The trail has historic signs, is mostly flat and can be as short as you want it or a 14-mile loop if you're looking for a longer distance.
The Mayoffer-Singletree Trail starts in a neighborhood less than a mile from U.S 36 (directions below). The parking area only has room for three cars by the port-a-potty, so most people find a parking spot on the road.
Start your hike at the trail near the corner of 3rd Avenue and Thomas Street. You'll notice the street sign actually says 3rd Avenue and Depot Street -- that's because the old Superior train depot once sat here. The depot is gone, but imagine this -- the depot was large enough to have a waiting room, freight office and passenger platform. A sign on the corner explains the story of the depot.
After you read the sign, head for the trail. It's just west, behind the fence. The sign says Rock Creek - Coal Creek Trail system because that's the Coal Creek Trail coming in from the east. Just inside the fence is a sign marking the Singletree Trail.
As you walk here, look around. This flat trail is the old railroad bed for the Colorado and Southern. It was an important transportation link between Denver, Boulder and Eldorado Springs. Notice the remnants of any buildings to the left of the trail, behind the fence? That's what's left of the old Industrial Mine. It employed 200 men and produced about four million tons of coal between 1895 and 1945.
In the first 0.3 miles of the trail, there are two signs explaining the mining and railroad history. Just past the second sign is a nice rock garden/seating area. If you're walking with kids, this is a nice spot to talk about what you've learned and what you've seen. You can also have a snack here and turn around for a hike of about 0.7 miles.
If you're ready for a little more hiking, then continue on. The trail now goes into farm land and open space. You'll walk behind a farm with a few cows and horses (and the smell that accompanies them). At 0.7 miles, the trail crosses a road and winds through a prairie dog colony. Stay on the trail and do not let the kids try to entice the prairie dogs. Some of the animals carry fleas and the plague, not something you want to take home.
As you hike here, you may notice the lack of trees. I thought the idea of calling this the Singletree Trail was appropriate. There are a few clumps of trees, but for the most part, there are not many. This is not a trail to hike on a warm, summer afternoon.
About one mile from the trailhead, you'll cross a bridge and see the remnants of some more foundations. Here the trail turns north, then west. As you enjoy the views across the plains to the foothills, try to spot Longs Peak in the distance.
The trail hits its high point about 1.8 miles from the trailhead, then drops down to 66th Avenue near Marshall Road. This is where the Mayhoffer-Singletree Trail ends and the Cowdrey Trail begins.
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Details: The hike to the two history signs and back is about 0.7 miles roundtrip. The hike to 66th Avenue and back is about 5 miles with 300 feet of elevation gain with the ups and downs.
Directions: From U.S. 36, take McCaslin Boulevard south about 0.2 miles. Just past the gas station, turn right on West Coal Creek Drive. Turn left on 2nd Avenue and follow it until the road curves into West Thomas Street. At 3rd Avenue, you should see the trailhead and the parking area.