Enjoy a walk or bike ride in the rolling foothills (and give us your feedback!)
This content has been developed for the future High Line Canal map and guidebook. Please feel free to contribute any comments or questions as we work to finalize the content of the guide.
Segment 4: Railroad and Front Range Views
Due to the trail break between miles 8.6 and Mile Marker (MM) 10.0, this is an out-and-back route that starts on the northern end of the segment near mile 12.3 and heads south toward Mile Marker (MM) 10.0. This route journeys next to the railroad tracks and gives wonderful views over Chatfield State Park and Plum Creek. Note: this segment starts at mile 12.3 and dead ends at MM 10.0. Route notes are written from 10.0 to 12.3, to be consistent with the rest of the guide.
Distance: 4 miles out-and-back
Trail surface: Dirt, a small portion of asphalt
Trail cautions: None
Trail facilities: None
Parking: High Line Canal Trailhead at Carder Court: 8236 Carder Court, Littleton 80125
Jurisdiction: Highlands Ranch Metro District
Highlights: Plum Creek Gap (8.6), Chatfield Reservoir (11.2), trains, Blakeland (12.0), Spring Gulch Pond (12.0), historic Plum Creek Elementary School (12.3)
Start: High Line Canal Trailhead at Carder Court
End: High Line Canal Trailhead at Carder Court
To start your journey, park at the trailhead parking lot along Carder Court. To access the trail, turn left and walk west along Carder Court. Make a left onto the trail to head south toward the mountains, starting at mile 12.3. When you reach MM 10.0, you’ll turn around and return back to the trailhead, guided by the route notes below.
10.0 Here the trail breaks between mile 8.6 and MM 10.0 and you cannot go through this area. The access is privately held; please respect the no trespassing signs.
Call-out: Plum Creek Crossing
The Plan for the High Line Canal addresses the Plum Creek gap as a priority area that will offer continuous travel with greater internal connectivity and better connections to adjacent trail systems and developments. For more details on the future enhancements, visit highlinecanal.org.
Wave to the giant Burlington Northern Santa Fe trains hauling mostly coal as you move along this segment.
11.2 Chatfield Reservoir, with its popular marina, lies to the northwest.
12.0 Spring Gulch flows into the Canal here. Look for waterfowl, dragonflies, bullfrogs, fox, raccoon, orioles, flycatchers, and several species of warm water fish.
Down the slope to the left is the Spring Gulch Pond rest area and fishing hole, operated by Highlands Ranch Metro District. The site features a park shelter and a floating fishing dock.
12.3 Plum Creek Elementary School, the red brick building located next to the trailhead, schooled many of the original homesteaders in the Plum Creek area.
The trail merges with a road that goes through the old community of Blakeland.
Named after Ethel Blake in the early 1920s, Blakeland eventually became the Diamond K Ranch. It specialized in poultry, cattle, sheep, hogs and cows with more than 5,000 pure-bred birds on the ranch, including the following breeds: White Leghorns, Barred Rocks, Rhode Island Reds, Musckovic ducks, geese and turkeys. Several thousand eggs hatched every season. Owned by Frank Kitsler, the ranch also dabbled in thoroughbred horse racing.