High Line Canal Segment 12

High Line Canal Segment 12–The Search for Mile Marker 0

The End Is the Beginning

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Sometimes the end isn’t the end. When the High Liners, a group of 7 adventure seekers walked into the final parking lot of the High Line Canal, we had scratched our heads. If we were at the end of the trail, why were we only at mile marker 2? Vowing to find an end to this mystery, we decided to re-convene in two weeks to find Mile Marker 1 and Mile Marker 0 of the High Line Canal. Backed by love and hugs from the High Line Canal Conservancy and Walk2Connect, we met once again to tackle High Line Canal Segment 12.

Mile Marker 1 Pops Up

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Parking in the Waterton Canyon parking lot, a few additional ramblers joined us for our jaunt up Waterton Canyon. Passing the sign for the Colorado Trail, 11 thrill seekers headed up the Canyon. First view, mule deer. Second view, mountain sheep. With fall colors all around us and a nippy breeze, we ambled up the maintenance road along Platte River. Soon the breeze stopped and 70 degrees shed our coats. And then, to our wonderful surprise, we see mile marker 1. Check mark!

The High Line Canal Makes Its Final Appearance

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We continued on a slight rise up the canyon, and began to notice a sluice to our left along the canyon. Ah-ha! The High Line Canal’s cemented pathway showed itself, and shortly later we found the tunnel into the mountain where the Canal stole itself away. Sensing our imminent arrival to the beginning of the High Line Canal, we continued quickly of the trail.

The Wizard of the High Line

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And like Dorothy arriving to the Wizard’s castle, the High Line Canal’s diversion dam rose from the water and into our hearts. Never before had any of us been so happy to see hardware! Straddling the Platte River, our eyes beheld the beginning of the Canal and the end of our walk. With water gushing out the open head gate, we continued around to the western side of the dam to witness how the dam worked. When the head gate is closed, the water backs up and diverts to the tunnel on the south side into the head of the High Line Canal.

We Are the Champions of #71miles

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One of the High Liners started signing, “We Are the Champions.” Another pulled out noise makers, and an instant party began. Smiles, high fives, and hugs championed our glee. But sadly, no Mile Marker 0 could be found. So we fashioned our own. Let’s just say blue chalk drew a big zero, and we celebrated our arrival to the makeshift Mile Marker 0. After 73 miles (where Segment 10 required a down-n-back, adding two extra miles), we had arrived at our #71miles goal, the beginning of the High Line Canal.

56 Folks in All Joined the Fun

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So with big thanks and gratitude to the six who walked the entire High Line Canal Trail and the fifty others who joined us on at least one segment along the way, our first iteration of a segmented walk down the High Line Canal had come to an end. Simple joy.

It’s Not Over

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And guess what? We’re going to do it again. Details forthcoming within the week, with a start date in early November. Who wants to join me for a winter’s amble on the High Line? Email me, post here, or tweet me at @eatwalklearn and I’ll send you the details. With special thanks to the High Line Conservancy and Walk2Connect, and the end of High Line Canal Segment 12, this trip is done 🙂


Rocky Mountain Land Library Review

Where Books, Pie and the Land Come Together

The Rocky Mountain Land Library: The Pie Edition

Rocky Mountain Land Library eatwalklearn

My heart exploded last night when I walked into the Rocky Mountain Land Library’s newest location in the Puritan Pie Company building on Champa St, Denver. In an inviting aesthetic of antique library chic, these bibliophile owners welcomed the literate, the curious, and the impassioned into a book world of the terra firma. I almost cried.

Harking Everything Local

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Housed within Neal Cassady’s secret perfumery, the Land Library displayed maybe 1/100th of its stunning collection of books devoted to land, water, nature, and earth. Titles jumped from shelves into my heart. Little did I know that my list of must-reads would grow exponentially before I even got out of the seed library section. To think I’ll be be able to come to The Pie and touch, feel, and read this amazing collection sent happy, gleeful thoughts through my collaborative soul. How will we be able to combine the joy of walking with the joy of reading on top of the joy of land? Oh Father Time, tick me a few more centuries please.

