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Niedrach Trail – Barr Lake State Park

Niedrach Trail at Barr Lake State Park

Niedrach Trail at Barr Lake State Park

The Niedrach Trail heads south from the nature center at Barr Lake State Park near Brighton, Colorado. The trail goes around the whole lake – 8.8 miles in total and is essentially flat the entire way. I went to the two-mile marker, but in that span I saw a herd of 20 deer, two bald eagles and scores of ducks and geese.

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Black Canyon Trail – Santa Fe, New Mexico

Black Canyon Trail near Santa Fe, New Mexico

Black Canyon Trail near Santa Fe, New Mexico

Location: At Black Canyon Campground, just outside Hyde Memorial State Park east of Santa Fe

Trail Length: About 2.0 miles, loop trail

Elevation Gain: Just under 500 feet, but trail starts at 8,300 feet in elevation

Notable Features: A fairly easy trail made moderate if you’re not used to the high elevation with lots of pine and aspen trees. The campground closes in winter, but there is a lot near the highway where you can park then walk through the campground to get to the trailhead.

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Cheyenne Mountain Loop Trail – Colorado Springs, Colorado

Cheyenne Mountain State Park

Cheyenne Mountain State Park

Location: Cheyenne Mountain State Park, west of Colorado Springs

Trail Length: About 3.4 miles, loop trail

Elevation Gain: About 300 feet

Notable Features: Picturesque easy hike through scrub oaks, Ponderosa pines and prairie grass. Military installation NORAD is located inside Cheyenne Mountain – so give them a wave as you walk through the park below the complex.

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Horseshoe Trail – Golden Gate Canyon State Park, Colorado

Horseshoe Trail at Golden Gate Canyon State Park

Horseshoe Trail at Golden Gate Canyon State Park

Location: West of Golden

Trail Length: About 3.7 miles, in and out trail

Elevation Gain: About 900 feet

Notable Features: A moderate trail that doesn’t seem as challenging as the numbers make it sound. It’s a pleasant and relaxing walk through forest and meadows with views of nearby Tremont Mountain.

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