Explore the wilds of Denver with these three “urban hikes”

Jagged peaks clamoring for the skyline. Snow clinging to shade through summer. Pristine alpine lakes reflecting the entire landscape.

Bumper to bumper traffic on Interstate 70.

This scene is what plenty of Denver denizens might picture when they think of hiking. But Chris Englert, author of “The Best Urban Hikes: Denver,” has a different take. She believes “urban hiking” can happen close to home, right in the heart of the city. “An urban hike is along a trail … and it’s probably only 10 minutes away,” she said. “There are probably 40 within the Denver area.”

An urban hike is also more than taking the dog out for a quick walk. “An urban hike has a sense of adventure to it — you take a left where you might take a right,” she said.

Englert will be at the Tattered Cover’s Aspen Grove location on Saturday to talk about urban hiking and her adventures while walking all 78 of Denver’s neighborhoods in 2017.

Englert said she’s always been a walker, but a walking tour of Moscow a few years ago inspired her to walk more and even make a vocation out of it. (She runs walking tours via her site, eatwalklearn.com, and is a walking leader for Walk2Connect.) The tour guide asked her what she wanted to see. “Red Square” was the expected response, but instead, Englert asked her what she wanted to show her. They strolled through the neighborhoods around Red Square, and at the end of the tour, her guide refused payment. “She said, ‘I just want people to experience my city the way I see it.’ ”

She had moved to Denver in 2013 and wanted to make a business out of walking but felt she couldn’t start that here without walking all over town. So she spent last year walking all of Denver’s neighborhoods. “Not being from Denver, I didn’t really have any pre-judgement about any neighborhood before walking it. Which was a benefit, because it didn’t jade me for where I should or shouldn’t go,” she said. “Every neighborhood, whether it was a Highlands or a Westwood, it didn’t matter which neighborhood it was, they all had positives and negatives.”

Her resulting e-book, “Walking Denver’s Neighborhoods,” covers safe routes through all 78 neighborhoods and includes historical tidbits and quirky stops.

Before you head out to hike, Englert offered two tips: fancy gear isn’t needed for urban

Source:: The Denver Post – Lifestyle

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