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The Cherry Creek Spillway Trail
by Stormy on May 31, 2002

Marmots don't bicycle, but parks are fun.

Living with people you discover that the environment isn't very natural. They live in houses, the people equivalent of burrows. But these human burrows are big and bright with a lot of stuff and for the most part without any bugs. Needless to say the urge to get outside and do fun stuff is pretty great. To get the sensation of being outdoors people go to parks where they can play in the grass, smell the flowers and see the bugs. Parks are just big grassy areas with trees and streams and sometimes other stuff. There are parks all over cities and these parks are connected to one another with trail systems. People walk, jog, rollerblade and bicycle from park to park to enjoy different environments. The area where I live has a lot of parks and a lot of trails, but not all areas are connected the same way. For the last few years a friend of mine, Tom, has been working very hard to add a new trail to connect the Cherry Creek State Park south of Denver to Olympic Park in Aurora. Both are very big, very popular parks, but to get from one to the other using the existing trail system would be almost a 20 mile trip. That's a pretty long trip! The proposed Cherry Creek Spillway Trail would shorten that distance to about two miles and create a very convenient exercise loop that would go through eastern Denver, western Aurora and portions of Arapahoe County. Tom built a lot of support for the trail, held a lot of meetings with neighborhoods and government officials and got approval for the trail to be built. The trail went in along a ridge of the Cherry Creek Spillway, an overflow channel that takes excess water out of the Cherry Creek Reservoir and redirects it into Tollgate Creek, running parallel to Cherry Creek, several miles to the east. May 31, 2002 was the big unveiling for the trail and Tom asked me if I wanted to come along. Of course! A new trail to try out, fresh grass to roll in and new bugs to explore. You bet I'm there! There was media there, a ribbon cutting ceremony, an inaugural trail trip and talks by a number of officials. Okay, I admit it, the concrete surface of the trail is tough on marmot paws, but the grass along the edge is perfectly fine! I love parks and this trail is a great addition to the local park system!

Aurora Mayor Paul Tauer, walking stick in hand, poses with Stormy off the new Cherry Creek Spillway Trail.
(taken by Tom on May 31, 2002)

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