Family Friendly Riding in Denver
Are you looking for family friendly places to ride your bikes? Or maybe just more leisurely places to ride with your spouse that involve less car-traffic and a place to stop for something to eat or drink after? Below, we are seeking to build a small list of places that can be fun to ride that have little to no car traffic, easy access to food and drink, places for little kids to stop at, and an overall fun place to be during the summer. Most of these provide paved bicycle riding, but we have included two places that could be good to practice or learn mountain biking if that interests you. Finally, we have snuck in a few staff favorites for restaurants, drinks, or ice cream in the area!
Enjoy and ride safe!
The lake is surrounded by a 2.6 mile bike and pedestrian trail that is very popular. This provides a separate area to ride with your family without worries of traffic. If you have little ones, there is a playground on the south side of the park you can stop at to let them run around. Across the street from the park, there are many food establishments as well as Happy Cones Co. This ice cream location cannot be seen from the park, but it is just hiding behind a few buildings. If your group is all of adult age, Joyride Brewing Company is on the corner. While they only serve beer, they often have a food truck close by.
The park has a cycling and pedestrian path surrounding it. The path is 2.3 miles around and has a seperate walking and cycling lanes. The path is well-maintained, but it is heavily trafficked during busy times. There is a playground along the path, as well as beautiful gardens. Houses surround the park, but it is a short ride, on quiet streets, to many local favorites. If you want coffee and a place to relax, try Wash Perk and their lavender marshmallow matte latte. Ice cream nearby includes Frozen Matter and Bonnie Brae. Devil’s Food is a great place for breakfast or brunch before/after a nice morning ride.
This is a nice park hidden in the downtown area. Cheesman Park has a rich history, beautiful open spaces, and a nice playground for kids. There is no separated cycling path, but cars are used to cyclists riding circles around Cheesman. This park would be a great place for a picnic and then casual ride around the park several times with each lap being 1.2 miles. Several blocks from the park you can find Thump Coffee and Lic’s Ice Cream. Also, there are many restaurants littered throughout the neighborhood.
Reynolds Landing Park is not a park in the most traditional sense. It has bathrooms and a covered picnic area, but that is about it. Instead, it provides easy parking and access to the South Platte River Trail. Park at this park and head north. You can ride along the river all the way to downtown if you would like. Two miles north you can catch a path and ride into downtown littleton for a snack, meal, ice cream, or drink. Along the path in the summers, Hudson Gardens has a rest area with a coffee shop just north of the park. Finally, the parking lot is right next to the Breckenridge Brewery Farmhouse. This is a brewery and restaurant that can be a great way to end a nice ride along the river.
City Park is a massive park in central Denver. There are multiple playgrounds, the Denver Zoo, the Museum of Nature and Science, free Jazz concerts during the summer, and of course, plenty of places to ride your bike. This park can be a full day outing with visiting one of the main attractions, lunch in the park, leisurely bike riding, and more. The park is surrounded by food and drinks of all kinds. Not far from the park, you can find Denver Biscuit Company (a great place for breakfast or brunch), Bellwether coffee (they have a great nitro cold brew), multiple places for ice cream, and much more.
This state park has a good mix of pavement and dirt cycling paths. If you want to stay on paved paths, you can still ride up to Mt Carbon and get a great view of the front range. Looking to try a little bit of single track riding, you can take single-track up to Mt Carbon. However, if you want to try your hand at dirt riding without climbing, there are many little off-shoots of the main path that are small dirt sections to help you build your confidence. There is a little beach to play at, picnic areas, and much more to explore in this park. Unfortunately, you won’t find much to eat or drink in the park. Downtown Morrison is very close for a stop on your way home if your riding has made you hungry.
Ruby Hill is a small park tucked right off the South Platte River Trail. This park deserves an honorable mention. While it doesn’t have a nice paved path to ride around, it has a 1.75 mile single-track loop around the outside of the park. This can be a great place to take younger or less experienced family members who want to try riding single-track. It is not daunting like most trails along the front range that need lots of climbing or technical skills. This is the practice park for early season, a place to take younger kids as they learn mountain biking skills, or a place to try to get into cyclocross/mountain biking for the first time. At the entrance of the park is the map, which includes the correct direction to ride the loop which alters every month. The park has a pavilion with free concerts during the summer, playgrounds, and open areas for a picnic to spend time with the family as well.