Blue Heron

Round Trip Distance: 5.6 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 4515 - 4586 feet
Cellphone: 3-5 bars
Time: 1 hr. 30 mins.
Trailhead: Blue Heron
Fee: none
Attractions: Paved trail

The Blue Heron Section of the Colorado River Trail stretches from the Redlands Parkway, on one end, along the Colorado River to Highway 340 on the other end. At Highway 340 the trail passes under the road and continues on the Riverside Section of the Colorado River Trail. The paved trail is accessible to wheelchairs and there is even a handicap accessible fishing pier across from the Junior Service League Park off River Road.

There is only enough parking for a half dozen vehicles or so at the Junior Service League Park. More parking can be found to the west at the boat launch area or at another trailhead just east of Bananas Fun Park.

For this hike I took the trail heading eastward to Highway 340 and back. The trail was rerouted from the river dike around a small pond in recent years. There aren't any mountain lion signs in this area but I have heard eyewitness accounts of a pair of them in the vicinity.

There are several places along the river where you can find a bench to relax on and take in the surroundings.

This is the Blue Heron trailhead which is about 1.6 miles from the Junior Service League Park where this hike began.

There are a few wooded sections where the trail is bordered by cottonwoods, Russian Olives and tamarisks. A lot of aspersion is cast on the tamarisk but they can be very pretty at certain times of the year.

The last stretch of trail borders the city garages and recycling center. (Hint, hint.) This is where I turned around and headed back.

There are bald eagles that take up residence in the winter months. If you walk without pausing you can sometimes pass right under them without them flying away. This is an excellent area to get very close to our national emblem.

There were some very skiddish Blue Heron in the waterways along the trail. They would squawk and take flight as soon as I would stop to take a picture.

The large body of water that the trail bends around is Blue Heron Lake. There weren't any Blue Heron at the lake or many ducks either.

The shallow shores of the river seem to attract frequent visits from the Blue Heron.

The opportunities for recreation and exercise can be found in abundance around Grand Junction. The area is a prime location for outdoor enthusiasts of all venues to live and play. Kudos to the City of Grand Junction and the others that have provided us with another quality trail and hopefully someday it will stretch, unbroken, all the way from Palisade to Loma. The Blue Heron Section is well worth the visit. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.