Wheat Ridge Greenbelt
Aliases: West Lake, Bass Lake, Tabor Lake, Prospect Park/Pond
Long famous as Denver’s best migrant trap, the Wheat Ridge Greenbelt has some of the best riparian habitat in the metro area. It is also relatively compact for a greenbelt, with the best opportunities concentrated along Clear Creek between Youngfield and Kipling streets. This area encompasses mature cottonwood forest, four good-sized ponds, and quite a bit of brushy marsh and swampy second growth. The best time to visit is obviously during migration, when nearly anything can show up. Of the regular species, look for Plumbeous and Cassin’s Vireos, Virginia’s, MacGillivray’s, Orange-crowned, and Townsend’s Warblers, and just about any of the regular Front Range sparrow species. Eastern Screech-Owls occur here as well; the most reliable spot seems to be at the eastern end of the greenbelt. The winter is, as expected, much slower, but a determined observer may see a few interesting species.
Directions: West Parking Lot: from I-70 take exit 266/Ward Rd. and go south to 44th Ave. Head west on 44th Ave. and then south on Youngfield St. The parking lot is on the east side of Youngfield, just after the Clear Creek bridge. East Parking Lot: from I-70 take exit 267/Kipling St. and go south about three quarters of a mile to 41st Ave. Head west on 41st and look for signs to the greenbelt parking lot.
Dates of Access: Open all year
Hours: daylight hours
Restrictions: Obey local rules and regulations
Parking: Gravel parking area
Lodging: Hotels in Wheat Ridge
Handicapped Access: Trail is accessible