Platte River Valley Professional Guide
Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook
"Denver’s Platte River Valley is exploding with development, energy, and an appreciation for the enduring history in this part of the city. Confluence Park is the birthplace of the Mile High City. In 1858, prospectors discovered a bit of gold along the South Platte River, just above the confluence with Cherry Creek, and it wasn’t long after that the city of Denver was officially founded. Although the gold find turned out to be a bust, the town grew as a supply post and place for miners to escape from the harsh mountain winters where more substantial gold and silver mines were worked. The proximity to water in this arid land drew prospectors, Native Americans, and the earliest developers: John Brisben Walker opened the city’s first amusement park, complete with medieval castle and riverboats, in 1887 on what is now Commons Park. Today there are kayakers, sunbathers, and beachgoers frolicking in the waters of the confluence during summer’s hottest days.
As cyclists, joggers, pedestrians, and dog walkers navigate the paths alongside the creek and river, the grassy lawns of Commons Park are filled with people in fitness classes, playing a casual game of Frisbee or football, flying kites, and more in summer or sledding and skiing in the winter. Others are rolling along on skateboards or inline skates and headed for the ramps and bowls of the Denver Skatepark north of Commons Park."