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walking and biking in glenwood springs

Woofs, Wheels and Walkers: How to Share the Trails in Glenwood Springs

Hitting the two major paved trails in Glenwood Springs for exercise, fresh air and social time attracts pet owners, pedal pushers and pedestrians alike but sharing the “road” can be tricky. Here’s how to make it a great experience for everyone.

Glenwood Springs is home to a couple of truly remarkable paved trails. The Rio Grande Trail and Glenwood Canyon Recreation Path both go for miles through gorgeous Colorado scenery and draw recreationists of all types and abilities. Learning how to share these coveted outdoor spaces benefits everyone.

A Tale of Two Trails in Glenwood Springs

The Rio Grande Trail is a multiuse trail that follows the Roaring Fork River between Glenwood Springs and Aspen. A rails-to-trails project, it features a moderate slope that gains 2,100 feet over 42 miles. Multiple access points allow outdoor enthusiasts to hop on and off throughout the Roaring Fork Valley.

The Glenwood Canyon Recreation Path follows the Colorado River through Glenwood Canyon for 18 miles. Rest areas at No Name, Grizzly Creek and Dotsero provide access for exploring various sections of the trail, including adjacent hiking trails. Hanging Lake Trail requires a reservation to hike, so be sure to plan ahead if that’s on your priority list. Grizzly Creek, Hanging Lake and Bair Ranch exits also offer public restrooms. The Colorado Department of Transportation maintains the trail, which typically opens in early summer after river runoff flows have safely tapered off. For current recreation path conditions please call CDOT Region 3, Monday – Friday at 1-970-243-2368 Ext. 9.

Pet Etiquette

Cute dog on leashTaking your pet on Glenwood’s paved trails is a great way for both you and Fido to enjoy some physical activity and fresh air, but keep these guidelines in mind when in public with your pooch. First, be sure your furry friend is on a leash. It’s the law in Glenwood Springs. Not only is it safer for your pet, but it will also make the other trail users feel more comfortable. For off-leash fun, visit the dog park located on the Rio Grande Trail behind Glenwood High School’s football stadium. Secondly, clean up after your pet—no one wants to step in a surprise present! You’ll find poop bag dispensers at access points along both trails. Don’t forget to pitch them in the trash bin too. Lastly, when meeting up with others on the trail, ask if they’re okay having your pet approach them. After all, not everyone loves your dog as much as you do!

Cycling Civility

When it comes to bikers using trails frequented by pet owners and pedestrians, it’s likewise important to show respect and courtesy. It might be tempting to think of the smooth, nearly flat surfaces as your personal velodrome, but try to be mindful of your speed around others. Beware if riding an electric cycle, as they are often quiet and propel at a greater pace. Always be prepared to slow down or stop for people, pets and even wildlife that frequent the trail and nearby rivers. Additionally, to avoid startling other trail users, bikers should announce themselves when passing. Signal with either the ding of a bike bell or by giving a friendly shout out to others on the trail.

Pedestrian Politeness

Girl walking the recreation path in Glenwood CanyonWalkers, joggers, moms with baby strollers and kids on scooters all have the right-of-way on Glenwood’s paved trails, but that doesn’t mean guidelines don’t apply to those on foot as well. To avoid conflicts, keep to the right side of the trail and always be aware of your surroundings. Be kind and clear branches from paths if you see them. If you encounter someone out for a stroll with their canine companion or see a cyclist whizzing by, give them some extra space. Consider smiling at them or saying a friendly “hello.” Who knows, you may even make a new friend!

Happy Trails in Glenwood Springs

There’s a place for everyone—pet owners, bikers and walkers—on Glenwood’s paved trails; the key to a great experience is to always put your best foot forward.

Learn more about all the great things to do in Glenwood Springs and make plans to visit today!

Download the official Glenwood Springs Travel Guide

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Visit Glenwood Springs

Hanging Lake winter hiking reservations are now available. Visit the Hanging Lake page HERE for more information and the booking portal. 

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