Trails Around Niwot

Violet Oliver, Journalist

It is possible to reach both Longmont and Boulder from Niwot High School without traveling on a single road, but how? With the county’s elaborate trail system, of course! Niwot boasts over 18 miles of trails and sidewalk connectors. With the weather warming quickly, Niwot’s trail system is an ideal place to spend an hour – or an afternoon.

 

In 2004, Boulder County approved a proposal to greatly expand Niwot’s trail system to what it is today. The main space utilized was the property adjacent to Dry Creek, the stream that runs southwest to northeast through Niwot. This area  provides a riparian habitat for animals. The trail system continues, winding through the Boulder and Left Hand Ditches, grasslands, and several neighborhoods, providing great scenic contrast.

 

Two main trails connect to the space behind the ballfields of Niwot High. The first is the appropriately named Cougar Trail, which starts at Rocky Mountain Christian Church and ends adjacent to the Mountain View Fire Station, where one can either hike back up to the school or continue down into Niwot. The trail follows the Left Hand Ditch, and most of the surrounding land is owned by Boulder County Open Space. With relatively little incline and only an eighth of a mile long, the Cougar Trail makes for a short and sweet getaway.

 

The second trail adjacent to NHS is the Overbrook Trail. The remainder of the trail should not be an issue as long as one is willing to go sharply downhill for a quarter of a mile along the back of the Overbrook Neighborhood. Running for 1.3 miles, the trail zigzags through grasslands along Dry Creek, and bridges provide an excellent opportunity to throw sticks and pebbles into the water. The trail ends at Children’s Park at 83rd Street, where picnic benches and a tire reinflating station are available, should the traveller be on two wheels.

 

From here, one can either continue into downtown Niwot through sidewalks, or connect to the LoBo Trail, which connects to other trails in turn. The LoBo trail was a joint project from the City  of Longmont, City of  Boulder, and Boulder County to create a trail that would join the two towns, and it conveniently runs through Niwot. Should one choose to go north to Longmont, a suburban environment awaits, followed by a connection to the trail that runs parallel to the Diagonal Highway and eventually joins up by the St. Vrain Greenway in south Longmont. The Boulder path crosses through multiple Niwotian neighborhoods before eventually crossing under Highway 52 and into Gunbarrel. The scenery here is full of wide open space, and the occasional groundhog hole, making it an ideal nature walk or ride.

 

These are just a few of the plentiful trails tucked away in Niwot’s nooks and crannies. Clean, free, and always accessible, they provide ample opportunity for any student or resident seeking a little vacation in the everyday.

 

Violet Oliver