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It’s hard to live in Boulder County and not appreciate the natural beauty all around us. With mountain views, sunny skies, and warmer weather, it’s time to get outside and enjoy our community. One great way to do a little exploring in our area is by going for a walk.

The health benefits for regular light exercise like walking are numerous. The Office for Disease Prevention and Health Promotion suggest that adults stay active to improve cognition, lower risks of injuries and falls, and prevent cancer, dementia, heart disease and stroke. Wow, who knew walking was so useful.

Walking is also easier on your joints than other forms of exercise like running. You don’t need anything fancy to get started aside from a comfortable pair of supportive shoes and water for longer jaunts.

Here in Boulder County, we have plenty of walking paths and trails for all levels of walking ability. If you don’t want the hassle of getting to a designated path, take a stroll around your neighborhood. If you want to try somewhere new, we have a few suggestions below. Or take a look at the Boulder County Open Space list of trails for plentiful options.

Pines to Peak Loop

For a walk with an incredible view, check out the Bald Mountain Scenic Area and the Pines to Peak Loop. It’s a mile-long trail in Boulder that offers stunning views of the Great Plains and Continental Divide. Along with great views from the top, enjoy a winding drive up the beautiful Sunshine Canyon to reach Bald Mountain.

Heil Valley Ranch

In the foothills west of Longmont you’ll find Heil Valley Ranch, a 6,231 acre open space park with six interconnected trails to enjoy. With multiple trails, you can cater to your interests and abilities by taking a longer or shorter route. The shortest trail is a 1.3 mile loop while the longest is 5.2 miles one way.

Coal Creek Trail

This 14 mile long path travels through Erie, Lafayette, Louisville and Superior. Most of the pathway is unpaved, which can be beneficial for people with joint pain who prefer a softer walking surface. As this trial doesn’t loop around, keep in mind how far you go, as you’ll have to turn around and retrace your steps to make it back to where you started.

Boulder Creek Path

If you haven’t strolled along Boulder Creek path on a warm summer day we highly encourage it. While the path can be crowded at times with bikes, runners and walking groups, it provides a meandering journey through Boulder from 55th street all the way up into Boulder Canyon. You may not be interested in tackling the entire 5.5 mile stretch, but any portion of the mostly-shaded path offers an enjoyable walk.

If you’re looking to socialize or learn something new while taking a stroll, check out a few local walking events like Walk With a Doc or Walk and Bike Month. Community walking events offer the opportunity to connect with other people getting their walk on. And for many people (you can’t tell but we’re raising our hand) it’s easier to get out and be active when you’re doing so with other people. If you enjoy walking with a community, take a look at Walk2Connect, a group that has walking events across the state all year long.

Getting outside for a walk can help us improve both our health and happiness. So lace up your tennis shoes, grab your water bottle and set out for a local adventure. We hope to see you on the trails! Where do you like to walk in Boulder County?