Those of us who get to work in Glenwood Springs are lucky on many counts. Not least of them is the proximity of office space to outdoor play space.
Sure, Glenwood may be farther from upvalley mountain destinations than Carbondale or midvalley, but the town at the bottom of the Roaring Fork Valley has some out-the-door opportunities not found there.
When I find precious spare time at the office, one of my favorite ways to exercise and relax is to get off the treadmill — both the literal and figurative ones — and take a hike.
At least three easily accessed trails beckon downtown Glenwood office-dwellers in search of a lunchtime respite: Doc Holiday’s Trail off Bennett Avenue, the Jeanne Golay Trail on Red Mountain, and the Boy Scout Trail on Lookout Mountain.
Doc’s Trail is on the short side for my tastes, but its half-mile trek to the Linwood Cemetery might be just the ticket for those toward the middle of town looking for a convenient mid-day lift.
The Golay Trail, named after the former Olympic cyclist, might well be my go-to trail if I were more inclined to pedaling my old clunker of a mountain bike than to putting one foot in front of the other. It’s also far enough from the office that the time commitment on foot is on the long side.
Then there’s the Boy Scout Trail which, Goldilocks-style, is just right: A short jaunt up to the east end of Eighth Street, a quick left, and I’m on the trail headed up country.
Since one of my knees treats me unkindly if I jog these days— or if I come downhill too fast or too far, for that matter — hiking briskly up hills such as this is my preferred method for raising the heart rate and lowering the blood pressure, followed by a gentle descent.
An hour gives me time to change, hike up to where the trail tops out at the bottom of the ridge — about a half hour and 850 vertical feet above town, according to my phone’s GPS — descend, cool off and change.
The hike is refreshing and invigorating and affords nice views, both of town and up Glenwood Canyon once you get on the ridge. You also get close enough to the canyon to hear the squeals of glee coming from the riders on the Giant Canyon Swing across the way at the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.
For those with more time or who travel at a faster pace, the trail continues to the top of Lookout Mountain and well beyond.
A few words of caution: Riding a bike on this trail requires advanced skills. While the trail generally features a relatively mild gradient, it traverses a couple of slopes in its lower reaches that are steep enough to cause serious injury. Your head may be in the clouds, but keep your eyes on the trail.