Flowing Headwaters of Collaboration and Creativity

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Soon, the Rocky Mountain Land Library will grace three exquisite locations; here at The Pie, already in South Park at the Platte River’s headwaters, and currently hidden in the Kassler Nature Center at Waterton Canyon. How fitting that the locations bank the Platte River from its headwaters to its downstream. I pray the sharing of info among the Library will flow without the complications of water rights. To imagine the outputs of its users’ imaginations makes my heart simply melt! Land-loving synergy has only just begun.

A Good Pie of Good Reads

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Here are just a few glimpses into the amazing collection that I cannot wait to get my hands on from the Rocky Mountain Land Library. What will you enjoy first?

High Line Canal Segment 11

High Line Canal Segment 11, The Final Miles

high line canal segment 11 eatwalklearnOnce again, the weather arrived to our walk in grand splendor. Nine of us headed out on High Line Canal Segment 11, our final meander of our 71 mile adventure. Feeling the love from the High Line Canal Conservancy and Walk2Connect, seven of us who had completed all ten segments were joined by two more walkers, including one brand new to Walk2Connect, for our last segment of 6 miles. Under 68 degree, mostly sunny skies, we headed west, then southerly with Waterton Canyon within sight.


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Immediately in our first mile between mile markers 6 and 5, we met a herd of longhorn cattle. You’d think we’d never seen cattle before because we couldn’t get enough pictures. To our credit though, this segment was the first time we saw cattle or mounted horses.

Blue Headgate Handles, What?

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While walking the Trail, we got used to many things; the consistency of the mile markers, the lack of benches, and the beautiful cottonwoods along the entire way. It actually got easy to miss things or take them for granted. As we ambled along, we would learn about this history of the Canal and notice how the Canal itself would be shallow and wide, narrow and deep, with and without water. But as if hit by a club, we all stopped in our tracks when the head gate handles turned from orange to blue. Why, we don’t know. But it was such a shocking change, one of our High Liners couldn’t resist a quick pose.

Nothing But Beauty

high line canal segment 11 eatwalklearn

The entire walk contained nothing but beauty. Each town offered up its own relationship with the Canal, and walking this last segment continued the tradition. Between mile makers 4 and 5, giant homes on ranchettes provided pastoral views backed by the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Along the way, we enjoyed several horse clubs and riders enjoying the Trail.

The Original Cottonwoods

high line canal segment 11 eatwalklearn

Coming into Mile Marker 3, we passed what must be some of the original cottonwoods on the Canal. These old beauties have shared their seeds for almost 71 miles, and each one always provided us shade, beauty, and care. We had sat on many of their stumps, hugged a few of them, and enjoyed their shade at just the right times. Many times we took standing breaks under these giants while eating Trader Joe snacks of dried peaches, ginger, and our favorite, Gorp Crack.

high line canal segment 11 eatwalklearn

History Harks


Right before Mile Marker 2, we passed a giant McMansion and then shortly beyond it, we passed one of the original homesteads along the Canal. Although we’re guessing, the same amount of people probably lived in both homes. We have no idea, but it was a joy to think about life in the original homestead versus life in the larger, custom home. Does the family in the bigger home even know where its water is coming from now?

The Final Mile

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We reached the High Line Canal Parking lot, walked through it to Waterton Canyon Road, and around the overflow structure to the Platte River. Tears of joy started to flow as we all began to realize what we had accomplished. 71 miles, broken into 11 segments, of which many of us never thought we’d be able to do. We jumped over fears, strangers became friends, and seven out of an original twenty-six can now say we’ve done something only a very small percentage of Denver folks can say. We finished High Line Canal Segment 11, meaning we walked the entire High Line Canal. All 71 miles. Grin. Group hug.

