The Perimeter Trail at RMANWR

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Today, in my quest to find unpopulated open spaces in Denver, I walked part of the perimeter trail at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge.  I keep ending up in Commerce City as it is so close to Park Hill in Denver.

Regardless, the perimeter trail around the Arsenal is 12.4 miles, far too long for a girl with recent knee surgery.  Having explored much of the Southwest part and Southeast part of the area, I selected a portion of the trail on the Northern side of the refuge.

The Perimeter Trail

Fortunately, there are several parking areas along the perimeter trail, so Annie and I started at Peoria and 96th.  From here we headed east between the busy 96th street and the fenced arsenal.

The perimeter trail crosses First Creek, and I was hopeful that we could connect to a path here.  Unfortunately, to the North is private ranch land and to the South is the arsenal where dogs are not allowed. Not to mention the entire length of the northern border was fenced.

While I did spot some deer behind the barrier for the buffalo, overall, this segment of the trail was disappointing to me.  I was surprised by the traffic on 96th.  It must be from the airport.  With the chip seal trail being so close to the road, I was nervous to let Annie off leash.

Of course, if I were following the rules, I wouldn’t let her off, but the whole purpose of walking the perimeter was to let Annie get some energy out while I’m nursing my knee.  At least I accomplished finding a place with absolutely no one!

We had the trail to ourselves, albeit, the cloudy skies and cold wind made for a freezing morning on an ice covered path.  We walked about two miles to the next parking area at Chambers Road and 96th before we returned for a total of four. 

The views of Denver with the mountains in the back are nice on the return.  Otherwise, the walk on the perimeter trail is somewhat lack luster.  In my opinion, it would be best for a bike ride in the spring when it is not too hot or too icy.   

Anyway, with Annie off-leash, she likely doubled my mileage and got to have fun which was the main goal.  Secondarily, with her energy in check, it helped her behave the rest of the day!  ETB

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Beth Bankhead

Former public finance professional turned travel photographer and blogger.

4 thoughts on “The Perimeter Trail at RMANWR

    1. Oh thanks! I was nominated by backroads and other stories as well. I will do it slowly! More like over 10 weeks instead of 10 days!

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