An easy but incredibly scenic gravel path through Canon City and into the Royal Gorge.

Statistics

1 - 2

hrs

283

m

283

m

6

max┬░

Difficulty

FATMAP difficulty grade

Easy

Description

The Arkansas Riverwalk is a wide gravel trail running along the banks of the Arkansas River.

You can access the Riverwalk from several different trailheads, including from close to downtown Canon City, but this out-and-back route beginning from the Mackenzie Ave trailhead is the most efficient way to cover the entire trail. The trail consists of well-graded gravel that is perfect for gravel bikes, but it can also be used for an easy mountain bike ride.

It's also very popular with dog walkers, hikers, and trail runners. The gravel trail follows the banks of the river for several miles, rolling up and down some small hills as it winds through beautiful stands of cottonwood trees.

The trail crosses the river in a couple of places via pedestrian bridges and connects through several scenic parks in Canon City.

This section of trail is delightful and peaceful, with many great spots to sit and enjoy the beauty of this incredible river valley. As the trail reaches the edge of town, it crosses back over the river, under the railroad, and then winds uphill to reach Tunnel Drive.

From Tunnel Drive, the gravel trail climbs steeply up into the hills and travels into the Royal Gorge for a couple of miles, passing through two old railroad tunnels.

This section of trail is dramatically different from the stretch along the river, as you quickly depart the cottonwoods and pedal into the arid desert canyon.

If anything, the views only get more spectacular as you wind your way into the Royal Gorge. Unfortunately, the Royal Gorge portion is only two miles long, and it dead ends at a closed gate and a private property sign.

At the gate, turn around and retrace your tire tracks all the way back downriver to where you began your ride. If you need a snack or a drink, you can stop at the establishments near Veterans Park or take a quick dogleg into downtown to check out any of the restaurants there. While this ride on the Riverwalk is by no means difficult, this beautiful trail is an absolute gem and is well worth checking out when you visit Canon City.