Contemplation Trail . . . listen to that. Contemplation Trail. Doesn’t that sound like the most zen hike ever? Well, it is! The name is what drew me to the area initially. We were months into the pandemic with no childcare and no family nearby.
I desperately needed some contemplation (i.e., quiet time) amongst the trees.
As part of the immense Rio Grande Bosque, I learned about the hike on the All Trails app. (Do you have it? The free version is all you need, and it’s so useful for finding new adventures wherever you travel.) It’s one trail among many in the Coors Bosque Trails area and is great to do alone but also works as a gentle two-mile hike with kids.
To get to the Contemplation trailhead, you cross a little bridge that my young kiddos love. I hold tight to my two year old’s hand and try to look calm. From the bridge, walk straight ahead to the middle path that parallels the river and head into the trees. (If using the All Trails app, you can follow your progress and see if you’ve veered off the trail.)
The first half of the loop runs along the water. Keep your eyes open for a jog to the left to see the most storybook-looking tree swing ever. It’s wide enough for two, and it’s a highlight of the hike for us all. Even solo, I always stop here because, I mean, who doesn’t like swinging?
The back half of the loop takes you through a tunnel of cottonwoods.
It looks like something out of a rom-com and feels like a hug from nature.
This section is my favorite when I’m by myself. I meander slowly back, breathing deep. There used to be magical-looking lean-tos scattered throughout this area, but it seems park services have cleared them recently. Keep an eye out to see if they return!
With kids in tow, Contemplation Trail has a wonderful mix of things to see and climb (logs set up as stools along the path and fallen trees along the edges). If you do the riverside first, the trees help cool everybody down for the second half.
Alone, it’s a perfect, meditative escape.
And after the past year, I think we all could use more of those. I can’t wait to hear what you think!
Got any suggestions for peaceful hikes with a touch of magic in them? I wanna hear all about them in the comments! And for more kid-friendly hikes, check out 3 Toddler-Friendly Trails the Whole Family Will Love.
Originally published June 2021.
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