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Exploring Big Dry Creek Trail and City Ditch

Parks and trails of Englewood

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Explorers, rejoice — you may be familiar with the Big Dry Creek Trail that cuts along the south edge of Englewood, but there's much more to it than the concrete path.

At its north junction with the Mary Carter Greenway Trail — where Big Dry Creek hits the South Platte River — there's a great area of the water for kayaking or canoeing.

If you take the trail east toward West Chenango Avenue, though, you'll run into a piece of Englewood history: the City Ditch, a human-made waterway that transports water from the Platte northward by gravity. The ditch's history dates to the 1860s, and it was one of the first large-scale efforts to bring water to what was at the time a dry and brown Denver.

The ditch dips between running over and underground, originating at Chatfield Lake, running through Littleton and Englewood, and ending in Denver's City Park. In Englewood, you can catch where the ditch crosses the Big Dry Creek Trail north of the Belleview Children's Farm in a flume that runs the water though a structure several feet off the ground. From there, it snakes northwest through neighborhoods — see if you can track it!

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