Sweeping Views of the Snow-capped Front Range and Pike’s Peak
I am always amazed when I have the opportunity to try a new running trail and today was such a day. Shari Zimmerman, a member of my running club, knew about the East West Trail in Highlands Ranch from her son who lives nearby. And several weeks ago, when she described the beautiful mountain views and the lovely hilly trail, our group was eager to check it out. And today was the day!
The East West Trail is tucked in the stunning Back Country neighborhood just past Mountain Vista High School on Wild Cat Reserve Parkway. It is a soft surface trail approximately 19.5 miles long stretching from Red Stone Park to Ridgegate Parkway with future connections to Lone Tree and Parker. We carpooled the 20-30 minutes from our homes in Littleton and Lakewood and parked at Red Tail Park just off 2674 Pemberly Avenue. When we arrived, the park full of school children and the sun was shining. A another warm blue-sky Spring Colorado day! By 8:05 am, the 10 of us had hit the trail.
We knew from Shari’s description that the trail was an uphill climb for almost a mile. And she’s wasn’t kidding! With a pounding heart, I jogged and walked up the steep grade in about 12 minutes and at the top, was greeted with a sweeping view of the snow capped Front Range and clear views of both Pike’s Peak to the south and Mount Evans to the West. Wow! Vistas like this just make me love Colorado and appreciate my good fortune to live here. After catching my breath and reading some of the trail signs, my companions and I continued on the public trail for another 20 minutes and turned around.
Along the way, there were narrow dirt paths shooting off the main trail with signs warning nonresidents to stay off the private property. I wondered if my sister Pam’s residence in Highlands Ranch would qualify her (and her guests) to use these trails? For today, we enjoyed the wide, well maintained public trail. On the way back, most of us were able to run a bit faster. – a real treat! After an hour on the trail, we met back at the parking lot and all headed to Pierre Michel French Bakery for breakfast. What a delight to enjoy French pastries, omelets, quiches and coffee at this lovely local restaurant!
After I got home and did a little more research, I was happy to find that there is a East-West Trail Half Marathon and 10k on June 10. I will have spend some more time training on that big hill before I register!