Eastern Plains

Urban Refuges Trail

Jewel of the South Platte

In the southwest corner of urban Denver, the South Platte River escapes from the dry Waterton Canyon, home to rattlesnakes and Bushtits, into a wooded corridor where it flows past some of Colorado’s only breeding Least Flycatchers and American Redstarts. It pools in Chatfield Reservoir, underneath the nests of Great Blue Herons, before continuing into the heart of the city. Along its path, and that of Cherry Creek to the east, lie a rich collection of parks and pathways that allow astonishing nature study right inside the metro area. Whether you want to spend quality time with Red-winged Blackbirds or hope to find a rarity blown in from Asia, your best bets are along this trail.