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Cherry Creek State Park is an oasis of water and nature near downtown Denver.
The lake, hiking trails, campground and abundance of other activities here are popular among locals and visitors alike.
The lake is a reservoir along Cherry Creek, but natural wetlands line the watercourse.
Wetland Loop follows dirt paths and boardwalks through a mosaic of forest, fields, and marsh. This trail is popular, but you can expect a more serene experience here than in other parts of the park.
It’s a bit removed from the noise of cars on the road and boats on the lake.
In the park’s relatively secluded interior, among prime wetland habitat, you will feel closer to nature than most places in the metro area will allow.
Look for songbirds, waterfowl, small mammals, reptiles, and amphibians among the bountiful grasses and ponds.
The water can dry up at certain times of year, but vegetation remains lush and wildlife plentiful. Wetland Loop can be reached on connector trails from many places in the park.
Mapped here is the access from Cottonwood Creek parking area, which has a toilet.
Parking is limited, however, so you can alternatively start from Prairie Loop or Shop Creek parking areas.
All of these trailheads access multiple other trails as well, so you can easily combine them into a longer outing. State park entry fee is required to visit Wetland Loop and other destinations at Cherry Creek.
Note that dogs are not allowed on Wetland Loop, in order to minimize disturbance to wildlife, but they are allowed on some other trails and in a designated off-leash dog area. Sources: https://cpw.state.co.us/placestogo/parks/CherryCreek/Pages/Trails.aspx https://cpw.state.co.us/placestogo/parks/CherryCreek/Documents/CherryCreekTrailsMap.pdf