If you’ve hiked Matthews/Winters Park, hopefully you’ve turned off and looked at the small cemetery on the Village Walk Trail. Above the cemetery, you might have noticed an old road or trail. We decided to go exploring.
The trail/road is quite easy to follow, even in winter. In summer, it may be too overgrown, but in winter, it was easy to see.
The road runs along the foothills and appears to be there for pipeline maintenance crews. As we walked, we saw signs warning about a natural gas pipeline. In a couple spots, we could see through the foothills and spotted Interstate 70 to our north.
The road has a couple drops, but it’s mainly up with some very steep sections. You know how steep I-70 gets after C-470, well you’re now climbing that same grade. At one point, we lost the maintenance road, but continued following the pipeline markers.
About 1.3 miles from the parking lot, the road ended at a closed fence with a sign that said, “Open Space Boundary, Private Property beyond this sign.” Well that seemed like a good turnaround spot. And when we turned around, wow. There was quite a view on the way down.
When you get back to the cemetery, it’s decision time, turn around and head back to the parking lot for a hike of about 2.6 miles or continue on the main trail and see more of Matthews/Winters Park.
Note: This hike isn’t for everyone. This is not a trail and it is not maintained or patrolled. This is only for people who like to explore, have been off-trail and have been to Matthews/Winters before and know their way around the park.
Details: The hike to the cemetery, then up the “Pipeline Trail” was about 2.6 miles roundtrip. I didn’t get the elevation, but it was quite steep at times.
For directions, park map and more, visit the Matthews Winters Park website.