But Wait, There’s More!

high line canal segment 11 eatwalklearnHaving now walked the entire High Line Canal, we had many questions about the history of water and Denver Water’s role in all the water rights of western water. We wondered how the Canal was built, where the water came from, and how it was filtered. With a special thank you to Denver Water and the High Line Canal Conservancy, we got a special tour of the Kassler Center. After a slide show walking us through the historical building of the Canal and its original owners, we got to go into the original garage and machine shop, followed by the original Kassler home and administration buildings. In addition, we even toured the original filtering fields and got to see some of the original pumps and joints! I even got to stand in a cross-section of the wooden pipes that create the tunnels from the head waters.high line canal segment 11 eatwalklearn

And Thus, the End

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So after 71 miles of sweat, tears, and joy, we came to our journey’s end. We couldn’t have done this walk without the support of the High Line Canal Conservancy and Walk2Connect. These two great organizations support the Life@3mph movement, and they promote walking all over the front range. Please consider supporting them back if you’ve enjoyed this journey by giving feedback to the Conservancy about the future of the Canal and become a supporting member. In addition, if you love walking and learning about Denver’s great walking movement, become a Champion at Walk2Connect. Join us.

Until next time, I’ll see you on the trail.


High Line Canal Segment 10

High Line Canal Segment 10, Up and Back Plum Creek


Two things were missing on our up-and-back on the Plum Creek: plums and me. I couldn’t make it on this segment, so our High Liners went ahead with the help of my back-up leader Steve, the High Line Canal Conservancy and Walk2Connect. Eight of them saddled up, strapped on their gear and battened down their hatches in the high winds of an early fall day. Unable to park at the end of this segment where mile 9 breaks from mile 11, the High Liners parked at the top of the segment at Roxborough State Park trail head and walked east, then south, and turned back around after finding the end of High Line Canal Segment 10.

No Plums

High Line Canal Segment 10 eatwalklearnDespite the name, Plum Creek, no plums were to be had. Although we had eaten them all along the High Line Canal, expectations were spoiled on this namesake. No plums. None the less, the High Liners paced along, holding on to their hats in gusty winds, feeling the affects of the incoming Fall.

Trains and Prairie Views

High Line Canal Segment 10 eatwalklearnWhereas segment 9 offered up several trains at which to wave, only one scooted by on this route that paralleled our previous tracks. None the less, wide views across the prairie to the south entertained the high liners until they reached the end of the segment, which was also the end of the trail. At mile marker 9, they turned around to head back up to the start.

And, We’re Back!

High Line Canal Segment 10 eatwalklearnAfter a quick four miles and various texts to the missing leader, the High Liners moseyed back to their cars. No carpooling was necessary. But all were excited to think that the next segment will be the last of 71 miles. The High Liners will walk all the way to High Line Canal Mile Marker 0 in Waterton Canyon. As High Line Canal Segment 10 came to its end, they all promised a grand finale on Segment 11. Who will join us? Sign up here.

High Line Canal Segment 10 eatwalklearn

Following the #summerofwalking

The SummerOfWalking Tops for Take-aways

summerofwalking eatwalklearnThe beginning of summer brings high expectations for thrills and adventures.  By the time fall rolls around, I’m generally disappointed I didn’t achieve all I dreamt about back in June. So this summer, I decided to take on summer’s expectations so that when the fall came around, I’d have fond memories of an unforgettable summer. I even developed a special tag in my social media so that I would be able to search my digital memories better. I created #SummerOfWalking.

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Now that fall is upon us, it’s time to search #SummerOfWalking and see if my summer expectations played out. Oh my gosh, what a fantastic summer I had. Although technically, summer started on June 20, I started early by leading my first segment of the High Line Canal. This 71 mile adventure began on June 4 when 26 people followed me through Green Valley Ranch in search of the High Line Canal. I knew none of these folks, and by the time we reached segment 9 at mile marker 10 on September 18, ten of them had become my tribe.

So, first take-away from #SummerOfWalking. Made over 40 new friends, built a tribe of 10.

