Drop In on a Free Group Run, Ride or Hike
Traveling to Boulder doesn’t need to hinder your workout routine. This town is stacked to the rafters with athletes, many of whom specifically come to Boulder to train. As a result, there are loads of free group workouts that allow you to drop in and rack up some road miles no matter the season, whether by bike or foot.
Drop-in Running Groups
Join the Boulder Trail Runners group online; all runs are announced at least 24 hours in advance. Regular runs occur Wednesday mornings at 5:30am at various locations, plus many more times and locations.
Kick monthly and annual membership fees to the curb. Runner’s Roost Run Club lets you join in for free at any of their locations, no matter your skill level. Keep an eye out for themed run club nights and offers from vendor partners. Hit their Boulder store on Wednesdays at 5:30pm for trail runs and 6pm for road runs.
Pop over to In Motion Running every Thursday night for easy 5K or 10K fun runs on traffic-free bike paths. Different vendors sponsor each week and allow you to sample their products. There are prizes and giveaways, too! Chow down on a slice of pizza from Savory Cuisines Catering afterward, and if you’re over 21, grab a beer.
T.E.A.M. Avery Run Club offers two “unofficial” seasonal runs: winter (Oct.–early Mar.) and summer (Mar.–Oct.). Runs start at 6pm sharp. Those over 21 will receive one free alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage, and those under 21 will receive one free non-alcoholic beverage. There are also prizes each week and a guest speaker once/month.
Partner up with Boulder Running Company every Thursday at 5pm outside their store for an unled fun run, meaning you can go at your own pace and bring along your four-legged friend. All experience levels are welcome.
Drop-in Cycling Groups
This locally loved mountain biking organization has a full offering of weekly group rides that are all free and open to the public. Most rides happen weekly, April through September, on some of Boulder County's best trails. Beginners will want to try Knobby Wednesday, women who want to connect with other women riders will enjoy the Gurlz Ride, and intermediate to advanced riders will love the Trails & Ale ride, followed by a gathering at a local brewpub. On the second and fourth Thursdays of the month, they have Inclusion Rides specifically designed to create a safe space for anyone who identifies as a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color), Latinx, and their allies. In winter, they've started biweekly fat biking night rides!
Join Boulder Cycle Sport weekly April through August for weekly road, mountain and gravel rides from their north location. All rides are weather dependent; check their event calendar for times and ride statuses. Rides at Boulder Cycle Sport are currently on pause.
Full Cycle offers two morning options: Saturday Road Rides and Sunday Gravel Adventure Groups. Both groups provide the chance to make friends, demo new bikes (reserve first), discover off-the-beaten paths, drink free coffee and enjoy post-ride drink specials back at their hybrid bike shop/coffee and beer bar.
With the Wednesday Morning Velo group, you can mix business with pleasure. The ride runs May–Sept. at 6:30am (6:45am after Labor Day). Each week, cyclists meet at Amante Coffee in North Boulder and divide into four groups with predetermined routes. (Choose the group/ride that best suits your needs.) Afterward, gather back at Amante for coffee and pastries provided by the sponsor to share stories and business cards.
Join Boulder Cycle Sport weekly April through August for weekly road, mountain and gravel rides from both north and south locations. All rides are weather dependent; check their event calendar for times and ride statuses. Rides at Boulder Cycle Sport are currently on pause.
This Thursday-evening community bicycle ride meets weekly at 7:30pm at Scott Carpenter Park and other locations (check their Facebook page for the most recent info), spring through fall. A lively crowd turns up dressed according to that week's theme, from "PirateCon" to "Acid Flashback." Don't expect a workout — this ride is strictly for fun. It's known as one of Boulder's oldest and most eccentric traditions, starting back in the early 90s during the resurgence of fat-tire bike culture.
Drop-in Walking Groups
Boulder Ramblers provides free community walking, hiking and “rambling trips” in and around Boulder County. The program is part of Walk2Connect, and its focus is on connections to others, the environment and ourselves.
The Boulder Walks program is also in conjunction with Walk2Connect and provides opportunities for neighbors to connect with one another and with where they live. It gives community members an active way to engage in GO Boulder's pedestrian planning activities as a way to invest in a more walkable city. Walks are plentiful! Keep an eye on their Facebook page for details. The Boulder Walks Program is currently on pause.
Drop-in Hiking Groups
Engage in stimulating exercise and conversation during Boulder Social Hikers' Wednesday morning hikes and explore high country views. Open to all age groups, it’s a great way to make new friends and sneak in a workout while exploring the wilderness.
Boulder Tuesday Thursday Hikers groups meet every …okay, you guessed it. This leaderless, drop-in group meets at North Boulder Park, then breaks into smaller groups to carpool to various trailheads. (Drivers are reimbursed for expenses.) Meets at 8 am, Jun. 1–Sept. 30, and 9am, Oct. 1–May 31. For more information, contact Rosie at 303-494-8822 or email Kate. Be sure to pack a lunch, water, and snacks, and don’t forget to layer up depending on weather conditions.
Boulder’s OSMP Nature Hikes Program offers an ongoing series of educational nature programs with regularly changing topics, including wildlife, ecology, local history, night hikes and more. All programs are free and open to the public, and many are open to children. Join their mailing list or keep an eye on their site for dates/times.
Where to Go for a Solo Jog or Walk
Hey, if groups aren’t your thing, no sweat! These trails and paths are good for all levels and perfect for solo strolls or a workout with just you and your favorite running buddy.
- Wonderland Lake: This 1.75-mile dirt trail starts on the south side of the Foothills Nature Center (4201 N. Broadway) and will take you around the lake. Keep your eyes on the sky for a glimpse of hang gliders and paragliders launching from nearby Wonderland Hill!
- Goose Creek Path: Start just south of the intersection at Valmont Rd. and Folsom St. and head east toward Foothills Parkway. You'll pass by Goose Creek Pond and end up near some of Boulder's favorite breweries (Boulder Beer Company, VisionQuest Brewery and Kettle and Spoke Brewery) as well as Redstone Meadery, if you fancy a post-workout adult beverage.
- Boulder Reservoir: You'll have to pay a small fee for access, but this 700-acre, multi-use recreation and water-storage facility is worth it. Walk or jog the 5.25-mile loop trail on graded dirt around the reservoir, best used Feb.–Nov. Watch for wildlife and people plying all sorts of watercraft.
- Teller Farm: Head to East Boulder and meander through historic and working farmland used for crop production, beekeeping and cattle and horse grazing, then enter the White Rocks Nature Preserve.