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Denver Colorado Washington Park.

Washington Park. Denver Colorado.

Washington Park in Denver, COWith 165 acres of manicured parkland filled with everything from a state-of-the-art fitness center to biking paths to meticulously tended flower gardens, it is no wonder Washington Park is an outdoor Denver favorite. Located at South Downing Street and East Louisiana Avenue, Washington Park is not only the City’s largest park it is also considered its most beautiful.

Washington Park Flower Gardens.

Washington Park Flower BedsThere are 54 distinct flower beds in Washington Park, planted with vibrant displays of perennial color which meander through the park, leading the visitor on a multi-colored stroll throughout the grounds. Each year the park staff plant over 25,000 annual blooms as well, beginning just after Decoration Day (Memorial Day) and pulling from the nearly 170,000 flowers grown in the City Park greenhouses. The entire display is redesigned and replaced each year, making Washington Park a perennial destination for thousands of visitors hoping to be inspired by the latest flowery arrangement.

Flowers in Washington ParkPerhaps the most visited garden in the park is the Martha Washington garden. An exact replica of the first First Lady’s garden at Mt. Vernon, Mrs. Washington’s garden was constructed in 1926 and utilizes the site to full advantage, making use of a low retaining wall edging the garden to represent the stone walls of her original greenhouses. There is even a hedge of lodense privet, shaped into the same informal display created by George Washington himself.

In view of Mrs. Washington’s garden is an elm tree grafted from the old Washington Elm in Massachusetts, the spot where then-General Washington assumed command of the Continental Army in 1775. This tree can’t be missed as it is surrounded by a decorative fence and inscription, highlighting the tree’s mighty origins.

Recreation Center at Washington Park.

Washington Park in Denver ColoradoWashington Park’s Recreation Center remains one of Denver’s busiest, and with all its amenities, it is easy to see why. Located at 701 Franklin Street on the northeast side of the park, the Recreation Center is open to residents and non-residents alike. An indoor pool with lockers and showers is open year round, as are the weight room and gym. There is also a kitchen and meeting rooms available, making the Recreation Center at Washington Park the perfect location for that club or service group meeting. For information on programs and fees, contact 303-698-4962

Biking, Roller Blading, Fishing & Recreation.

Washington Park is designed to be used. The 2.6 mile jogging path is lined with decomposed granite, easier on the feet than pavement or gravel, and the biking trails criss-cross through the park as well, making the ride as scenic as it is athletic. A dedicated roller blade area can also be found ensuring fun for everyone, whether on two, four or eight wheels.

There are multiple soccer fields and two playground areas. One of these areas is handicap accessible. Tennis lovers will enjoy 10 courts, located on both sides of Grasmere Lake on the south end of the park. Traditionalists will appreciate the ½ basketball court, lawn bowling lanes and horseshoe pit.

Smith Lake At Washington ParkDo you enjoy a day at the lake with your pole and a good book? Smith Lake, located in the northern part of the park, has 19 acres of surface area with a maximum depth of 12 feet. Anglers will find bluegill, crappie, large mouthed bass, channel catfish and carp in abundance, especially following the spring stocking season. Grasmere Lake is also 19 acres with a maximum depth of 10 feet. There are piers at both fishing holes and handicapped access to the pier at Smith Lake is available. There are hard surfaced paths and restrooms at both lakes as well. For the under-16 crowd, fishing is available at the 1 acre Lily Pond with a maximum depth of 8 feet.

Smith Lake allows canoeing, kayaking and sailing (boats must be less than 20 feet in length) from dawn to dusk. The lakes are open to anglers from 5 AM to 11 PM.

Special Events at Washington Park.

Not just for the sports enthusiast, Washington Park is an exceptionally beautiful venue for that special reception, birthday party or family get-together. There are picnic areas and group meeting sites throughout the park that can be reserved for private use. Looking for that truly special location for your next anniversary party? The Boathouse Pavilion at Smith Lake is a vintage structure that has been completely restored to accommodate up to 150 guests lakeside. Reservations for the boathouse or picnic shelters can be made by contacting the Parks Permitting Office at 303-964-2522.

Washington Park is one of Denver’s premier outdoor destinations. For detailed information about special programs, concerts in the park and hours of operation, contact the City of Denver Parks and Recreation Department, South District Headquarters at 303-698-4930.

Helpful Links of Interest.

Denver Parks - Washington Park

Washington Park Photos


Photo Credits:
All photos compliments of Joe Wolf.
Creative Commons Attribution
See Joe's Washington Park Flickr Gallery

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