Walking Denver Brings Surprises

summerofwalking eatwalklearnIn between leading the segments along the High Line Canal, I took off on my own urban hiking adventure in Denver, which I called the 9 Creeks Loop. Over 8 days, I walked, documented, and discovered 41 miles of Denver via its regional trail system. From a lady in Aurora who thought I was crazy to be walking alone, to a family that loved the free Wallaroo hats I gave them, I shot footage of the entire loop (thanks Forest City for the GoPro!) What did I discover?

Take-away two from #SummerOfWalking. Denver contains fabulous people who are kind and caring.

The Summer of Love

summerofwalking eatwalklearnDue to the #SummerOfWalking goal, my husband got to benefit too. Although he had been to Niagara and Toronto, I hadn’t. Thus, we loaded up our back packs, got off the plane in Buffalo, and scooted our way across the border. With the help of busses for the longer sections, we walked our adventurous selves to Toronto via the Bruce Trail. Having no agenda, no cell phones, and no time schedule, we got the chance to just hang with each other and enjoy our own company.

Take-away three from #SummerOfWalking. I married a great guy.

Steps Don’t Really Count, But They Are Fun

summerofwalking eatwalklearnI am not much of a fan of counting steps; walking is about connecting and discovery. It’s the platform for life. But I do use an app called Walksome that runs in the background and only counts true walks, not ambient walking (like around the house and other steps.) Occasionally I would check into the app and discover big, giant numbers that I never thought I’d walk on a consistent basis. I’d have days and days in a row of 22,000+ steps.

Take-away four from #SummerOfWalking. When you’re connecting as you walk, the step counts add up to giant numbers.

Walking is the Platform for Life

summerofwalking eatwalklearnMy feet took me through wonderful art work scenes, along paths and trails in Denver that I never would have discovered, across the Canadian border 4 times, and into areas of my own neighborhood I’ve previously ignored. By bringing forward the simple act of walking into my summer expectations, I won.

Take-away five from #SummerOfWalking. Winning comes from small steps that add up to big steps, and in between each step is a friend, a story, and an experience. It’s not the amount of steps on the shoes, it’s the experiences had while in them.

Now that fall is upon us, I’m wondering what follows the #summerofwalking. What types of expectations do you have for fall?

High Line Canal Segment 9

High Line Canal Segment 9 Highlands Ranch

high line canal segment 9 eatwalklearnWe had a short way to go and short time to get there. Fortunately, the 88 degree sun began to set as the eight of us headed west into its sunset through Highlands Ranch along the High Line Canal Segment 9. Feeling the support of the High Line Canal Conservancy and Walk2Connect, we High Liners knew that we had 2 hours of walking but only 1 1/2 hours of daylight, so off we went.

Fly N By Ranch

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We picked up the trail just west of mile marker 15, walked west just a bit, and made a quick rest stop at Fly N By Ranch. A few folks were fishing. We nibbled off an apple tree and reviewed the 110 years of history on this wonderful treasure now managed by South Metro. Here, the Trail turned southerly and we picked up some well-needed shade.

Is Everyone Walking?

high line canal segment 9 eatwalklearnOriginally the Fly N by expanded beyond c470, but now a large senior citizen complex owns its southern section. We marveled at how big and how many buildings made up the complex including a giant skyway that crossed over the Canal and the Trail. A gorgeous tunnel goes under an intersection within the complex. We hope the residents of this facility are out using the Trail. Sadly, we only saw one other person on the Trail here this evening.

A Break Up or a Romance?

high line canal segment 9 eatwalklearnWe continued along the Trail and meandered through the Highlands Ranch Golf Course. Two fathers were out with their teenage daughters playing golf enjoying some family time. We started to catch some scrumptious front range views as the foothills came closer. At one point, we decided to take a break at a bench. At the bench, we weren’t sure if we had found a very romantic moment or a broken-hearted moment. Surrounding the bench were hundreds of dried rose petals of various colors. We settled on the romantic side and made up stories of proposals and commitments.

