Walnut Creek Trail
Eventually, the Walnut Creek Trail will extend about three miles from U.S. 36 to Simms Street along a beautiful creek valley. For now, the trail is built in two segments: 0.7 miles (1.1 km) from the Big Dry Creek Trail junction to Wadsworth Boulevard and 2.6 miles (4.2 km) from Wadsworth Parkway to Simms Street.
Charts showing the distance between major landmarks on the trail are available for download in either miles or kilometers.
The trail begins just west of U.S. 36 and east of the Spring Hill Suites Hotel at the Big Dry Creek Trail. The concrete trail follows the creek through the Church Ranch Corporate Center, passing under Church Ranch Boulevard, where a small pond and wetland hug the trail. The trail passes by a side trail to the Shops at Walnut Creek retail project and Sensory Park, with its handicapped-accessible playground equipment. This trail segment ends at Wadsworth Boulevard.
The west segment is best accessed from the city's West View Recreation Center on 108th Avenue at Oak Street. A gravel path leads north to the gravel trail. Going west at the Walnut Creek Trail junction, the gravel trail follows a ridge next to the creek that provides sweeping views of the mountains and The Heritage Golf Course. The gravel main trail meanders next to the golf course in a grassy meadow interspersed with huge cottonwood trees before ending at Simms Street.
Going east at the trail junction, the gravel trail dips down to cross the creek and follows the tree-lined creek valley to Westmoor Drive. Along the way, the trail passes through open space and near the golf course, where a huge cottonwood tree surrounded by a pond is a Great Blue heron rookery (nesting area) in the summer with up to eight nests.
Go south on the Westmoor Drive sidewalk to the south side of 108th Avenue and then on the east side of Johnson Drive to where the gravel trail resumes. From here, the trail goes near some homes and through wetland areas before making a loop through a wide open space area just west of Wadsworth Parkway.
There is continuous Westminster open space land between Wadsworth Boulevard and Wadsworth Parkway along Walnut Creek, where a future trail is planned.
Photo: Courtesy Mike Smith