With the big kids back in school, now’s the perfect time to embrace shorter weekday hiking routes with your toddlers or preschoolers. A storybook trail—or StoryWalk—is an outdoor path featuring a children’s book posted in segments at a kid friendly height. These adorable trails hit on two important aspects of healthy living at once: early literacy and physical fitness.
This 0.75-mile paved, flat, and accessible route takes families on an oval loop around Side Creek Park, just south of Buckley Air Force Base. Parallel parking is available on the southeast side of the park, where you’ll find a trailhead leading to the story. For October, librarians selected a seasonal story, Just a Minute: A Trickster Tale and Counting Book by Yuyi Morales. Bring sunscreen and hats; the walkway is fully exposed, but you’ll get some relief from the sun at the end when you reach a simple playground with slides, swings, and picnic tables. Don’t miss the beautiful bird sculptures displayed on the park’s northeast side.
Created by the Broomfield Public Library, Broomfield Parks, Recreation and Senior Services, and the Senior Center Woodshop, this paved storybook trail puts families on a 0.3-mile loop around the softball fields at Bronco Park. The current title is How to Find a Fox by Nilah Magruder, in which a child shows creativity and determination to track down a sneaky fox. Begin at the trailhead off Westlake Drive, where there’s ample street parking. Part of the way through the story, your kids will notice the Broncos-themed playground. Restrooms are available nearby, along with benches for snacking and resting.
Tucked inside McCabe Meadows Park, and coordinated by local Girl Scout, Avery Hendrick, Parker’s Story Walk consists of 16 signs displaying pages from We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen. Each stop offers interactive opportunities for readers or questions to ponder about the story, which develops reading comprehension. Listen to the sound of flowing water from nearby Cherry Creek on this 0.3-mile out-and-back crushed gravel path. Park near the pavilion, in the large lot servicing McCabe Meadows Park, and look for the trailhead immediately past the parking area. If you want a longer hike, it’s possible to access the Cherry Creek Trail via a footbridge. Restrooms are available near the trailhead.
For a suburban StoryWalk experience, visit Aspen Grove, the outdoor shopping center south of downtown Littleton. Start at Rice Bistro & Sushi and follow the sidewalk as it curves north around Aspen Grove’s large parking lot. Stops are laid out over a 0.2-mile trail with picture book pages from Alan’s Big, Scary Teeth by Jarvis, posted inside store windows for October. Not all stores participate in the walk, so it can feel a bit like a treasure hunt, ending just past the Tattered Cover Book Store. Each month, children can enter a drawing to win prizes from local vendors using a QR code.