Roxborough State Park
Willow Creek Loop
Trailhead: Roxborough State Park Visitors Center
Distance: 1.4 miles (easy, just like the sign says)
No surprise here, but our latest adventures were postponed. First, by a week's worth of terrible sleep and second, by Logan waking up sick (probably something to do with the cake pops he ate during game night...). Originally we were supposed to christen our new snowshoes, but those plans fell through temporarily. On Sunday I realized I desperately needed to get outside and clear my head. Nothing makes me feel better than time spent hiking and with all of the drama surrounding Trump and the empowerment surrounding the Women's March, I knew I needed this hike.
Rachel, bless her soul, hooked me up with a State Parks Pass. I am so excited to have this - it means we can have MORE hammock days at Cherry Creek and have no reason NOT to go to all the other parks. When I made it to the park (at like, 2:45pm), I was informed that the park closes promptly at 5:00. I had plans to do a 6 mile hike, and changed my mind so that I could enjoy my time without feeling rushed. Willow Creek Loop is simply beautiful. It's flat and even, with views of red rocks and valleys and lots of willow trees.
The trail was a wonderful combination of dirt, snow, and mud. I loved splashing around in the puddles and laughing at everyone else being super squeamish about what they were stepping in. Just walk through it - you can bring some newspaper to put your boots on in your trunk. Not only is it fun, but it's what's best for the trail - walking way to the side to avoid mud and water causes lots of erosion.
Eventually the trail spurs off and gives you a few other options for destinations. Because of my timing, I stuck with Willow Creek Loop, but I fully intend on going back and exploring every trail this park has to offer. I've already made plans for Wednesday morning before class!
I reached a point in the trail where there was no one else around, but I kept hearing footsteps. I could not, for the life of me, figure out what was going on until I realized it was a dozen or so robins playing in the underbrush. I was thankful that my own footsteps hadn't scared them away and spent some time just watching them - I'm so grateful that my mom taught me to appreciate moments like that.
I reached the end of the loop and still had some time left over, so I headed back to the Visitor's Center to go to the Fountain Valley Overlook. It's barely one-tenth of a mile from the trailhead, and it offers expansive and absolutely stunning views of the rock formations. I'm really glad I decided to go up that way.
Overall, this was the perfect ending to an otherwise shit-filled weekend. I love finding new places to explore, especially so close to home. Roxborough has found a home pretty high on my list of favorites, and I can't wait to get back and explore some more.