Route: Denver Orbital Trail (CO)

Colorado, US

The Denver Orbital Trail is a 177 mile circuit around the Denver (CO) metro area on paved greenway paths, dirt trails, and some streets.  It highlights the outstanding trail network of this area, and crosses through countless public parks. The trail has an excellent, no nonsense website here, which breaks the route into 28 segments, and provides information on access to these segments, as well as possibilities for resupply along the way.  Most of the DOT is on the plains, so relatively flat, but Segments 1, 2 and 6 venture into the foothills to the west of Denver, and involve some more up and down.  The entire DOT is accessible year-round EXCEPT the 6-mile Black Bear Trail in Deer Creek Canyon & Hildebrand Ranch Parks (Segment 6), which is closed February 1 - July 31 for nesting raptors.  Hence, an FKT of the full DOT would need to be done outside of this window, most probably in the fall, though someone might establish a "spring" route with a work-around for the closure.  Also, some public parks are closed during nighttime hours - for example the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge is open "sunrise to sunset", Chatfield State Park is open 5AM - 10PM, Jefferson County Parks (e.g., Apex, Lookout Mountain, North Table Mountain) are open from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset.  No doubt there are other restrictions for smaller parks along the way, making a strictly legal FKT attempt rather complex.  Which would be part of the challenge!