Once again, Nancy and I met to complete another portion of the High Line Canal. This time we covered the last of Segment 21, all of Segments 22 and 23, and a mile of Segment 24, all paved in concrete. Despite being able to ride my road bike, I stuck with my mountain bike to keep pace with Nancy on her ancient, possibly antique hybrid.
We got off to a rocky start when Nancy’s dropped pin location on Google took her to a place two miles from our planned start. As soon as she found her way, however, we were off.
Segment 22 of the High Line Canal
Our ride on the High Line Canal this week began at the Centre Hills Disc Golf. From here, we finished up Segment 21 and started on Segment 22. I can’t say Segment 22 is anything to right home about. The 3.2 mile section passes Hinkley High School and makes a few busy road crossings, including Colfax, the Nation’s longest commercial street (26.1 miles). A bench adorned with plastic sunflowers was our best sighting.
Segment 23 of the High Line Canal
Segment 23 is the start of the Prairie Retreat portion of the High Line Canal. The segment begins at Star K Open Space. Star K Open space is a nice oasis in the middle of an industrial area. I have wandered the trails there on foot a handful of times, but this time we rode by, as we headed toward the Springhill Golf Course.
Just before reaching the golf course, the trail turns to the left and continues north to the Aurora Sports Complex. Take note of the sign at this turn. While it is common to see signs reminding dog owners to pick up poop, it is rare to see a sign with a message to man’s best friend, “Grrrr, Ruff Ruff, Woof. Good dog.”
That gave us a chuckle as we crossed over Sand Creek Regional Greenway and soon entered Segment 24.
Segment 24 of the High Line Canal
We continued on Segment 24 by some trailside flowers and a group of horse riders before we reached a maze of confusion. This area has several trail intersections and some of the intersections are not marked. We had to reference the map a handful of times and still found ourselves at a dead end on the High Line Canal in the Aurora Sports Complex as we got distracted by its enormous size. I suppose we should have paid closer to the High Line Canal Conservancy Guide.
Our detour coupled with our late start, encouraged us to shorten this ride from 20 miles to 15. This would increase our final ride from 10 to 15 miles as well. So, it was a good happy medium. Our original plan to do seven 20-mile rides was hijacked with a challenged start in week 4, which left us with two, short 10 milers, one at the end.
Upon turning around, we looked for a good place to begin next week, and we found it at the High Line Canal Trail East Start and the Triple Creek Trailhead. The parking area is complete with a bathroom and even a Little Library. Next time I can start a new book if Nancy is late (her words, not mine). To be continued…ETB