The Animas River Trail is about seven miles of paved all season trail along the scenic Animas River in Durango, Colorado. The route began to take shape in the 1970s and continues to lengthen as the years go by.
The segment near the historic Main Street Bridge and Rotary Park has several interesting features. The trail crosses a bridge that is parallel to a Durango to Silverton rail line bridge and the Colorado Division of Wildlife has a facility just north of the bridge.
In winter, the elk descend from the high country to lower elevation pastures, where they sometimes find traditional areas now covered with houses.
The Colorado Cutthroat is a true native of Colorado while the Rainbow Trout is an import from the Pacific Northwest. This display is only a short distance off the main trail.
There are several examples of public art along the Animas River Trail. The sunflower is just south of the parallel trail and railroad bridges. There is also a colorful Trout Wall art work south of the Main Street Bridge.
It took me 1:30 hours to arrive at the Durango Recreation Center, the north end of the west side trail branch. It is possible to go a little further north on the east side branch. My total hike took 3:10 hours including a lunch stop near the Durango to Silverton Train Station. I hiked for 7 or 8 miles on a sunny and mild 36 F late December day. There were many joggers and dog walkers and a few bike riders also enjoying the trail during my hike.