If you love hiking and biking, you've got plenty of choices to stay fit in Southern Colorado.
It is easy to stay active in Pueblo, thanks to a series of trails throughout the area that offer a wide variety of exercise options, from walking and running to hiking and biking. Some are easy to navigate, making them well suited for families with children, while others provide challenging, adventurous excursions perfect for seasoned hikers and cyclists.
Either way, there is a trail for nearly every type of recreation preference. Here are nine in and near Pueblo to explore.
1. Pueblo River Trail System
Trails are literally at the heart of Pueblo, thanks in part to this sprawling system. From downtown, walkers, runners and cyclists can follow the trail west along the Arkansas River to Lake Pueblo State Park, or north along Fountain Creek to the campus of Colorado State University Pueblo. Combined, it provides more than 30 miles of easy trail access and picturesque water views.
2. Northridge to Mace Loop
The scenery is the star along these two hiking trails in Pueblo Mountain Park, located approximately 30 miles southwest of Pueblo in Beulah. While the Northridge trail is well shaded by pine and fir trees, the terrain opens up along the Mace Trail, with panoramic views of Devil’s Canyon and Beulah Valley. During the winter, the 2.5-mile loop is ideal for snowshoeing.
3. Black Magic Loop
Just a few miles west of Lake Pueblo State Park along Highway 96, this 3.6-mile hiking and biking trail is wide and flat and family friendly. Appropriately enough, the Black Magic Loop connects to the Voodoo Trail, which includes a section that runs alongside Lake Pueblo.
4. Sunset Loop
This is one of the numerous trails found in and around the 10,000-acre Lake Pueblo State Park. Beginning from the Arkansas Point trailhead parking lot just off Highway 96, bikers and hikers can enjoy a 3.6-mile mixture of climbs, descents, technical terrain and smooth, flowing trails. Plus, as the name suggests, the sunsets are wonderful.
5. Carhart Trail
Named in honor of former U.S. Forest Service official and conservationist Arthur Carhart, who declared “there are portions of natural scenic beauty which … should be the property of all people.” This short-but-sweet 1.8-mile trail connects Pueblo Mountain Park to trails in the Wet Mountains.
The Carhart is the only trail within Pueblo Mountain Park that permits biking.
6. South Shore Tour
The 6-mile loop for hikers and bikers covers mostly flat terrain, though there are two steep – yet short – climbs and descents. Much of the trail follows the shore of Lake Pueblo, and there are plenty of twists and turns along the way to keep things interesting.
7. Limits Figure 8
This is another trail that can be easily accessed from the Arkansas Point trailhead parking lot in Lake Pueblo State Park. The 17-mile route combines the Outer Limits and Inner Limits trails. Part of the path takes you along the tops of cliffs above Lake Pueblo, providing sweeping scenic views. This is also a popular area for birdwatchers.
8. Adventure Origins Beulah Loop
As the name suggests, this trail is for the true adventurer. The entire 25-mile loop contains more than 3,600 feet of elevation changes, reaching a peak of 9,600 feet above sea level. But the payoff for enduring the steep climbs are some spectacular views. Backpackers can take the Twelve Mile highway from Beulah to the historic Davenport Campground (which dates to the 1920s), spend the night, then return to Beulah along the Squirrel Creek and Carhart trails.
9. And finally … The Whole Slopper!
For those who want to do it all (or at least most of it), there is the Whole Slopper, a 32-mile route that encompasses most of Lake Pueblo’s best trails. Experienced mountain bikers can add the challenging Buttes trail off the Inner Limits trail, or Rock Canyon trail off the South Shore trail. And as a reward for burning all those calories, find a nearby restaurant that serves Pueblo’s famous slopper, which is an open-faced cheeseburger smothered in chile sauce.
Get to Know Pueblo
Want to learn more about living and working in Pueblo, CO? Check out the latest edition of Livability Pueblo, Colorado.