My first hike during the month of April took me to Reynolds Park near Conifer, Colorado. Located within the Jefferson County Open Space System, the park is home to several unique trails both short and long in variety. Here is what I accomplished that day:
Date: April 6th, 2019
Miles Hiked: 12.2 Miles
Trails Hiked: Elkhorn, Raven’s Roost, Oxen Draw and Hummingbird Trail and a portion of the North Fork Trail as well.
Trail Conditions: Melting snow led to muddy trails.
To start out, I combined a couple trails to create a small loop. Specifically, I went up the Elkhorn trail and connected to the Oxen Draw trail before heading back down to the parking area on the Raven’s Roost trail. Despite it being a relatively short loop, the scenery was actually pretty fantastic.
While hiking on the Raven’s Roost trail, the trees open up to provide you with a nice view of the surrounding foothills.
After completing this loop, I returned to the parking area to continue my hike. After walking across the road from the main parking area, I found myself heading up the Hummingbird trail which shortly thereafter becomes the North Fork trail.
This segment of my hike was pretty cool as the scenery varies immensely. Towards the beginning of the Hummingbird trail, the incline is quite steep before it gradually evens out and actually begins to decline significantly for the rest of the trail.
The further down the North Fork trail I got, the more I began to notice an increase in clouds and the occasional rain shower popping up. Additionally, the surrounding scenery was also changing as the trail entered through a burn scar area.
Upon reaching the burn scar, the mountainside to the immediate east of the trail is completely barren with what looked to me like newer houses and some small cabins up at the very top. I really enjoyed this part of my hike because of this unique contrast in scenery.
Although the trail steadily declines as you hike south through the valley, it does prove to be somewhat deceptive. With the North Fork trail being just short of 9.5 miles one way, I decided to turn around at roughly the halfway point.
The way back proved to be somewhat uneventful, but I loved every second of it. The whole time I was out there that day I really only saw several other people on mountain bikes and that was about it. It really was a nice feeling to experience such solitude on a Saturday afternoon in early April.
With the clouds beginning to fill in more, it seemed like the right time to pick up the pace in the slight chance that a thunderstorm were to form. Before long, I was back in the parking lot and already thinking about my next journey into the woods!
Until next time!