Tucked east of Capitol Hill in the heart of downtown Denver, Cheesman Park features an extensive lush green space with trees sprawling across. The park lies in the Cheesman Park neighborhood, one of the oldest residential areas of Mile High City.
A previous cemetery, the park features some top Denver walking trails, including the fabled Cheesman Park Loop. This loop traverses the area past several significant landmarks, such as the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
Besides the fantastic scenery and vast picnic space, the area also boasts a superb line of dining options around it. Tourists and locals flock to this park to enjoy a respite from the city's bustle while exploring the culinary bits served in the neighborhood's restaurants.
Cheesman Park: A Brief History
Originally, the Mount Prospect Cemetery was built in 1857, and Cheesman Park expanded east to Denver Botanic Gardens and Congress Park. Commissioned by Denver's founder General William Larimer, the park was previously the land of the Arapaho Indians.
The initial plan was to bury corpses as per social class, with the furthest end of the park designated for criminals and beggars. However, the wealthy rarely used the cemetery. As time passed, the cemetery began filling up with bodies of outlaws, paupers, and vagrants, garnering different nicknames such as "Boot Hill."
Eventually, in 1872 the US government reclaimed the property offering it to the city for $200. Over time the cemetery got dilapidated as it was abandoned by the local authorities, which angered the locals.
Plans for reestablishing the area into a park began in the late 1800s, with its construction completed in 1907. It was named Cheesman Park in honor of one of Denver's pioneers, Mr. Walter Cheesman, after his widow and daughter donated a marble pavilion. The neoclassical structure still lies in the area offering visitors incredible vistas of the neighborhood.
The park has undergone significant improvements with pavements and several structures incorporated with time. Its exquisite picnic grounds and the winding outer trail are several amenities that attract the public to the area. Additionally, it's free and accessible by public transport at different stops along Capitol Hill and Cheesman Park neighborhoods.
The Cheesman Park Loop & How Long It Is
The tranquility, various pavements, and great picnic sites are not the only reasons for visiting Cheesman Park. The area also boasts one of the metropolis' best trails, the Cheesman Park Loop. This 1.4-mile outer dirt-covered trail is popular with joggers and runners.
The slightly challenging course offers comfort to the user through the views that dart along the way. Additionally, it's dog-friendly, allowing visitors to stroll, jog, or run around the park with their dogs on a leash.
Cyclists are prohibited from using the trail, making it the perfect running path for runners. The path is further bombarded by notable landmarks lying adjacent to the park. One of the places tourists should visit in Colorado that are close to the park is the Colorado History Center.
The loop is open all year round, serving different track conditions per season. It's also free and accessible to everyone except cyclists. In addition, the lawn in front of the loop poses ideal grounds for relaxing or resting.
The inner loop consists of well-paved paths that connect to the park. This loop is essential in exploring the area's interior, including the unique pavilion in the center.
Other Places To Visit And See Near Cheesman Park
One of the most prominent Denver sites close to Cheesman Park is the Denver Botanic Gardens. Among the top five botanic gardens in the nation, the conservatory is separated from the park only by a fence. It offers year-round education to the locals and tourists who flock to the area upon visiting the adjacent parks.
The park also features a good playground free from interruptions. The lack of interruptions is due to the area lacking ponds and geese, which is ideal for families, making it the perfect place for picnics. Other amenities in the store for visitors include swings, slides, and portable toilets.
Another significant structure of the park is the Cheesman Park Pavilion. The marble neoclassical piece of architecture is ingeniously set up in the heart of the park, offering an ideal viewing point of the magnificent surrounding. It also serves as a perfect zone for relaxing while passing the time.
Due to its history, the park banks on the haunting tales dangling from its past by offering night tours. These trips involve haunted walks across the park where tourists learn the disturbing history of the area. These night tours take one hour to one and a half hours.
There's a lot to do if planning to spend the weekend in Denver. For instance, the park features several annual events, including the Cheesman Park Art Festival. There are also essential landmarks for tourists to explore near the park, including Denver's fabled Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Additionally, several exquisite dining spots like the Bourbon Grill are around the park.
Cheesman Park is open year-round. However, there are several things tourists need to observe when visiting the area, including the following.
- Travelers should avoid littering the park.
- Carry water and the necessary itinerary for their runs
- For joggers and runners, the ideal trail to use is the outer loop
Denver is home to a rich history that traverses from the gilded age to the industrialization era. This deep history is evident in its patterned neighborhoods and different landmarks. One of these unique landmarks worth the visit for tourists while in the city is Cheesman Park.