Bear Creek Greenbelt - Part 1

Bear Creek Green belt in Lakewood, Colorado is one of my very favorite places to walk with the camera.  This isn't a location to go if you want some spectacular scenery, but if you just want to go out for a great walk where you just might run into some neat photo ops, this is the place to go.  Of course it is also one of my favorites because I live just up the hill from it.  There are lots of ways to get to the greenbelt, but today we are going to talk about the access off of South Pierce St.  You'll need to head north on S. Pierce St from the Hamden Ave Service Rd.  There is a good side walk on Pierce, all the way down to the bottom of the hill.  My scooter and two service dogs fit on it quite nicely.  At the bottom of the hill, the sidewalk disappears until you get to the trail.  For the vast majority of this stretch, you can cut into the parking lot of the Bear Creek Swim and Tennis club to get off of the street.  If you do this, you'll actually be on the street for around 30 feet.

Once you get to the trail, you can only head on it to the east.  This is connector trail, which takes you to the main greenbelt.  This section is probably a little less than 1000 feet.  Its a popular trail, so you'll probably run into bikers and walkers.  If you have a dog with you, please note that a lot of folks walk their dogs without leashes on this section and also exercise them off leash in the creek.

Despite the fact that it is a shortish section in a residential area, photo opportunities are here.  Early in the morning and at sundown you can find foxes, coyotes, rabbits, skunks, raccoons, squirrels, ravens, herons, ducks galore, and goldfinches.  The stream is beautiful and very accessible by the bridge.  I've been able to take my scooter down all the way to the water, and I've never gotten stuck.  There is a swampy drainage area that is full of cattails.  A friend of mine has walked by and seen a great blue heron pulling some sort of animal out of this area.  There are numerous wildflowers all along this walk.  I've seen grape hyacinths, daffodils (both wild), mexican hat, wild flax, coreopsis, bee balm, goat's beard and several other varieties of wildflower.

The trail on this section is a very wide concrete path.  It takes you all the way up to the bridge which crosses Bear Creek and ends up by Bear Creek High School.  Please note that there are a lot of high school kids who hang out by the bridge after school, so you might want to find a different time to visit.


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