Hall Ranch west of Lyons

Along with eating too much on Thanksgiving comes doing exercise. During the summer I am doing a farmer’s market most weekends so I haven’t gotten out for hikes as much as I’d like to. Thankfully this weekend provided us with warm and sunny fall weather which allowed for some hiking. A lot of people had the same idea about getting out after Thanksgiving to enjoy the nice weather and get some exercise.
Since the September floods the roads west of us that go into the mountains have been closed and just recently opened with temporary fixes. Friday we drove through Lyons to Hall Ranch Park. Lyons is still cleaning up debris from the flood and doing repairs, so the roads are full of dump trucks and cones.  Hall Ranch is a great hike that goes through hilly grasslands and up into pine and juniper forest. The views are wide open and include the cliffs that rise above the St. Vrain River. It’s a mixed use trail so there were hikers, bikers and horses. The cool fall weather doesn’t tend to carry aromas as much as the warm breezes of summer, but the aromatic grasses and pines were detectable.

View of Longs and Meeker Peaks from Rabbit Mountain

Sunlight on the grasses at Rabbit Mountain
On Saturday, I did a limited amount of work and of course went out shopping for small business Saturday. But that still left time for another hike.  This time it was to Rabbit Mountain, east of Lyons so very close to us. We are lucky to have this open space so close and often go there. I like having a hike I can do regularly and observe the changes during the seasons. I typically hike Overlook Trail, but this time we took Eagle Wind Trail. This again goes mostly through hilly grasslands and then Ponderosa pines which give the area a pleasant aroma. The trail is mostly rocky so I have to pay close attention to where I place my feet, but several places were nice and sandy. Most of the trail allows very panoramic views of the Mountains on one side and the great plains on the other side.
For me getting out for a hike is a great way to relax and focus on something other than work. I hope to enjoy a few more hikes over the winter, but if it snows I’ll be sure to enjoy cross country skiing.