Industrial Design

high line canal segment 9 eatwalklearnAfter being in some of the prettiest parts of the Trail for a good 20 miles, starting in Cherry Hills, we emerged out of the visual love of vast landscapes, barns, and places. Crossing Santa Fe, which was sheer terror where no crossing exists, the industrial impact of Denver abutted the Trail. With train tracks on our left and right and concrete and gravel plants sandwiched in between, we still found interest in the area. The sun began to set, casting our beloved pinks all over Denver. We could even see the Denver skyline to the north.

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Trains, Bridges, and the Dark of Night

high line canal segment 9 eatwalklearnTrains began to pass on to our right, carrying coal. With darkness just about to descend, we continued our journey, picking up our pace just a bit. By mile marker 11, it was dark. We had another mile to go, and a few of us pulled out head lamps. Finally, we arrived at mile marker 10. Just south of the mile marker is a foot bridge sorely in need of some loving care. Lit by our cell phones and flashlights, we crossed the bridge single file on its north side–where the best footings could be found–then crossed the train tracks, then arrived at our cars.

high line canal segment 9 eatwalklearnIn the dark, we raised the number nine on our fingers and took our parting shot. Now in the single digits of mile markers, we are getting very excited for the end of this 71 mile journey. With High Line Canal Segment 9 in the books, next up we’ll be walking along Plum Creek. It should be a pretty walk; join us next Friday. Sign up here.

High Line Canal Segment 8

High Line Canal Segment 8, An Amble through Littleton

High Line Canal Segment 8 eatwalklearnIf you haven’t joined us yet, what are you waiting for? We are having an absolute blast connecting with the High Line Canal and walking the 71 miles from the Denver International Airport to Waterton Canyon along the High Line Canal Trail. With the support of Walk2Connect and the High Line Canal Conservancy, 8 of us headed out this morning under 42 degree skies and foggy breath. In no time, the sun warmed the air, we shed our light coats, and our pace ambled through Littleton. With 10 miles to go, our feet pointed south, then west, then north, then south. Ah, the joys of the High Line!

Banquet of Flavors

High Line Canal Segment 8 eatwalklearnThe theme of this particular segment from Julia DeKoevend Park to Highlands Ranch was “banquet!” We had a virtual smorgasbord of the earth’s bounty. First up, apples. Green. Red. Ripe for the picking and delicious, we feasted several times on these special pieces of trail magic. Not be to outdone, peaches popped up. Then Russian olives, plums, and crab apples grabbed the, sadly, not-yet-ripe-enough, spotlight. We even stumbled upon a couple of trees of spiky apple-like pears. Anyone have guesses?

Barns with Views

High Line Canal Segment 8 eatwalklearnIf this walking smorgasbord hadn’t been the theme, then I think “barns” would have been the first runner up. Red, white, small, quaint, giant, and everything in between. Some had horses, a few had chickens, all had a story to tell whether they were brand new or historic. But regardless of size, the barns back-dropped to the exquisite views of the Rocky Mountains. Dotted between our views, we caught glimpses of Red Rocks Amphitheater and even Waterton Canyon, our final destination.

Head Gates Dominate!

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Okay, if the theme hadn’t been banquet or barns, it would have to be “head gates.” All of these barns need water, and the water for these barns with farms must come from the High Line Canal. As we make our way closer to the start of the Canal, where the water can actually reach these water rights owners, we began to see actual evidence that water actually flowed through the Canal for real usage!  Head gates everywhere! Although they generally all look alike with their black bodies and orange wheels, each one is just a bit different than the last, giving each head gate its own personality. All of them are numbered as well, sequentially. Today we made it to head gate 15.

Attack of the Teens

High Line Canal Segment 8 eatwalklearnAt each mile marker, we try to take a picture. Sometimes the model for the marker gets a bit crazy with the significance of the number, other times, the pictures are fairly routine. But as we crossed over mile marker 20, we realized we were finally in our teens. While walking, we began to think about how a teen would take a picture of a mile marker, and we decided it would be a selfie. So at mile marker 19, we couldn’t resist selfies. And we had some fun. I love how all the models are taking pictures of themselves, and the mile marker is not even in their pictures. How teen!

