail anywhere along Cherry Creek, but one of the best places to start is at the Starbucks/REI at Confluence Park.