Get off the beaten path in Denver suburbs to discover unique parks

Metro area boasts eclectic places to have fun, explore

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In a summer where large gatherings of family, neighbors and friends are still barred, and with many wanting to avoid crowds out of caution, metro Denver residents have reconnected with taking an old-fashioned walk outdoors.

It’s a ripe time to check out the parks in your area that you may have overlooked — or even to find a new park a few miles away.

There’s more to parks in the Denver area than Cherry Creek State Park, Standley Lake Regional Park, Washington Park and the other big names, and there’s lots to find beyond the old standby down your street.

Here’s a look at some unique and standout parks in the north, south and west metro suburbs.

Arvada

Britton Park in east Arvada offers a farm-themed playground with a bluegrass and native grass design. It’s a great place to see bees and butterflies, and kids there can pretend to drive a large tractor, says Ben Irwin, a spokesman for the city. The park sits near North Sheridan Boulevard at 5574 W. 69th Ave.

In north Arvada, Volunteer Firefighters Park is a firefighter-themed park commemorating the contributions of the city’s volunteer firefighters, including a monument to them. It’s located near North Wadsworth Boulevard at 9190 W. 84th Ave.

Westminster

Westminster Center Park is also known to locals as the “Peter Pan Park.” The park takes inspiration from landmarks of London, referencing Big Ben in the play structure and the River Thames in the water play features, along with Peter Pan’s Neverland in the pirate cove, according to the city’s website. The water play area is closed until further notice to encourage social distancing. The park is found in central Westminster near North Sheridan Boulevard at 4801 W. 92nd Ave.

Sensory Park offers a playground that is Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant and therapy-focused yet fun for all kids, says Angela Simental, a Westminster parks spokeswoman.

It’s easy to access through the local trail system. Sensory Park is the city’s first completely accessible play area built in cooperation with Children’s Hospital Colorado, Simental says. It sits in the west part of the city near North Wadsworth Boulevard at 7577 W. 103rd Ave.

Lakewood

Lasley Park in east Lakewood features a games court with ping pong, cornhole and chess, outdoor fitness equipment, sand volleyball, basketball, tennis courts and a “modern playground,” says Stacie Oulton, a spokeswoman for the city. The park’s “storybook design theme” features mosaic artwork by local artist Annette Coleman and quotes selected by children at the nearby elementary school, Oulton says. That park sits at 6677 W. Florida Ave. near South Wadsworth Boulevard.

One of Lakewood’s lesser-known parks is Sutherland Shire Park, named after Lakewood’s Australian Sister City, Oulton says. The playground features a climbing wall, slides and Australian-themed designs. A path leads to Main Reservoir, where shoreline fishing is popular, Oulton says. The park is located in central Lakewood near South Kipling Street at 10600 W. Kentucky Drive.

Littleton

Creekside Experience Park, a nearly 6-acre open space park, features a tree house-style overlook, boulder scramble, sand play area, and a log, stump and boulder trail. It’s located on the north edge of Littleton near Englewood, not far from West Belleview Avenue, at 4829 S. Santa Fe Drive.

War Memorial Rose Garden in Littleton was created in 1946 when Littleton citizens donated money to acquire land for a park that would honor veterans of World War I and World War II, according to Becky Grubb, a spokeswoman for South Suburban Parks and Recreation. More than 1,300 roses bloom at this park, which also features a gazebo and Orian Sterne Fountain, Grubb says. It sits near West Littleton Boulevard at 5804 S. Bemis St.

Writer’s Vista Park sits along on the High Line Canal and offers “amazing mountain views,” Grubb says. Along with a recently renovated playground and restrooms, the park includes playgrounds for kids of all ages and a large, shaded picnic pavilion. In south Littleton not far from South Santa Fe Drive, the park is located at 1900 W. Mineral Ave.

Castle Rock

Philip S. Miller Park offers a particularly wide range of activities, including at the Miller Activity Complex. In all, the park boasts a pool, indoor playground, trampolines, indoor turf fields, splash pad, functional fitness area and golf simulator. Outdoors, the park has an athletic field, “adventure playground,” outdoor fitness area, amphitheater, events building, a pond, 7 miles of unpaved trails, a 1-mile paved trail loop, zip lines and an “epic adventure tower,” says Jeff Smullen, Castle Rock’s assistant director of parks and recreation. The park sits in the central part of town, not far from Interstate 25, at 1375 W. Plum Creek Parkway.

One of the newest trails in Castle Rock’s system is the Legacy Trail at Gateway Mesa Open Space. It runs through large stands of mature Gambel oak, ponderosa pine and Douglas fir forest while also traversing interesting rock formations along the edge of the mesa, Smullen says.

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