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Here’s an Easy, Dog-Friendly Hiking Trail in Castle Rock, Colorado

October 15th, 2018 by Cherished Companions Animal Clinic

This labradoodle is ready for an easy dog hike in Castle Rock: the East Plum Creek Trail.

The East Plum Creek Trail

Looking for a dog-friendly hiking trail in Castle Rock, Colorado?

Check out the East Plum Creek Trail — an easy dog hike for your pup.

This nature trail meanders from the north end of Castle Rock down through the south end of town. It follows the East Plum Creek River.

I’m Ann, a dog lover and friend of Cherished Companions Veterinary Clinic. Here’s what it was like to take my dog, Molly, on this Castle Rock trail in the fall.
The East Plum Creek Trail meanders its way through Castle Rock, Colorado.

First, the basics on the East Plum Creek Trail

  • This is an on-leash dog trail.
  • It’s an easy, flat trail.
  • The trail is wide and paved.
  • At this time, the trail runs close to six miles from one end to the other. It starts up by Castle Rock Middle School and runs down to South Perry Street (southwest of the Douglas County Fairgrounds).

Of course, you can make it as short as you want!

My dog and I explored the northern half of the trail, which we enjoyed.

Based on the trail map, the southern half looks like it runs close to I-25, so we skipped that part.
The Meadows entrance to the East Plum Creek Trail.

What to expect for you and your dog

Getting on the trail

We parked at The Meadows entrance to the trail. (Scroll down for parking info.)

To get on the East Plum Creek Trail, you head to the east side of the parking lot and walk down a slight, paved ravine.

The creek runs alongside the trail.
The creek runs alongside this dog-friendly trail.

It’s sunny — there isn’t a lot of shade

While there are big trees alongside the trail that cast shadows, there isn’t a lot of shade. (Definitely take water for your dog on warmer days!)

I imagine the pavement could have been hot on my dog’s paws in the heart of summer. But on this fall day, it was perfect.

Every so often, you’ll find benches in strategic places under towering trees.

Mowed, grassy areas alongside the path

Alongside the paved trail, the grasses have been mowed.

There’s plenty of room for your dog to enjoy sniffing, trotting and doing any necessary business.

(There are periodic trashcans along the trail, so you can get rid of poop bags.)

For the most part, I kept Molly out of the grassy areas, even the areas that were mowed.

My dog is like velcro — anything and everything sticks to her. At this time of year, the grasses have dried up and are shedding their seeds. I didn’t want Molly picking up any pesky foxtail seeds.
This nature trail is wide and paved -- perfect for walking or jogging with your dog.

Lots o’ dogs enjoying nature

We met plenty of dogs on this dog hike: three yellow labs, two Chihuahaus, a Boston terrier and several mixed breed dogs.

Most of the dogs didn’t want to socialize, and that was absolutely fine.

As I mentioned above, the trail is quite wide with mown grass on each side. It was easy to give wide berth to the dogs that needed some space.

Molly met several dog lovers who asked if they could say hello.

She never passes up new friends… and the ear scratches they give!
You'll see mural honoring first responders and servicemen, women and dogs.

You can hear the hum of the highway

You can hear the hum of the highway from the East Plum Creek Trail.

We were fortunate to visit on a breezy day, so the rush of cars was muted by the wind blowing through the trees, shaking the fall leaves.

But the soft sound of highway noise is ever-present.

This is an easy trail that winds its way through natural surroundings

If you have a dog with a lot of energy, the trail runs for almost six miles one way. We passed several people jogging with their dogs.

But if your dog isn’t as active, this is still a great dog trail because it’s so flat.

The northern end of the trail that we explored follows the winding bends of the river, rather than being perfectly straight.

While there are no sweeping vistas, there’s plenty of nature to take in.

We saw a variety of birds, heard the rustling of a critter in the underbrush, and side-stepped around a small snake crossing the trail.

Molly and I were fortunate to enjoy the fall colors too — from the oranges, reds and browns in the underbrush, to the yellows in the trees.
The fall colors were vibrant along sections of this trail.The "watch out for snake" signs are no joke. We side-stepped around this snake crossing the trail.

Parking for the East Plum Creek Trail at the Meadows

From I-25 and Founder’s Parkway, drive a ½ mile west on Founder’s Parkway.

The trailhead parking lot is on the left (the south side of the road). It’s across the street from The Meadows sign (just past the bridge).
Parking lot sign for the East Plum Creek Trail in Castle Rock The trail parking lot is right across the road from The Meadows sign.
As of fall 2018, there are 13 regular parking spots and one handicap parking spot.

We had no issue getting a parking space, but at certain times of the day, it could be harder to park.

If you’re looking for an easy, dog-friendly trail in Castle Rock for walking or jogging, head to The Meadows and check this one out.

East Plum Creek Trail map

Get the official trail map here from the Town of Castle Rock.

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Cherished Companions Animal Clinic is a veterinary clinic in Castle Rock, Colorado. Specializing in the care of cats and dogs, our goal is to help you and your pet feel more comfortable, keeping your stress to a minimum.

This article is intended to introduce you to an easy dog hike in Castle Rock, Colorado. If you live in or around Castle Rock and have health questions about your dog, we welcome your call.

© 2018, Cherished Companions Animal Clinic

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