Everyone knows about the gorgeous 71-mile trail system, but the High Line Canal is also home to a variety of Colorado wildlife — all right on your doorstep. Whether you’re planning a family picnic or hitting the gravel for a run, you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of our home state’s beautiful fauna. Read on for an overview of what you can see along the trails and in the water.
Did you know that the canal's ecosystem supports elegant mule deer? With deer comes mountain lions — hopefully a mammal you will only see from a distance while you’re out exploring! If you’re taking an evening stroll along the banks, keep an eye out for foxes and coyotes on the prowl. Snapping pictures with your partner will make for a memorable experience — plus an actual keepsake — to chat about on your way back to your Shea Homes oasis.
For the best opportunity to spot some feathered friends, head to the Star K Ranch Open Space. You can find parking for your wildlife escape at the Morrison Nature Center in Aurora. The lush grassland areas provide the ideal habitat for birds such as red-tailed hawks, meadowlarks, and kestrels. In the early morning, you might even be able to see blue jays and great horned owls! Along the canal itself, witness herons stalking their prey or ducks diving for vegetation.
If you’re a fan of the scaly and cold-blooded, have no fear — you can also view a variety of reptile and amphibian life around the High Line Canal. The waters are perfectly suited to several types of turtles, so try looking for them sunning on rocks or poking their little heads up from the chilly water on hot days. The High Line Canal hosts both painted turtles and snapping turtles. Have you already seen some of these shelled friends near your area?
Even if you aren’t already a wildlife enthusiast, your access to the High Line Canal and its plethora of animals is sure to change your mind. The Solstice community is the perfect starting place to discover the magic of the natural world around you.