Photos: Ten best parks for doing just about anything in Denver and beyond
Contrary to the impression left by many local and national news broadcasts, not every park on the Front Range was badly damaged by recent flooding. Indeed, some of our favorites either sustained little or limited damage or are already coming back strong. With that in mind, we've dipped into our huge Best of Denver archive to find great destination suggestions in the city and within easy driving range for running, cycling, skateboarding, fishing and more. Look below to see ten photo-illustrated picks from the 2013 edition. Then get out there and enjoy Colorado.
Best Park for Cycling — City Park
"Yes, construction and goose poop pose constant challenges, but its 7.5 miles of bike paths make City Park a clear favorite for cyclists of all bents — especially the ones who don't want to brave the hordes of "serious" cyclists at Washington Park. Great views of the skyline, water features, creature features, and quick access to Uptown restaurants, a vibrant slice of East Colfax and the quiet streets of Park Hill (not to mention the zoo and the museum) add to the allure of this heart-of-the-city ride." Best of Denver — 2013
"Washington Park is like the Studio 54 of running: Anyone who's anyone jogs there. But there's a good reason for its popularity: miles of wide and well-kept trails. The bounty of fellow runners also means it's easy to eavesdrop on personal conversations, which is always entertaining. Plus, running sucks, and it's comforting to be among other people who are suffering as much as you are." Best of Denver — 2013
"One of Denver's newest neighborhoods, Stapleton was specifically designed and laid out with modern families in mind. And at the heart of that foresight is the eighty-acre Central Park, Denver's third-largest, which includes a stage, a playground, lakes, paths, and a giant hill that turns into a winter wonderland for kids after a storm. The slope rises about thirty feet, but the grade isn't that steep in most places, so parents don't have to panic about their little ones picking up too much speed. Now if only it would snow more often." Best of Denver — 2013
"Pro skater Rob Dyrdek, founder of the Street League Skateboarding series, stopped by in March to inaugurate the new $1.2 million, 16,800-square-foot Erie Community Skate Park, the first Street League-branded public facility. The skate park, which officially opened in January of this year, has already become a mecca for street skaters. A minimalist masterpiece, it was built by California Skateparks in partnership with SITE Design Group, with an emphasis on street-inspired ledges and rails (rather than bigger and badder bowls). The mirrored design allows equal access for goofy-footed and regular-footed approaches, and the park's features suit beginners and pros alike. A second phase of construction scheduled for this summer is expected to add more beginner-friendly terrain and bring the total square footage to 25,000." Best of Denver — 2013
"Tucked away in Boulder's north end, this modest two-acre retreat has much to recommend it, pooch-wise — including separate fenced areas for large and small dogs, great surrounding scenery, and a less chaotic vibe than larger parks or the sprawling off-leash areas at the reservoirs. Recent upgrades at Foothills Community Dog Park, including shelters and water lines, make this an even more ideal retreat for you and your Boulder-ready, bandanna-wearing canine." Best of Denver — 2013
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