As part of a new series on this site, I’ll be posting reviews/reports of hikes around Colorado that are at least minimally stroller friendly. There are no good resources for these sort of hikes online. Hopefully someone else in my situation will somehow stumble upon this site. A lot of trails have a good bit of elevation gain, and typically have some sort of “natural stairs” or are very narrow and difficult to maneuver a stroller through. There are some resources for wheelchair friendly trails in the area, however these are usually low elevation gain paved trails. The trails I’m looking for are a superset of these.
Recently I decided on visiting Roxborough State Park just outside of Littleton, CO. The Fountain Valley Trail is located adjacent to the visitor center and seemed to be the most favorable place to go for a hike in the park. The trail is a nice loop that takes you through the north side of the park. It is a 2.3 mile hike that takes 1.5 to 2 hours and is rated Easy to Moderate. There is a lot of wildlife in the park, with a large concentration of deer, rattlesnakes, and even mountain lions. I will only visit the park in winter to avoid coming in contact with an angry rattlesnake. On this hike, I only really saw some birds, but there were all kinds of strange noises in the brush along the trail side.
From the trailhead, there is a short walk to a fork in the trail, this is the beginning and end of the loop. I would strongly suggest taking the right side of the fork. Not being familiar with the trail, I took the left. On the day we went for the hike, the conditions were pretty good. The temperature was increasing steadily to almost 60 degrees, but there were still some snow/ice in parts. This was a bit of a challenge to get through, but Tommy went to sleep right at the start of the loop and didn’t seem to mind at all. This side of the loop had the best views.
At roughly the midpoint of the trail, there are some buildings that were constructed in the early 1900s by Henry S. Persse. It looked like the stone house was open, but I decided to just look in from the outside. Seems like a good place for danger noodles to stay warm in the winter.
On the way back, which should have been the way forward, there was a steep incline to walk up while pushing the stroller. This was the only real strenuous part of the hike.
It’s hard to tell from the picture, but this was a bit of a challenge pushing Tommy and all his support equipment. The folks in this picture got a pretty good laugh at watching me struggle to push a sleeping baby up a hill. It was clear that this was my first time on the trail. This side of the trail didn’t feature any red rocks, but did have some secondary trails to view points. These were impassible with the stroller, so I had to skip them.
After the climb, there was a slight decent back to the end of the loop, which really ought to have been the start. This is where Tommy woke up and took in some of the scenery before heading back to the parking lot.