A few years ago, I moved to Denver, Colorado. Now, not being a freezing cold weather kinda gal, that foray into nature didn’t last very long before I moved on to boiling hot Texas. But, during my stay in Denver, I did manage to discover some really gorgeous hiking trails. The wonderful thing with Colorado is the scenery. Pretty much anywhere you look it’s just beautiful. (How can you not love snow-capped mountains and clean, fresh air?) Colorado’s hiking trails also feature the same panoramic views and natural beauty, so it truly is a spectacular place to hike.
One of my favorite discoveries was Mount Falcon Park near Evergreen, Colorado. To get to it, you can drive west out of Denver on Highway 285. Turn off at the Indian Hills exit, drive for about 5 miles, then turn right onto Picutis Road and go to the park’s parking lot. There are tons of trails at Mount Falcon Park and most of them are pretty easy going (no need to do any major mountain climbing here). Castle Trail is the most interesting trail, I think, simply because at the end of the trail you can explore the ruins of Walker Castle. (Kids love doing this!) John Brisben Walker was a Denver businessman who used to own most of the land around, what is now, Mount Falcon Park. He built himself a huge house, which burned down in the early 20th century. Known now as Walker Castle, (it’s not a castle, just a big stone house,) the ruins are still fascinating to explore.
What’s also interesting about Mount Falcon Park is the sadness that surrounds it when you think of how it bore witness to John Brisben Walker’s tragic story. A once-successful business man, when Walker died, he actually died destitute.
The Castle Trail at Mount Falcon Park is around 5 miles long. It goes up to an elevation of about 9,000 feet and the view is spectacular up there. So don’t forget your camera. You’ll get some amazing photos of Rocky Mountain National Park. Also, don’t forget to read the signs along the path that tell the story of John Brisben Walker’s life.