The Glendale Farm Trail is one great hike just outside of Denver! It offers a 1.6 mile loop trail that crosses rolling hills covered in tall wavy grass, scrub oak, grazing cows, and rock croppings.
You will amble along the trail just enjoying the scenery around you. Though the interstate is not far off in the distance, once you hit the trail the sound of the traffic becomes a light din in the distance.
Your views are panoramic and include the mountains from Pikes Peak all the way up to Longs Peak and Rocky Mountain National Park and the rolling grasslands towards Parker.
A hint of past endeavors is evident at the trailhead. There are several apples trees that still drop fruit every autumn. The history of this area is very interesting.
“Although the farm buildings no longer stand, remnants of a barnyard and orchard remind us of the dedicated spirit of the early pioneers who came to farm this challenging land. Austrian immigrant Joseph Kroll settled here in 1885 after working the coal mines in Leadville. To develop his ranch he would return each winter to the mines, leaving his wife, Maria, and his children on the ranch. Mrs. Kroll endured this lonely hardship each season, though she was terribly afraid of the bobcats and prairie rattlesnakes living in the area. In 1918 the Krolls sold the ranch and moved to Castle Rock. Later, son Jake Kroll opened ‘Krolls Grocery’ across from the old courthouse” (Division of Open Space and Natural Resources).
This trail is well traveled and is accessible year-round. You can hike it almost any time of year depending on the snowfall. One caution: recently melted snow causes a lot of mud on the trail.
Pack a lunch and blanket to sit on top of one of the rolling hills to eat.
Port-o-potty available at parking lot.