I was just in this area recently and thought how fun it would be to do the Turkey Trot Trail around Turkey Day! I think this hike will be a perfect hike to burn the calories after the Thanksgiving meal. Knowing that tryptophan can alter the mood, I think it's best to lead this hike on Saturday which will give everyone a chance to rest and get happy before the hike! :-)
MOUNT FALCON: Mount Falcon Park is a rewarding gateway from the plains to the mountains, offering panoramas that stretch from snowy peaks to Red Rocks Park to the Denver cityscape.
TRAILHEAD: From State Highway 8, turn west on Forest Avenue and north on Vine Street. Driving west through the town of Morrison, turn left or South on Highway 8; next go .8 of a mile to Forest Ave. This is an easy road to miss, if you go more than 1 mile after turning on Hwy 8, you have gone too far. Shortly after turning on Forest Avenue, you make a right or North turn onto Vine St. This dead ends into the park.
THE TRAIL (LOOP):
From the parking lot, we will head West on the Castle Trail.
At a quarter mile we will see the trail split, take the Turkey Trot Trail - this is a hikers only trail.
At 1.9 miles, we will come to a T, take a right onto the Castle Trail. The trail is now shared with mountain bikers, so we will need to keep our heads up for mountain bikers on the descent. We will see other trails venture off to the side, but we stay on the Castle Trail.
At 4.1 miles we will come to a junction with the Parmalee Trail (nice place for a bathroom break as there are bathrooms to the right). At this point, we will take a sharp left onto the Parmalee Trail, heading south and back downhill.
The next mile is all downhill, before we resume back uphill again, at mile 6.3 make a right onto Meadow Trail.
We will stay on Meadow Trail until we reach the junction with the Castle Trail at mile 6.7.
Take a right onto the Castle Trail and begin our descent back to the parking lot.
At 8.5 miles, take a left onto the Turkey Trot Trail which will take us back to our vehicles.
Start Elevation (ft): 6,020
Finish Elevation (ft): 6,020
Max. Elevation (ft): 7,731
Total Length: 10.40 Miles
DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Moderate - depending on weather and the group.
Additional Details: The hike may be shortened and we will take a lunch break as their are several picnic areas in the park. If you bring your turkey leftovers for lunch, I'll bring the shot blocks for an extra energy boost to get us to the parking lot! However, you may not need them as a good side effect of tryptophan is athletic performance! :-)
Address: 4655 Ward Rd., Wheat Ridge
Directions to the park-n-ride: From 44th Ave. & Ward Rd., continue north on Ward Rd. approximately .22 miles, left into the park-n-Ride. We will plan on leaving this park-n-ride at 9:45 am.
If you are going West on I-70 take the Ward Rd. exit and go straight through the stop light (do not turn left or right) at the bottom and into the PnR.
If I don't see you at the PNR, I'll look for you at the trailhead.
Be sure to be prepared for all weather conditions and pack your microspikes and poles as you may need them. I'm looking forward to hiking with you!