heron at vanderbilt lake

The Platte River Trail: Vanderbilt to Frog Hollow

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Being stuck in Colorado for the last nine months due to COVID has encouraged me to explore different areas of Denver and the surrounding metroplex.  I’ve already ridden the entire High Line Canal Trail both ways and have found some interesting parks and open spaces.  Now I’ve decided to spend more time on the Platte River Trail.

In the past, I have actually ridden the Platte Trail from Sand Creek north to 120th, from Sand Creek south to Confluence Park, and from Confluence Park south to Chatfield Reservoir.  As a result, I have covered all of the trail in the surrounding metroplex.  That said, I’ve never paid close attention to the parks and attractions along the way..

Today, I changed that as I strolled along the Platte River Trail with my dog Annie.  We began at Vanderbilt Park and headed north to Frog Hollow Park for a 5.2 mile roundtrip.

Vanderbilt Park

Vanderbilt Park features a small pond, some sports fields and a few paths that weave between the attractions.  After exploring the park, we ventured through the parking lot and down a short embankment to the Platte River Trail.

Johnson Habitat Park

Currently a portion of this trail to the south is closed due to damage, so Annie and I headed north.  We didn’t even walk 10 minutes before we reached the Johnson Habitat Park.  This park includes a shelter, some fun nature activities for the kids, and several interpretive signs explaining the devastating Denver flood of 1965.  There is also a nice green space with some jungle gyms.

Johnson Habitat Park on the Platte River Trail

Denver Wastewater Management Building

After taking a moment to learn about the Platte River Initiative, we carried on past the Denver Animal Shelter, crossed a bridge, and eventually arrived at the Denver Wastewater Management Building.  While it was a little stinky in the area, the bridge by the plant was really cool.

denver wastewater bridge on the platte river trail

Phil Milstein Park

Further to the north, we passed through the Phil Milstein Park.  I’m not sure I’d classify this sliver of green space a park, but it is better than concrete I suppose.

phil milstein park on the platte river trail

Frog Hollow Park

The Platte River Trail turns under the 6th Ave. Freeway.  This area is very noisy with traffic, thus the walk isn’t terribly peaceful, but I liked seeing the graffiti art.

6th hwy underpass on the platte river trail

On the other side of 6th Ave. Freeway is Frog Hollow Park which is a nice, little oasis in an industrial area.  We rested at the picnic tables in the shade of large trees before we turned around and retraced our steps.

view of the platte river

It was nice first pedestrian outing on the Platte River Trail.  We’ll explore some other parts in the coming months.  To be continued…ETB

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Beth Bankhead

Former public finance professional turned travel photographer and blogger.

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