Tired, but Always Happy

High Line Canal Segment 8 eatwalklearnBy the time we made it to mile marker 16, our feet hurt, and energy lacked. We thought we were parked at mile marker 15, but actually, it was a bit further. So the last mile was certainly the longest, but as the views from McLellan Reservoir treated us and let us escape our thoughts, suddenly mile marker 15 appeared and then our cars. With another 10 miles under our belts from High Line Canal Segment 8 and only 15 more to go, we hugged until our next segment, which is in a week. Will you join us for High Line Canal Segment 9? Sign up here.

First Creek DEN Open Space

first creek eatwalklearnWhen you’re the first group to do the first hike on the First Creek Trail at DEN Open Space, you’ll also be the first to discover its many surprises.

And many showed themselves.

first creek eatwalklearnSix of us signed up on MeetUp for a Walk2Connect Walk&Talk at 9 am to do an inaugural walk on the new First Creek Trail DEN Open Space. Recently opened, this 192-acre trail which is owned by the Denver International Airport (thus, the reason for DEN in its title) and manage by the Denver Park and Rec, greeted us to a wonderful 4-mile total down-and-back walk. We met in the trail head at the northwest corner of Peña Blvd and 56th Ave in Denver.

First Creek eatwalklearnAfter a bit of prairie dog interpretation highlighting the large prairie dog colony at the trail head, we headed north on the old abandoned Buckley Road. A short distance later, we took a hard right to jump onto the trail. With a 8-ft wide concrete path ribboning the First Creek, we ambled along under Peña Blvd. Our first surprise literally jumped out at us–a fledgling barn owl. Photos and a quick call to Colorado’s wildlife line to confirm we should leave it alone, we continued along.

First Creek eatwalklearnNext up, who knew a horse barn and corrals would dot our view to the south while the Creek flowed on our north? The trail opened up to a wide prairie view and the Creek flowed wider while we crossed over it. Shortly, we passed under 56th Ave, marveled at the mud swallow nests, and then continued.

First Creek eatwalklearnJust as we were hitting our stride, we walked through the double-arched bridge of Airport Road, and surprise, the end of the Trail! Sadly the Trail abruptly ends, but to our joy, there’s a nice water feature of flat rocks which invites walkers to have a seat and enjoy the respite. Mallard ducks greeted us as we took a small break before heading back to the trail head.

First Creek eatwalklearnOn our way back to the trail head, the A train passed over us and the barn owl still held its perch. Kingfishers, Killdeer, and Golden Finches flew by. Although a short 2 mile to the end and 2 miles back to the trail head for a total of 4 miles, the First Creek Trail at DEN Open Space offered up a quality walk. We can’t wait to see it extend to the High Line Canal! Join us on our next walk on the First Creek at DEN Open Space on November 2, 2016. Sign up here.

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High Line Canal Segment 7

High Line Canal Segment 7 Greenwood Village to Centennial

high line canal segment 7 eatwalklearnIt’s funny to think that walking 5 miles is chump change. But that’s how we felt this morning after coming off our last segment of 10 miles. None the less, 20 High Liners headed out, with the support of the High Line Canal Conservancy and Walk2Connect, under gorgeous 70 degrees and partly cloudy skies. On this beautiful Sunday morning, we wanted to clock 5 miles between mile markers 29-25 through Greenwood Village and a bit of Centennial. Only smiles graced our faces as we started out on High Line Canal segment 7.

Mile 29, Hello Greenwood Village

high line canal segment 7 eatwalklearnLucky for us, we had several new folks walking with us. So after a brief run through of how we’d carpool and a few rules of the road, we started our jaunt through Greenwood Village. One of our walkers is very familiar with this area, and she told us to keep our eyes peeled for a treat right after mile marker 29. In no time, we discovered our treasure! Ceramic birds mounted onto a Cottonwood snag. Deliciously decorated and hung with care, not only did we marvel at the artwork, but we all remarked how everyone passing us quickly on bikes, jogging, or walking dogs was missing this wonderful treat that only an amble would uncover.

