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The 500-mile Colorado Trail from Denver to Durango: Even a kid can complete it

Hiking the 500-mile Colorado Trail from Denver to Durango is one of the most epic -- and scenic -- adventures in the state, and it's a more accessible bucket-list goal than you might think: Last year the Colorado Trail Foundation added three kids under the age of twelve to its official list of CT Completers. Tonight at 6:30 p.m. Roy Van Zweden and his sons Jonas (8), Miles (10), and Eli (12) will be at REI Boulder, 1789 28th Street, sharing tales from their 2011 trek together. The Van Zwedens broke the trip up into 28 segments and spread them out over the course of the spring and summer, starting on April 30 with a couple of day trips and overnight trips before committing to longer through-hike stretches; they kept a daily diary of their adventures. They arrived in Durango on August 12 and have been sharing their presentation, "Completing the Colorado Trail: A Family's 500-Mile Triumph", to help encourage others to give CT trekking a try.

"Jonas was overjoyed and declared the whole trip a great experience!" write the Van Zweden boys in their diary's final entry. "Miles thought the whole thing was 'easy.' Eli was overwhelmed by mixed feelings and thoughts and emotions as he crossed that line, that final line."

This week The Colorado Trail Foundation -- the volunteer stewardship organization that built and maintains the trail -- released a new, updated online list of CT Completers, dating back to 1986. The foundation also offers a variety of maps and trip-planning resources at www.ColoradoTrail.org, and will be holding a drawing tonight for a free copy of its Official CT Guidebook, 8th Edition.

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