The High Line Canal: Segments 18-21

Continuing with our goal to cycle the whole 71 mile High Line Canal, today we rode Segments 18-21 which comprise miles 46-56.  This 10 mile section is part of the “Urban Refuge” portion of the trail and is made of asphalt or pavement.  While we rode on a hybrid and mountain bike, respectively, a road bike could make the journey.

Segment 18 of the High Line Canal

Segment 18 begins at South Quebec Way Trailhead is four miles one way.  The first two miles of the asphalt and concrete section is active with many cyclists and pedestrians.  But once it crosses S Parker Road, a busy intersection, the trail is somewhat empty.

segment 18 of the High Line Canal

The highlight of Segment 18 is the Fairmount Cemetery which opened in 1890 is the second oldest in Denver.  Its chapel, gate lodge, and mausoleum are designated historic landmarks.  19 governors, 11 US Senators, and 9 mayors of Denver are all buried here, in addition to many socialites.  Also, Marjorie Perry for which the Marjorie Perry Nature Preserve is named and mentioned in a previous post is also laid to rest here.

Fairmount Cemetery

The downside to this shaded segment is that it crosses many streets, and the stopping and starting slows the flow.

Segment 19 of the High Line Canal

Segment 19 begins at Expo Park around mile 50 and is only 1.6 miles long.  Technically this segment is partially a soft-surface, but taking the bridge across the High Line Canal into Expo Park lands riders on the paved Westerly Creek Trail.  This trail parallels the canal on the east side and skirts the western edge of the large park.

It is worth taking this slight detour as it passes by a few lovely ponds along the way.  Both paths convene at the street crossing so there is no chance of getting lost.  In fact, these Segments 18-21 have been the easiest to navigate thus far.

Expo Park on Segment 19 of the High Line Canal

Segment 20 of the High Line Canal

Segment 20 begins near mile 52 and ends at Aurora Municipal Center a few miles later.  The path passes an elementary school, the Highline Park (mostly ballfields), and the Aurora Hills Golf Course.  Soon it reaches the I-225 underpass, where cyclists turn right and cross over the light rail tracks.

Segment 20 of the High Line Canal

This was the only area where we had to stop for a second to figure out which way to go.  It is well signed, so we didn’t even have to reference google maps.  From the 2nd & Abilene Station the path travels a mile to the Aurora Municipal Center. Here, it crosses over a bridge, jogs left, and crosses back to begin Segment 21.

Segment 21 of the High Line Canal

Segment 21 spans miles 54-56 as it enters into the Delaney Farm Historic District.  The historic district features the 1866 Gully House, the 1902 Delaney Round Barn, and the Coal Creek Schoolhouse.  The Gully House is the oldest house remaining in Aurora.

Delaney Farm Historic District

Both the Delaneys and the Gullys escaped the Irish Potato famine by coming to Colorado.  In addition to farming in Colorado, John Gully was also the toll keeper at Toll Gate Creek whose trail crosses the canal.  Gully is also buried in the Fairmont Cemetery.

The canal continues through fields of prairie dog homes before soon it reaches Centre Hills Disc Golf Course.  There is a parking area across from a small pond here which prompted our turn around point, just a half-mile shy of the end of the segment.

Segment 21 of the High Line Canal

It will be a perfect spot for us to park for our next jaunt on the High Line Canal.  To be continued…ETB

Other Articles You May Like About the High Line Canal

For more maps and books on the High Line Canal visit the High Line Canal Conservancy website.

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Beth Bankhead

Former public finance professional turned travel photographer and blogger.

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