To see footage of mile 29, watch this video.

Miles 28-26 Greenwood Village

high line canal segment 7 eatwalklearnQuiet and idyllic, the High Line Canal and its Trail subtly wind through scenic views and grand vistas. What’s interesting is that the Village has a storm water run-off challenge, and the Village together with Denver Water have a plan. They have developed a pilot study to see if the High Line would be a good collector of storm water and cleaner of the water that enters it. Fortunately, halfway into the 2016 study, the report is looking good. If all goes well, Denver Water will attempt other storm water projects elsewhere along the Canal. None the less, for the first time in quite a while, we saw water in the Canal!

To see footage of mile 28, watch this video.
To see footage of mile 27, watch this video.
To see footage of mile 27.5 watch this video.
To see footage of mile 26 through Village of Greenwood, watch this video.

high line canal segment 7 eatwalklearnAs we ambled along, the large custom homes provided charming visual treats. Hearts on barns, tiny re-created pump houses, and general overall beauty at luxurious scale treated us on every corner. The dirt and pebble trail hosted many walkers, riders, and even an interesting fellow training for an Antarctic Expedition. He was plunging ahead of us in full hiking gear, heavy pack, trekking poles, and he even dragged a 25-pound tire behind him.

Mile 26-25 Hello Centennial

high line canal segment 7 eatwalklearnAfter crossing several solar-powered crossings in the Village of Greenwood, the Trail continued as it has been, offering up serene views. We had to convince the new walkers that we don’t do boring on our walks. And in timely fashion, the famous “wagon wheel” bench was upon us. We couldn’t resist the challenge of how many folks we could squeeze into a wagon-wheel bench (12) which gave us clear views to the Rockies. A passerby facilitated our picture.

To see footage of mile 26, watch this video.
To see footage of mile 25, watch this video.

high line canal segment 7 eatwalklearnShortly after our wagon-wheel escapade, all of us stopped dead in our tracks. It’s easy to forget and take advantage of the wealth of beauty around us. We ooh and ahh all the time, laughing at yard ornaments, amazing gardens, charming barns, and of course, the occasional glimpse of the Rockies. But sometimes it’s easy to forget where the beauty came from, and thanks to a grateful homeowner, we got reminded.

Mile 25 Breakfast time!

high line canal segment 7 eatwalklearnAnd then boom, the walk was over. Granted, five miles is good distance. But when walking with friends, learning new things, and enjoying the company of good conversation, the miles pass quickly. Since it was still early and a Sunday, we figured why not have some brunch together. So off we went to the Pancake House for a hearty meal to follow up our morning activities.

high line canal segment 7 eatwalklearnPlease join us next time for segment 8, a 10-mile jaunt through Centennial and Littleton. Sign up at www.walk2connect.com/connectingthecanal. Free for everyone, don’t miss it. Thanks for reading along High Line Canal Segment 7.

High Line Canal Segment 6

High Line Canal Segment 6 Beautiful Cherry Hills

high line canal segment 6 eatwalkearnPeople who enjoy Denver think they need to get up into the mountains to see amazing views. They couldn’t be more wrong. This High Line Canal Segment 6 walk meandered through some of the prettiest places and views I’ve ever seen. Backed by the High Line Canal Conservancy and Walk2Connect, a group of 16 set out on an amazing amble through Cherry Hills last night under perfect weather, great attitudes, and wonderful new friendships. Here are the highlights from High Line Canal Segment 6.

