Central Park Bridge. Stapleton Bike Access to Northfield. How and When?
It is that time of year. One of the strengths of this community is it's amazing outdoor recreational and exercise capabililties. With over 25 miles of bike and jogging paths within Stapleton springtime gets everybody out and about and becomes a true transportation source for residents. Construction is always on going as Stapleton develops and it's often hard to know how those construction issues can affect the Stapleton bike system and what you can and can't access.
This winter the overpass and Central Park Boulevard exit opened from 40th to Northfield, it is a great bridge with great bike and pedestrian access. This happened because the community worked with various entities to make this happen. Last week the connection from 40th to 35th opened to connect the North part of Stapleton to the South. It is a partial bridge that is still being worked on but is open for traffic. When driving it the other day, the continued construction had me wondering what kind of bike access and detours it would take to work around it.
So today as the weather broke, I decided to get my bike out and check it out. I wanted to let everyone know so that family outings or bike routes can be accommodated to still enjoy biking in and around Stapleton safely.
Here is the latest. With all of the hype of the bridge opening up Stapleton South to Northfield. I think a lot of people would or have tried to go to CPB and 37th where the bridge begins and try to get across that way. From there the Central Park bridge is not open for pedestrians or biking. And you have paths that are being formed but aren't complete like the one you see here. It is definitely in the plans but seems to be a ways off. Don't fret though, you can still go a couple of different ways to get to the Northside. This will depend on your bike, the biker and your ability and patience.
From 37th and CPB go East on 37th to Xanthia, this will round out to the North as a dead end for cars but has bike access to Smith Road. This is where you will cross Sand Creek to the East and then turn around under the railroad tracks. This area is concrete but dated and is a little slick with loose gravel. You will then approach a great new connection that is new. The Sand Creek Greenway access gives you a couple of different options.
To the right it is a mostly finished and newly concreted path that gets you to the Central Park Boulevard overpass where the nice bike path is created but still a bit under construction. This way is definitely best for road bikes and with a little patience can work around some construction. It might make you jump a curb or switch sides of the road. This also ends you up on some busier roads and on the North side is pretty desolate and separated from Northfield. So it doesn't end up a great solution for younger kids. This route is shorter, about 1.75 miles from 37th to the Harkens Movie Theatre.
The other option is to go left at the Sand Creek Greenway connection. This will be the same access as it has been with a packed gravel path and access that goes under Interstate 270 and 70. This is great with riders, including kids that have dirt bikes, hybrids or mountain bikes. It's also still a better jogging option because it is much more scenic along the creek and no traffic to deal with. That path ends up on the Quebec bridge which is also pedestrian and bike friendly. A couple of big lights to cross but still safe especially with the little ones. Once on the North side this is definitely a better option because you are right at the mall on a designated bike path that is built around some drainage ponds and is a nice park like field behind Target. This route is longer, about 2.5 miles to the theatre.
There are other ways of accessing the Sand Creek Greenway from Stapleton to get you to the point in which our little detour took us from the construction. Havana next to the Bluff Lake Nature Preserve. From the Eastbridge neighborhood, go to the far NorthEast part of at Havana and 35th go North and cross the bridge over the creek then you have a nice bike along the path, by the Urban Farm and past the confluence of Westerly Creek and Sand Creek. From Central Park North the bridge is now open over the creek. Go along Beeler along the West side of Westerly Creek to the North until you see the bridge. Both of these methods are on packed gravel paths so for road bikes it's very tough.
I will update through the summer as there is constant changing going on and you don't want to get trapped on your family outing to go see a movie.
As always if you need help getting a piece of the Stapleton lifestyle, give the StapletonHomeTeam a call.