Three Runs for Spring

One of the best ways to get in shape during springtime across the Front Range is trail running. You get to experience the blooming of the season while running along the plentiful pathways crisscrossing the open spaces we all love. So here are three Elevation Outdoors approved runs for you to try today, and yes, you can bring your dog.

Palmer Park—Urban Adventure
“This gem is one of the best urban trail parks in the U.S. It offers numerous starting points and routes, which means it’s never the same run twice,” says Brian Metzler, author of Running Colorado’s Front Range. Located northeast of Colorado Springs off Academy Boulevard, this heavily wooded park has more than 25 miles of trails winding amongst rock formations and wilderness. The Templeton Trail is a four-mile loop with numerous ups and downs that rewards you with magnificent views of the surrounding countryside.

Golden Gate Canyon State Park—Mountain Fun
This hidden gem is only 15 miles from Golden, yet is unknown by many Front Range residents. At almost 12,000 acres with 36 miles of trails, it offers unlimited running options at higher altitudes — 7,800 feet. What better way to escape the heat and build endurance? The Mountain Lion Loop Trail is a 7.9 mile run that will see you gain over 1,000 feet of elevation as you wind through aspen groves, fields of wildflowers and abundant wildlife. The views on this run are stunning with more than 100 miles of the Continental Divide on display for you. Just be prepared for weather changes that can happen at higher altitudes, and bring a lightweight coat, you might need it. Head west up Golden Gate Canyon Road from CO-93 to get there

Trail 2

Mesa Trail—Boulder County Beauty
Routinely rated one of the best runs in Boulder, it offers spectacular views of the Flatirons and connects Chautauqua Park with Eldorado Canyon Road. “Whether running it one way as point-to-point run or as an out-and-back, this classic trail never gets old or any easier. With connections to new loops off the Doudy Draw trailhead, it’s easy to make this a 20-25 mile long run,” says Metzler in his book. It is 6.7 miles one way so either leave a car at each end or do an out and back for your own personal half-marathon. Start at Chautauqua Park in Boulder and start running south. This run is pretty wide open and best done in springtime before the heat sets in.

So lace up you shoes, plug in the tunes, and hit the dirt for some enjoyable scenery plus a great workout. Summertime is almost here and it’s time to dump the treadmill and start to play outside.

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