Entering Cherry Hills Village–No Parking, But Glorious Views

high line canal segment 6 eatwalkearnWe started at Mamie Eisenhower Park and continued south from mile marker 38. We were all very excited knowing that we’d soon cross our halfway mark in this 71-mile adventure. But first we had to cross Hampden, which actually had good beg buttons and pedestrian markings, follow the complicated High Line Canal signs, discover the Cherry Hills Village neighborhood, and cross a foot bridge to reconnect with the pebble trail south of Wellshire Golf Course.

To see footage of crossing Hampden, watch this video.
To see how to navigate from Hampden/Colorado through Cherry Hills Village, watch this video.

Mile Marker 35.5, The High Liners Cross the Halfway Line!

high line canal segment 6 eatwalkearnNot long after we hit our stride, we hit our mark. At 35.5 miles, the High Liners paused to reflect on the all the fun and adventure we had experienced as we crossed into the second half of our journey. Strangers had become friends, friends had become motivators. Three disc golf courses, 1 deer, hundreds of birds, thousands of flowers, over 100,000 steps–5 of us who have walked all 6 segments named ourselves the Olympians of the High Line.

To see the Halfway celebration, watch this video.

Cat’s Conservation

high line canal segment 6 eatwalkearnAround Mile Marker 35, we walked along the Cat Anderson property. Here, Ms Anderson has conserved 17 acres of horse country. With sweeping views of horse jumps, grasses, and even delicious apple trees (yup, we tried some of the best, sweet, green apples we’ve ever eaten), we took a respite. Nice benches greeted us, and a wonderful, wheelchair-accessible porta-potty came handy at just the right time. Watch this wonderful videolog of Ms Anderson describing her property and its conservation. (Thank you Debby Miller for the pointer!)

A Wonderful Place to Retire

high line canal segment 6 eatwalkearnMile Marker 33 popped up in surprise, as the miles seemed short when surrounded by good friends and good sites. We found ourselves bordering the Kent-Denver Day School property, one of the largest users of the High Line’s water. The High Liners were quite surprised to learn that Mamie Dodd Eisenhower originally owned this land, and she and Dwight had plans, at one time, to retire here.

Ode to the Cottonwood

high line canal segment 6 eatwalkearnWith such a bounty of beauty, we had gotten accustomed to the large cottonwoods watered by the Canal. These shady giants had become routine until we came across the largest tree I’ve ever seen in Denver. Six of us gathered our arms and hugged out a big sign of appreciation. One of our new walkers held up a 6 sign to mark the occasion, reminding us that around each corner on the High Line there’s always a surprise.

Preserving the Best Front Range Views

high line canal segment 6 eatwalkearnWe didn’t think it could get prettier, but then we crossed into Greenwood Village, and we stumbled upon the amazing Marjorie Perry Nature Preserve. With wetland views backdropped by the sun-setting Rocky Mountains, our cameras clicked in amazement. Here, just a few miles from downtown Denver, we enjoyed National Geographic worthy views of the best of Denver’s front range.

The Famous Asparagus

high line canal segment 6 eatwalkearnSince Mile Marker 71, we had heard about the famous wild asparagus growing along the Canal. Even the Conservancy’s Harriet LaMar had egged us on. After 35 miles, our skepticism had set in. But then, on a chance, we had set down for a break to enjoy the sun set along the Preserve. And lo and behold, what was right in front of us, but some actual wild asparagus! We dug in–only to find that it had gone to seed and was a bit too bitter. But next Spring, we now know where to gather (hint, near Mile Marker 32.)

Always Connecting

high line canal segment 6 eatwalkearnTo our delight, a new walker joined us at around Mile Marker 31. A local, he rolled along and gave us some insight into the frequent walkers of the Trail. Our new friend wants to walk the Camino de Santiago and was thrilled to find a group of walkers who had either walked it themselves or had friends who were planning to walk it. We connected, shared contact info, and he promised to join us with his wife on our next segment. He also refreshed us by letting us know that once we passed the house under construction on the right, our parking lot at Orchard Road would be not much further on the left. Thus, with another 8 miles under our belt, High Line Canal Segment 6 came to a glorious end.

high line canal segment 6 eatwalkearn