Location: Arvada, Colorado, northwest part of Denver Metropolitan Area.
Two Ponds NWR is located on West 80th Avenue in Arvada between Wadsworth Avenue and Kipling Avenue. To get to Two Ponds NWR from downtown Denver, take I-25 north to Highway 36 west. Exit at Federal Boulevard and head north to West 80th Avenue. Refuge parking is located on 80th Avenue between Wadsworth Avenue and Kipling Avenue.
The Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) trail offers two distinct areas to enjoy. The trail forms two loops in the Environmental Education Area where ponds and fruit-bearing trees left behind by homesteaders attract wildlife. In the Prairie Management area the trail makes a big loop with one trail through the middle, where hikers can imagine what it must have been like for settlers crossing the vast prairies.
Hikers can view a native short-grass prairie restoration effort in progress in the Prairie Management Area, and can enjoy magnificent views of the distant rock Mountains from many points. Work is currently underway to connect the environmental Education Area trail with the Prairie Management area trail via two footbridges over the Croke and High Line Canals, which provide irrigation water for agricultural use. The bridges are being funded through a State Trails Program grant and a federal Challenge Cost-Share grant, with assistance from the Two Ponds Preservation foundation. Installation is expected to be complete by summer 2005. The addition of the bridges will also connect the Two Ponds NWR trail with the High Line Canal Trail. This trail has been a collaborative effort, receiving support from Great Outdoors Colorado, Two Ponds Preservation Foundation, City of Arvada, and construction labor provided by the Mile High Youth corps.
This trail serves an urban population and provides an opportunity to observe wild animals in their natural habitats, and provides a glimpses of what the refuge system has to offer. The trail is heavily used for environmental education programs for all kinds of organizations including many school groups. A partnership with the Colorado Wildlife Federation provides assistance with educational programs.
The Prairie Management area trail is improved with a crusher fines surface, while the Environmental Education Area trail is primarily mowed grass with a small area of crusher fines surface. while a portion of this trail is accessible, most of the slopes on the trail system are too severe for accessibility.
Note: The east side of the Refuge (Environmental Education Area) is open from May to September, Tuesdays through Saturdays, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. To protect wildlife,
this area is closed October – April. The west side of the Refuge (Prairie Management Area) is open year-round, 7 days a week, from dawn to dusk, except during Federal holidays.
Width: 36 inches.
Primary Surface: Crushed rock, compacted
Secondary Surface: None
Average Grade: 2%
Maximum Grade: 3%
Elevation Low Point: 5,400
Elevation High Point: 5,600
Elevation Gain (cumulative): Not Available
Year Designated: 2005
Supporting Webpages and DocumentsWebsite: Two Ponds NWR
Website: Two Ponds Preservation Foundation
Website: American Trails Featured NRT
For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.
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